How to Remove Negative Reviews from Tripadvisor-FREE OF CHARGE ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT
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Remove #FakeNews from the Internet: Clean up permanently your online reputation and remove, all types of negative Google search results including, bad press, articles, blogs, reviews, court, police and arrest records, mugshots, court filings, court decisions, bankruptcy records, images, videos.
1. Your property has been renovated
If you can prove that your property has undergone major renovations, TripAdvisor may delete some of your old reviews to give your hotel a fresh start. But first, you’ll have to submit proof of major structural changes like alterations to hotel layout, the installation of new guest rooms or bathrooms, or complete property overhauls. Changes that are merely cosmetic, like new paint, curtains, or furniture, do not qualify.
According to TripAdvisor’s support page on the topic, as proof of your renovation you will be asked to submit one of the following documents:
Online press release with the publication’s letterhead documenting the renovation
Notarized copies of building/work permits
Notarized copies of the trades’ invoices for materials and labor
Notarized letter from city officials or Tourist Board verifying the scope of renovation and duration of the closure
In this case, you should definitely update the photos of your property on your TripAdvisor page while you wait for the approval of your request. You should also feel free to respond to some of your old reviews, and let your guests know that you’ve heard and understood their complaints, and as a result, your hotel has gotten a major facellift!
2. The review violates TripAdvisor’s guidelines
Reviews on TripAdvisor must adhere a very specific set of guidelines. Reviews must be:
Family-friendly – No profanity, threats, prejudiced comments, hate speech, sexually explicit language, or other content that is not appropriate for our community. Click here for more information.
Written by actual travelers – We accept reviews that detail first-hand experiences with the facilities or services of an establishment. General discussion that does not detail a substantial experience will not be posted. Click here for more information.
Relevant to other travelers – No content that is not relevant to trip planning and research. Click here for more information.
Unique and Independent – You may write one review on any given accommodation, restaurant, or attraction per visit. Click here for more information.
Original – No substantial quoted material from other sources, including (but not limited to) websites, e-mail correspondence, other reviews, etc.
Non-commercial – No promotional material of any kind, including self-promotional URLs. We reserve the right to reject any URL, e-mail address, or phone number for any reason.
Submitted for an appropriate property – Your review must be for an accommodation, restaurant, or attraction that meets our listing requirements.
Age requirement – No reviews by children under the age of 13
Valid email address and standard email formatting:
The email address associated with your account must be correct; we may need to contact you if there is a problem with your review.
No HTML tags and no excessive ALL CAPS, slang, formatting issues, repeated text, or typographic symbols.
Use the correct alphabet for the language in which you are writing. Do not transliterate into another alphabet.
Do not add unnecessary characters in order to reach the minimum character count for reviews.
If you feel that you’ve received a review that does not adhere to these guidelines, you can report it to TripAdvisor for removal. CLICK HERE for instructions on how to make your request.
3. You are being blackmailed
While rare, we do occasionally hear the story of the guest who said, “Give me a free upgrade or I’ll give you a bad review,” or something of the like. TripAdvisor does have a procedure in place to protect hoteliers against blackmail. In this situation, you need to be ahead of the game. The minute you get a verbal or written blackmail threat, you need to report the incident to TripAdvisor, even before the review is potentially submitted. Retain any evidence or paperwork and keep careful notes on the incident. Then, submit a report via the TripAdvisor management center immediately, ideally on the same day.
Once your report is submitted, if a low-rated review matching the details of your report is submitted on your business, the TripAdvisor support team will be alerted. TripAdvisor handles each blackmail report on a case-by-case basis, and review thedirect evidence and peripheral information available to us before making a decision. You may be contacted for additional information that proves blackmail was involved.
I’ve submitted my request, but the review is still out there! What do I do now?
Once you’ve submitted your request, the next step is to reply publicly to the review ASAP. It may take some time for TripAdvisor to remove the review, and prospective guests will still be able to see it online in the meantime.
In your response, the most important thing is to avoid getting angry or defensive. 64% of users agree that an aggressive/defensive management response to a bad review “makes me less likely to book that hotel,” according to a 2012 PhoCusWright report. But, if you respond correctly, it can actually help you, as 84% of users agree that an appropriate management response to a bad review “improves my impression of the hotel.”
In the case of a fraudulent review, damage control is the primary objective. You can try responding like this:
“I’m sorry you had such a terrible experience. Unfortunately we’ve searched our records, and we have no evidence of your stay. If you’re willing, will you please contact us privately so we can get to the bottom of this?”
Again, whatever you do, don’t get defensive. Keep your cool, and remember to put on a good face for any prospective guests who might read your response.
