The Importance of Online of Reviews – For the Customer and For Your Business.
Many of our Tombstone businesses are using TRIPADVISOR. TripAdvisor provides a resource for guests to provide a “snippet” of their experience at a restaurant, bar, hotel or attraction. Attractions can include galleries, museums, tour experiences, and even Allen Street is on TripAdvisor. If your business isn’t using Trip Advisor take a moment to consider how your business could benefit.
The Tombstone Chamber manages the TripAdvisor for Allen Street, and Boot Hill and the Tombstone Courthouse manages their Trip Advisor page.
Online travel review site TripAdvisor is becoming terrifyingly important in a traveler’s decision making process”. In fact, according to a late 2013 study by PhocusWright of 12,000 travelers across the globe, more than half are not willing to book a hotel until they read reviews about the property.
And 93% of travelers worldwide say that their booking decisions are impacted by online reviews.
TripAdvisor, the biggest online review site on the planet, plays a huge role in helping travelers make travel purchasing decisions.
Some staggering TripAdvisor numbers:
- TripAdvisor carries more than 200 million consumer-generated reviews
- It attracts 125 new user contributions every minute
- 2.4 million restaurants
- 915,000 hotels,
- 650,000 B&B establishments
- 500,000 attractions
- TripAdvisor has reviews and information on over 400,000 locations
- TripAdvisor attracts more than 315 million unique visitors each month
- Half of TripAdvisor’s visitors now browse the site via mobile devices
- An estimated 1 in every 16 people online in the world visited TripAdvisor in July 2014
- TripAdvisor is the 38th biggest website in the world, based on traffic
So is your business well represented on TripAdvisor?
Taking the Good Reviews and Using the Bad Reviews
We all LOVE to hear the good stuff, the great testimonials or reviews. It shows what we are doing right in our business. It boost employee morale (and yours) when someone you don’t know says “GREAT JOB” or “LOVED THE SERVICE” or “GREAT FOOD AND ATMOSPHERE.”
As indicated before the Tombstone Chamber is managing the TripAdvisor page for Allen Street. This allows for response to rather unfavorable reviews, respond to misconceptions, and also if appropriate thank a reviewer.
On the Chamber website (tombstonechamber.com) there is a TripAdvisor banner at the bottom. You can take time to read the reviews about Allen Street as truly ALL reviews (the Good and the Bad) about Allen Street affects and impacts ALL BUSINESSES, ACTIVITIES and EVENTS in Tombstone.
When you look at a review it is important (especially if it is a less than favorable review) to look at the reviewer. The examination of the reviewer is not intended to impune the integrity, it is to see the following information:
- How many total reviews have they done;
- The age, gender, and occupation of the reviewer
- Where does the reviewer live;
- How many reviews of each category has the reviewer completed – in this case we are looking at the attractions category.
- Let’s look at a one out of five review – and there are only three of them.
- If you look at the review from May 25, 2015 – subject “Tombstone Tourist Trap”
- A one out of five review.
- If you look at the reviewer’s profile – he is a neurosurgeon, done a lot of reviews, 27 of them for attractions and is very active on Trip Advisor.
A common thread with this review and some of the other less favorable reviews are:
- Goods in shops made in china;
- Overpriced mediocre food;
- Smokers in the street;
- No one in costume in the shops;
- Not enough public restrooms;
- “Now… as you make your way up Allen St or back a cowboy hustler will mug you like a mall kiosk operator and tell you “gunfight that way in 10 min.” and of course it will cost you $10, same goes for the Earp Bros standing in the middle of the street directing you to their schtick.” (November 29, 2014)
- Not sure what I was expecting before I visited. What I got was people constantly trying to separate me from my money. The people working in this town are just plain annoying which ruins the experience. When visiting Arizona, I would skip Tombstone and head to the Grand Canyon or Monument Valley for a better experience. (Sept 29, 2013)
As a business owner, what can you extract from a less than favorable review?
I would encourage ALL business owners to read through the Allen Street Reviews. Of the less than favorable items, the only item that is out of a business owners control is the comment about “smokers on the street.” The rest of the comments fall to the business owner to evaluate and see if within their business there maybe room for improvement.
Now let’s look at some five out five review – and there are plenty to choose from – 187 to be exact.
Here are some of the predominant things that guests really liked:
- Lots of places to shop and eat;
- Plenty to do from shootouts to shopping;
- Every store owner was friendly and informative;
- The saloons were very unique;
- Everything in old town Tombstone happens on Allen Street;
- I had a lot of hope for this trip considering it was on my bucket list, due to me being a history nut, but this place exceeded my expectations.
- With the stage coaches riding up and down the street and costumed cowboys walking around it is so romantic depicting the Old West. I loved it.
- A tiny part of a tiny town, but well organized for the tourist. Covered walkways in the desert heat much appreciated. All kinds of local businesses to support. A nice feel to the place and some very pleasant people.
- Even bowls of water set out in front of some shops for the four-legged tourist.
- The most interesting thing about Tombstone is that folks are dressed in western outfits with pistols in the holsters and the like. One can take a tour in a horse drawn carriage or simply stroll the streets. I liked that the streets are closed off to cars from north to south. It’s a neat place to take a day off.
- There’s nothing like Tombstone. I had gone to Dodge City for the Western history but it’s so built up and modern, you have to go Tombstone to see the real thing. I hope they can keep taking care of the history for years to come so the next generation can see it.
Tips for writing an effective management response:
- Keep it professional and courteous
- Keep it relevant to the travel community
- Remember your future customers are listening
- Don’t identify a guest by name or other characteristics
- Don’t use profanity, threats, accusations, or insults
- Don’t advertise or include a commercial URL
If your business is not on Trip Advisor Here is How to Claim Your TripAdvisor Business Listing
Go to the business owners page. You must be an official representative of the property, service, or company. You will see four options: Hotel/Accommodation, Vacation Rental, Restaurant, and Attraction. Click on the one that best describes your business and then follow the instructions.
The Pros and Cons of a Business Using Trip Advisor
Cons: The biggest Con is fake and/or inaccurate reviews. It could be a local competitor sabotaging your business and leaving a bad review, or a disgruntled employee or customer.
TripAdvisor unlike Yelp has a review policy and the ability to appeal / report a suspicious review. And TripAdvisor does give your business the opportunity to respond to a review.
- Provides on online presence if your business doesn’t have one, or expands your existing online presence;
- Give you a direct opportunity to communicate with guests (and potential guests), and the the ability to clear up any misconceptions or errors;
- Provides the opportunity for your business to improve its service by constructively reading the less than favorable reviews;
- Allows for guests to rave about your business, which encourages others to make a relatively informed decision about visiting your business.
And you undoubtedly will come up with your own CONS and PROS.
Labor Day weekend here in Tombstone is busy with Showdown in Tombstone, the Costume Contest and the Steampunk Ball. Take a moment to visit tombstonechamber.com to look at all the upcoming events. If your event is not listed there, or the listing needs to be adjusted please email email@example.com
NEW AND RETURNING CHAMBER MEMBERS
The Granite Gallery (New)
St Paul’s Episcopal Church (Returning)
Tombstone Company Arizona Rangers (New)
Silver Hills Trading (Returning)
James Apel (Returning)
CHAMBER MEMBER OF THE WEEK
Fallen Angel Sweet Sin Parlor
525 E. Allen Street, Tombstone, AZ
Gelato, Italian Ice Cream, Fudge, Salt Water Taffy and more.
Hours: Monday-Friday 11:00 a.m.-6:15 p.m.
Saturday/Sunday 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Next to the BirdCage Theater
Send your event information to firstname.lastname@example.org