How to Apologize on TripAdvisor

With the invention of its partner program TripAdvisor has more than doubled the number of people who view their content, raising the number to 300 million. Content from TripAdvisor is now available on other websites, making reviews and content about your hotel more readily available.

The easy access to both positive and negative reviews about your property can pose a problem, especially when 4 out of 5 people will reverse their purchase decision after seeing online reviews. While you can’t undo a guest’s negative experience, you can apologize after the fact to hopefully make a full recovery. According to TripAdvisor, 68% of users say the presence of management responses to reviews, especially negative reviews, would sway them in favor of staying at that property. Make yourself stand out by following these simple steps to successfully apologize on TripAdvisor.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. No matter what you say, if your apology does not sound authentic it’s as if you didn’t apologize at all. We understand that negative responses about your brand can cause anger. Take a step back, a deep breath, and then approach the situation in both a professional and sympathetic manner.

We had high hopes for this hotel. The check in was smooth and the girl at the front desk was lovely. But, when we entered our room it smelled very dingy and the bed looked disheveled. Plus, there were still items in the trash bin the in bathroom! We liked the overall appearance of the hotel but were overall disappointed with the cleanliness in the rooms. How to Apologize on TripAdvisor

Thank you for your review. I’m happy to hear you had an easy check in and enjoyed the ambiance of our property. However, I am certainly disappointed by the lack of cleanliness you experienced in your guest room. We pride ourselves on our cleanliness, as I suspect you saw through out the rest of the property. Your experience falls way below our standards. Please reach out to me personally at with your check in date and confirmation number. With this information I can investigate what fell through in the cleaning process of your room and ensure it won’t happen again. Also, before booking your next stay, contact me personally so we can go above and beyond your expectations!

The above response is perfect. First, in your TripAdvisor apology, it is important to highlight the positive remarks about the property that the guest made. Statistics show that 78% of one or two star reviews contain at least one positive remark, be sure to search for that positive comment and use it to boost up your property. Also, emphasizing this flattering comment gives your response a positive and more approachable tone. Additionally, highlighting a good comment demonstrates other strengths of your property for other readers searching out a property for their next vacation. Turning a negative into a positive is the main goal in apologizing on all forms of social media.

After highlighting the positives, you want to face the negatives head on. Stress that this is an atypical experience at your property while also apologizing directly for what the guest experienced. After apologizing, explain your process for resolving this issue. A good way to show you’re taking action is to ask for the guest’s check in information or confirmation number. This way they are guaranteed that you will look directly into their personal experience as a way to make improvements. Finally, give them a way to reach you personally for their next stay at your property. This way you have the chance to win them back as guest while also showing readers of TripAdvisor that you genuinely care about improving the guest experience.

You also need to remember that while you may want to defend your property, it is more important to mend the relationship with the guest. If you think that this complaint is completely unjustified and slanderous, contact TripAdvisor and ask to have the review removed. It is more important to respond to a customer complaint in a genuine manner than it is to defend yourself. Past and future customers will value your authentic apology more than a snarky response. So, even if the complaint is justified, if you apologize in authentically and politely your property will come out looking better as a whole.

With 62 million monthly active users and 45 million monthly unique mobile device visitors, it is important that you respond to negative reviews quickly. With social media intelligence you can quickly see where negatives comments are posted and what the complaints focus on. Now your hotel can respond to all negative, and even some positive, reviews posted on your TripAdvisor feed. By staying active on TripAdvisor with the help of social media intelligence, you show customers that you value their opinions and that customer service is a high priority for your business.

It is important to note that responding to reviews on TripAdvisor helps increase the ranking of your property. Additionally, when attempting to increase your rank on TripAdvisor remember rankings are based on three other factors: frequency, consistency, and volume. For rankings to increase your property needs to get good reviews posted often and the general number of reviews has to be high and consistent from month to month. To read more about how to increase the number of reviews your property receives read How to Inspire More Reviews.

How have you found success in engaging with negative reviews? Leave a comment below and check out our eBook on social media engagement to learn more best practices.

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One Response to “How to Apologize on TripAdvisor”

  1. Doug Nealeigh says:

    Great Article! One important point though…TripAdvisor will not remove an unjustified, slanderous, or false complaint. Unfortunately, we experienced this. We clearly communicated to TripAdvisor and provided appropriate documentation showing the reviewer had misstated the facts and they still refused to remove the slanderous complaint. Also, we’ve found that the number of reviews, i.e., volume of posts has no bearing on the rankings. We’re located in a small resort community, Cannon Beach, Oregon. Two new properties came on line with “several” positive posts and they immediately went ahead of our property with over 250 positive posts. As you can imagine, we’re not a fan of TripAdvisor.

    Thank you -

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