TripAdvisor steps up process to include more genuine reviews of hotels

User review giant TripAdvisor may be looking to increase the amount of content on its site, but the expansion of a 15-month old system is actually doing more to verify reviews of hotels in the system.

The Review Collection Solution first launched in February 2012, allowing partners (hotels, online travel agencies et al) to use a TripAdvisor-run platform to collect reviews from previous customers.

After what it says have been a “number of Review Collection Solutions” put in place, TripAdvisor has now launched Review Express this week.

The idea behind the new service is to allow hotel owners to send free messages to guests after their stay to solicit reviews and populate the database of content on the main TripAdvisor website.

Hoteliers will be able to bulk upload up to 1,000 email addresses of customers and then hit them with an email after their stay to persuade a guest to add a review of their experience.

Twenty-one languages are supported in the new platform as well as the ability to customise the correspondence depending on the hotel’s brand and include a personalised message.

A classic customer relationship management tool, if nothing else.

But, as became clear when the original service launched with EasyToBook (which incidentally abandoned its own reviewing system at the time), what TripAdvisor is doing is also ensuring that the number of reviews appearing on the site where some kind of verification process (i.e. from a hotel guest database) has taken place is increasing.

As well as going through the usual closely guarded technical process at TripAdvisor’s end when reviews comes in to establish if a review is genuine or not, hoteliers will also ensure when signing up to the service that only guests will be contacted via the Review Express platform.

How the service will pan out in the medium to long term is another question, of course.

If a guest had a poor experience and complained to the hotel during their stay, would an owner be less inclined to put the customer’s contact details into a system which reminds them to add a (potentially poor) review on TripAdvisor?

A key element here will be as to whether a hotelier tries to automate the system with bulk uploading of customer databases, or only puts in email addresses of those it thinks are happy customers in the hope that any disgruntled guests will quickly forget about their bad experience and not submit a review to TripAdvisor independently.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.

 

Comments

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  1. Chip Craw

    Laughable, really. A major contributor to review fraud are the hoteliers, and this system will not address that and in fact creat a vehicle for gathering biases and essentially “paid” reviews. Hardly in the best interest of the traveler.

    So a bit of window dressing from TripAdvisor here…

     
  2. Vega

    What if I don’t want the hotel to “share” my email address with TripAdvisor?

    Vega
    ::::reminding myself to create ANOTHER email address to use when booking hotels.

     
  3. Michael Hios

    It’s good that they’ve identified the problem and have devised a plan to address it, but I fail to see how this will do anything other than increase the number of reviews. The opportunities to game the system still exist in this model, and it seems that hoteliers are being given an even better chance to cheat. How is it possible for the hoteliers to ensure that only guest lists are being uploaded?

     
 
 

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