How to handle negative reviews on Tripadvisor?
Clients I speak to are often worried about entering the world of social media, afraid it will open the door to negative reviews. A presence on social media doesn’t create negative reviews, nor does an absence prevent them. What it does do is allow your brand the opportunity to be part of the conversation and to respond appropriately. But what is an appropriate response?
Example of a restaurant’s response to an online customer review
In 2014 Irish Examiner published an article titled ‘Read a Dublin restaurant owner’s perfect response to an awkward customer.’
The article details the incident as they see it:
‘Laura Sweeney visited the restaurant one afternoon and found fault with everything. She complained that her party had to sit indoors on a sunny day, despite the fact that they were offered a table outside. ‘We were comfortable outside but moved inside anyway,’ she wrote. The food was Laura’s main complaint. ‘My dish of Scampi was lukewarm as I discovered when I cut into and ate half of one,’ she wrote. She says she asked for a fresh dish but ‘a young waitress came back with my original Scampi which was much browner and the half one included. The manager insisted it was fresh and when I pointed out the half she said the chef had cut it to see if it was hot.’ An obviously annoyed Laura decided to leave. ‘Not fancying my chances with reheated fish I passed the dish.’
The article then details the restaurant’s owner’s response, titled ‘How not to behave when out’, a reference to the customer’s tagline, ‘How not to run a restaurant’.
The response continues with a line-by-line rebuttal of the customer’s review, interjected with some fairly personal attacks including:
‘The staff of course knew the type of person we were dealing with.’
‘It would seem that the type of person who takes to the internet to complain is a particularly difficult individual to keep happy.’
‘You then threaten her with TripAdvisor! (A nasty tactic you have used in a restaurant before, and that’s according to a poor restaurateur who had the misfortune to have you as a guest).’
‘I find it shocking to think there are people like you out there who have been empowered by the likes of Trip Advisor and feel they have the right to publicly criticise a girl doing her job and set out to cause deliberate harm to an individual and a business.’
‘The fact is, you would be much better off putting a smile on your face and treating people with respect, you will find life and eating out will be much more enjoyable.’
The article claims the owner’s rebuttal drew much praise, indeed Tom Doorley, a well known Irish food critic tweeted ‘I like @OuzosDublin’s response to a customer ‘complaint’ on the awful Tripadvisor.’
Whilst it may have made the owner feel better for the time he was composing his response, does it leave a good taste in the mouth for future diners? When responding to negative reviews, however unjustified you may feel they are, my view is that less is more.
Whether the customer was right or wrong in this case, a response/attack like this one does not shine favourably on Ouzos. I wonder if, on reflection, this owner would agree, as the response has since been removed.
Should we ignore bad online customer reviews?
Only 1 in 4 reviews on TripAdvisor are responded to, suggesting many believe ignoring reviews is the best strategy. Not so according to TripAdvisor research.
78% of respondents agreed that seeing a management response to a review ‘makes me believe the hotel cares more about its guests’ (versus a comparable hotel that didn’t respond) and 57% agreed that seeing hotel management responses to reviews ‘makes me more likely to book.’
Research conducted by TripAdvisor encouraging more interaction and prominence for TripAdvisor should possibly be taken with a pinch of salt, but as a TripAdvisor user, I agree with the majority. When researching hotels and restaurants, a negative review with an appropriate response can help rather than hinder the decision-making process.
Why should you worry about negative reviews?
Review sites are a very crucial part of the travel booking experience. It is estimated that over 90 percent of travelers look at online reviews before making a booking. It is also common knowledge that a lot of customers would refuse to book a hotel if it doesn’t have any online reviews. TripAdvisor gets around 390 million visitors per month and for Expedia it is well over 130 million visitors. The numbers tell the story and given the traffic that such sites get, the reviews posted on such sites have the potential to influence the ultimate decision of a large number of potential customers.
A lot of people consider reviews while making their final booking decisions. It is estimated that over 85% of customers will refuse to book a hotel if it has less than a 3-star rating. On the contrary, positive reviews augur really well for your business. Research shows that an overwhelming majority of people will gladly pay more for a hotel room if it has received a lot of positive reviews. Travelers also don’t mind paying top dollar for making a booking if the facility has excellent ratings.
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How can you avoid customers from seeing negative reviews?
Now that we have established the detrimental impact that bad reviews can have on your business, it’s time to figure out the ways in which one can avoid the consequences of such bad reviews. There are primarily three ways in which you can deal with such negative reviews. First option is to get such reviews deleted. The second option is to respond to reviews in such a way that can shows you genuinely care about making things right. The third and final option is to implement changes which will help you in avoiding negative reviews.
