Medallia, a global leader in SaaS Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions, has partnered with TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site, to create seamless and timely engagement with guests who can now post reviews on TripAdvisor during the survey process.

The solution allows participating hospitality companies to collect candid guest reviews and opinions on TripAdvisor to help future guests choose the right accommodation, and help the company more accurately gauge guest satisfaction.

According to the new partnership, the expanded capabilities of the Medallia solution allow for participating hospitality companies to receive automatic alerts when traveler reviews become available on TripAdvisor. Hospitality companies can easily respond to and engage with customers who write reviews from the Medallia interface.

Michelle de Haaff, vice president of marketing of Medallia, told Loyalty 360 that a commissioned survey of more than 2,100 travelers conducted by Forrester on behalf of TripAdvisor confirmed what most travelers already know: that travelers find user-generated reviews important when making booking decisions.

“Most of us won’t stay at an unknown hotel without checking an online review or asking a friend,” de Haaf said. “Our normal behavior is to type our destination into a review site, scan the options with four or more stars in our price range, and then, within that subset, check for properties with the right amenities and most positive reviews.”

De Haaf said the Forrester study also revealed that the presence and tone of management responses significantly impacted travelers’ impressions of lodging businesses and directly impacted their booking decisions.

“The algorithm behind review site rankings is also influential: to get a coveted first page search result on a review site, hotels need lots of reviews,” she said.

De Haaf said the partnership will help hospitality companies increase reviews, draw more positive reviews, and better manage reviews.

“Website reviews often capture outlier responses: those of raving fans and those of the most dissatisfied guests,” de Haaf said. “Surveys capture a wider swath of the guests, with more balanced opinions. On average, survey responses are more positive than website reviews. Therefore, prompting all survey takers -- including the negative ones -- to post publicly will still boost ratings.”

 

After receiving automatic alerts when reviews about them are posted on TripAdvisor, property teams can then respond rapidly and easily to travelers and close the loop, which not only boosts property performance, but also demonstrates the management engagement, presence, and tone that prospective guests look for when choosing a property, de Haaf said.

TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 200 million unique monthly visitors, and over 100 million reviews and opinions.

While most social media monitoring vendors can find reviews for hotels, de Haaf said, they aren’t designed for three key things: a busy hotel staff that needs proactive visibility to these reviews and the ability to answer them easily in an interface that they are used to using; the Guest Satisfaction Survey analytics environment, which provides hotels with the ability to compare survey feedback with social reviews; and the ability to actively solicit reviews.

“With Medallia’s TripAdvisor partnership, they get these three things rolled into one, making the sometimes daunting task of engaging with customers on social sites easy,” she said.

Using the interface, hotel employees both centrally and at specific locations can easily encourage guests to post reviews and engage with those guests quickly, as they are automatically notified when reviews are posted.

“This process naturally increases engagement with customers after their stay,” de Haaf said.

The agreement includes a one-click posting process whereby participating Medallia hospitality customers invite their guests to post to TripAdvisor during the survey process. Jointly collected reviews are subject to TripAdvisor’s submission policies and are attributed to the participating hospitality company on TripAdvisor. Respondents can also immediately “like” the property on Facebook or “follow” it on Twitter through Medallia Promote.

Many hotels invite their guests to fill out a survey and to post a review about a stay, de Haaf explained.

“This duplicative effort can be taxing and annoying for guests,” she said. “With this new Medallia/TripAdvisor agreement in place, hotels are able to elegantly combine their guest survey and TripAdvisor review form so that guests who provide feedback can, with minimal extra effort, also share their thoughts online. The benefits for hotels are better guest experiences and more online reviews. For end customers, the process is seamless and the fact that hotels are soliciting reviews ends up being a positive to the end customer because it shows that the specific property is open to feedback.”

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