As tourist season gets started and the economy shows signs of reopening after the pandemic, the wine industry is expecting Americans to hit the road. If your small winery is not already listed on Tripadvisor, we highly recommend it. If it is, we have this advice for you.
The travel website says that 86% of people, when booking activities, gain confidence from reviews posted online which makes it “the world’s largest travel guidance platform.”
Potential customers spend hours planning the perfect vacation. They will visit your website, compare you with your competitors, and they will read online reviews.
When someone posts a review about your winery, millions of people will be able to read it, whether their feedback is positive or negative.
With that wide audience in mind, how should you handle online reviews on Tripadvisor?
Here are three quick tips:
Read all your reviews
Know what your customers are saying about you. Some people will never complain to your face but will leave a negative review when they return home.
You want to know what your customers are saying about your business. This might be the only way you learn about issues with your winery. After a while, we all start to ignore peeling paint and missing signs. Your customers’ fresh eyes will see things you have missed.
Reply to your reviews
You should reply to both the positive reviews and to the negative ones.
It is extremely important to acknowledge any negative reviews in a tactful way. You would be surprised to see how defensive and rude some business owners are when replying to critical reviews.
Respond with grace and kindness. Acknowledge that you made a mistake and that you will try to fix it for future guests.
83% of travelers say that tactful replies to negative replies improve their opinion of the business (source).
Apply your reviews
Because Tripadvisor reviews are public, your customers will know if you have applied their feedback or not. If a potential customer sees a common thread in the reviews, such as a rude employee or difficulty booking tours, they might choose another winery instead of yours.
However, if you reply to your negative reviews in a thoughtful way and then take action to fix the issues, your customers will notice. And they will leave reviews talking about how polite your tour guides are and how easy it is to book a visit.
Remember, online reviews are very important for small wineries. So read, reply, and apply.