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Home » Left Menu » Managing Reputation

Managing your online reputation

By now we should all be familiar with the travel review website ‘’. Personally I hate it, but whether you love it or loathe it, as an accommodation provider you cannot ignore TripAdvisor!

It has become standard practice for many visitors in Ireland, the UK and the USA to check out the reviews of a Hotel or other accommodation before they make a booking there. It is imperative that you are managing these reviews to ensure that these visitors don’t decide to stay elsewhere!.


It would be lovely to think that by doing our best and providing a great service in comfortable accommodation that positive reviews would fly in to Unfortunately this does not always happen.

All too often, the only people who bother to submit a review on the site are disgruntled former guests who wish to vent their disapproval or general frustrations.

In order to get positive reviews for your Self Catering accommodation, you have to encourage their submission. Here are some ways you can do that:

  • When guests are leaving and tell you how wonderful a time they had, ask them to submit a review.
  • If you receive a ‘thank you’ email from some happy guests, reply and ask them to take the time to add a review to TripAdvisor. Include a link to your TripAdvisor page to make this easier for them.
  • In any regular emails or newsletters you send to guests, include a link to your TripAdvisor page and ask people to submit a review if they enjoyed their stay.

What to do when you get a bad review

It’s not a case of ‘if you get a bad review’ it is a certainty that eventually you will. This may come from an unreasonable guest, it may be a spurious review submitted by someone who never stayed with you or, unfortunately, it may be justified.

Whatever the reason for its submission, you should always reply to negative reviews in order to protect your online reputation.

Bu responding to negative reviews you are showing that you are listening and that you care. You can use your response to refute any inaccuracies in the review, point out any improvements that you have made since their stay and also use it as an opportunity to set expectations for future guests.

While your response should be directed at the individual reviewer, remember that your audience is the entire Online community! In a recent online survey commissioned by TripAdvisor, 79% of travellers indicated that a management response to a negative review reassures them. You should never waste this opportunity. 

What to say in a Response

Open your response with something positive. If there is any positive point in the review then seize on it and respond to it first.

Thank the reviewer for their feedback and then apologise if there is a need to do so. Finally give reassurance to potential visitors that the same thing won’t happen to them, if they come to stay with you. So, point out that changes have been made, etc.

The tone of your response should be sincere and conversational. Friendly, yet professional. Never sound hurt or offended by a review. Do not criticise the reviewer or there is a chance that your response will not be published by TripAdvisor.

What if a review contains false information or is a fake?

TripAdvisor say that they have a zero tolerance policy for fraud and will use their sophisticated tools to detect it. This is of little use to you if a malicious review of your accommodation has been posted. If one has, then you can contact TripAdvisor and ask them to investigate it. There is a “Report as Inappropriate” link in the Management Center to allow you to do this. Be brief in your description of why the review is false and should be removed.

At the same time, post a response to the review to diplomatically (never accuse a reviewer of lying) set the record straight. Remember, your appeal to TripAdvisor to remove the review may not be successful and so it is better to manage it as you would other negative feedback.

Managing your Page on TripAdvisor

We should all be registered as an owner or manager on By doing this you will have access to their “Management Center”. If you have already registered as an owner, then simply sign into your TripAdvisor account and click "Manage your listing" at the top-right of any page. This will take you to your Management Center.

Once registered and signed into your Management Center, you can respond to reviews by clicking the "Write a management response" link in the "Quick Links" section.

While logged in you should also keep other aspects of your listing up to date and complete. In the Management Center you can:

  • Enhance your listing by uploading photos
  • Upload videos;
  • Update property details, rates and booking info

Getting a negative review on TripAdvisor can be an annoyance, and might even hurt a little to read. However, to prevent it hurting your online reputation – and bottom line – you have to respond to it! Try to turn the negative into a positive and by doing so, who knows; you might even discourage future negative feedback!

Francis Nesbitt

Francis is a member of the Board of the ISCF and, together with his wife Niamh, owns Croan Cottages in County Kilkenny. Francis also owns a Web Development company eBusiness and Website Design can develop your website for you, redesign an existing website or carry out website optimisation and Search Engine Optimisation on your existing website content to ensure that you are found online by potential


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