Deleting negative reviews from review sites
It is possible to remove negative reviews from review sites but only if you can prove that such reviews are problematic in some way. Different review sites have different rules and you are advised to study them thoroughly to enhance your chances of getting unflattering reviews removed. All review sites, including and especially Expedia and TripAdvisor have guidelines which they expect people to follow. If the post is in the contravention to rules enshrined in the guidelines, then such sites may delete the review. You may be able to get reviews reeking of personal attacks removed from review sites.
Here’s how you should respond to negative reviews
It is important for hospitality and travel companies to respond to reviews, because companies which do so, get more booking inquiries than companies which don’t do so. Now that we have established that you need to respond to online reviews, you need to figure out the ways in which you should respond to such reviews. You shouldn’t be too defensive and neither should you come across as too aggressive. You need to come up with professional and courteous responses to bad online reviews. You can follow the following rules while dealing with reviews, especially unflattering reviews.
Regardless of the nature of expedia reviews and complaints, try to respond to it as soon as possible. You should try to respond to the review within 1 hour of it getting posted.
Try to personalize the interaction and address reviewers by their name rather than using impersonal generic terms.
If you are in the wrong, acknowledge, accept and then apologize.
Reply to negative hotel reviewbyacknowledging the concerns raised in the review and communicate what are you going to do to fix it.
After responding publicly, take the conversation offline by going private with the reviewer, especially if the situation is complicated.
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Examine your business practices
The best way out is to stop unflattering reviews before they even start. One can do this by thoroughly examining one’s business practices. Review all the complaints about your business and try to find similar themes in them. Introspect and analyze such reviews from different angles.
You need to get to the bottom of the issues plaguing your business and then take corrective measures to resolve such issues. You need to address the concerns being raised by your guests, and the more effectively you are able to do so, the better reviews you will get from in the future.
Many review sites have tools to notify hotels when someone posts a review about them, so that hotel owners can act quickly to address the concerns raised in the reviews. The best way to get better reviews is to strive to resolve the issues of your guests, even after the bill has been paid.
No matter how careful or diligent you are in managing the affairs of your business, sometimes getting negative reviews is inevitable. One another way to offset the negative effects of such reviews is by encouraging reviews from satisfied and happy guests. Therefore, you need to proactively think of ways to encourage reviews from your guests.
The Bottom Line
Reviews play a very instrumental role in the success or failure of business ventures in this digital age, including and especially hospitality and travel-related businesses. A lot of hoteliers understand the significance of this and they are actively investing in online reputation management. So if you have a hotel and aren’t doing so, then it is high time that you get your act together or run the high risk of being left behind the competition.
Recommendations for best practice on TripAdvisor
Respond to every review whether positive or negative – If someone has taken the time to review your establishment, it is polite to acknowledge that whether it is positive or negative. In my research, many establishments only responded to negative reviews.
Respond promptly, no more than 2 weeks later – Unless a friend or friend of a friend has left a review, TripAdvisor shows the most recent review first, that review is shaping your potential customers’ first impression.
Don’t get into tit for tat – Tone is extremely hard to convey in writing and, arguing against or questioning a customer’s experience usually doesn’t come across well. Either acknowledge the criticism and move on, or offer to have a further conversation offline. This conveys to potential customers that you take criticism seriously but doesn’t allow for a war of words.
Using different staff members to respond shows personality and teamwork – At one of my client’s hotels, the General Manager always responds to negative reviews. But for their many positive reviews, a variety of staff members respond. Who, depends on what the reviewer has highlighted. Often this means it is the Head Chef, the Front of House Manager or the Restaurant Manager, however the Head Groundsman also had the limelight in this review, excerpted below:
‘ I even came away with a few good tips on how to remove moss from driveways, from the very interesting hotel handyman ‘ James ‘! Who also gave me a potted history of the town and some tips on where to try my luck fishing, I’m hoping his tips re moss removal prove to be more successful than his fishing tips were! If you go, do look out for James, as he is an absolute mine of local information, which I always find makes the stay so much more interesting.’
‘Thank you for leaving such a great review for us. It was very kind of you to mention me in your feedback and I was glad to be of assistance with your moss issue. I’m sorry that my fishing tips didn’t work out (a fisherman will of course never reveal his best tips!) I do hope to see you when you come back for another visit. Regards to you and your good lady wife.’ – James, Hotel and Grounds Guardian
TripAdvisor responses can become repetitive which is another advantage of allowing multiple staff members to respond
Word of mouth is important to TripAdvisor
Reviews on TripAdvisor default to listing friends’ (and friends of friends) reviews at the top, no matter how old.
Be proud of your positive feedback
Make sure you take time to shout about it through social media and other channels