b'FOGHORNFOCUS:SALES, MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS5 Tips on Mastering Your TripAdvisor RatingBy Rhona Bronson, Director of Marketing, Delaware River & Bay AuthorityA s a member of the Passenger1. RECOGNIZE THE ELEPHANTVessel Association, you likelyAccording to comScore Data Services, globally, TripAdvisor is the top sitealready know you need to betravelers use to digitally research their travel options before making a on TripAdvisor. But since the reviewpurchase. Just as Google is to search, TripAdvisor is the category elephant sites content is largely user-generated,in the room. Your goal is to tame the beast, so it can be ridden in the desired managing your presence on the platformdirection for the growth you want, rather than just being a wild creature can seem out of your wheelhouse.crashing uncontrollably through the digital jungle. Luckily, TripAdvisor is one of the moreIf you havent already created a listing on TripAdvisor, odds are your simple marketing tools to master. Success,customers have. Its important to claim the listing and become the Elephant however, does require a strategic long-termWhisperer, highlighting what you want about your business on the site. Go view and a full-company commitment.to www.tripadvisor.com/owners to get started, or to edit your information. One example of how to manage your presence comes from the Cape May-Lewes2. CREATE A CULTURE CLUBFerry (CMLF), which was inducted into theThere are many things system managers need to concentrate on when TripAdvisor Hall of Fame in 2019. Sailingproviding first-class service. Its easy to have TripAdvisor fall off the list, but daily across the Delaware Bay betweenif you make high customer ratings part of your annual business plans and Cape May, NJ and Lewes, DE, the system isgoals, you are setting the stage for an easy win. listed as the #2 attraction in Lewes and hasTripAdvisor can be managed with little time spent on it, so its worth the earned eight consecutive annual Certificateeffort. It starts with stating an organizational goal of providing service excel-of Excellence Awards. It is one of two ferrylence and having those ratings display on TripAdvisor. The elements needed routes managed by the Delaware Riverto get high ratings from customers are generally items owners and general & Bay Authority, which also operatesmanagers already want as part of their business culture and in their operating the Delaware Memorial Bridge and fiveplans. These include customer service training initiatives, development of regional airports.marketing collateral to answer most commonly asked customer questions, Prior to 2010, CMLF passengers wereand procedures for responding to disgruntled customers both in-person and making comments on TripAdvisor, butonline.the ferry remained largely silent on theThe Cape May-Lewes Ferry has a written 2020 goal to achieve a ninth con-platform. To better respond to customersecutive year in obtaining the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award. posts and questions, plus manage howDepartment managers then work with their teams to interpret what they it was positioned on the site, the ferrysneed to do to make it happen. Jen Shivers, CMLF Assistant Director of Ferry terminal management team created aOperations, states, Good customer service is ingrained. TripAdvisor is the company page with the goal of providingbonus reflecting our culture.improved customer support.3. ASSIGN AN ACCOUNTABILITY REPORTER It was part of our initiative to answerAlthough the road to TripAdvisor success lies in making everyone respon-foreign language customers, particularlysible for excellent service, someone needs to keep an eye on the prize, or French tourists from Canada, and attracteveryone forgets the goal. Assign a key person to report on the number of new customers, stated Nikky Fisher,reviews received monthly through TripAdvisor and other channels, as well retired Terminal Manager who initiatedas the current number of low and high star ratings. It doesnt matter if the the site for the ferry. It was the place foraccountability reporter is in customer service, marketing, or business opera-digital word-of-mouth, and we felt wetionswhat does matter is that the data is regularly reported as part of the needed to be playing harder on that stage. teams overall success matrix.Last year, at the PVA AnnualBusiness guru Peter Drucker is frequently quoted for saying, What gets Convention at MariTrends 2019, themeasured, gets managed. If a two-star review is posted about food service Cape May-Lewes Ferrys marketing teamone day and reported in a management meeting, the hospitality manager will presented current strategies for rising andsurely take corrective action with the food and beverage team to ensure its an staying on top of the TripAdvisor charts.exception case. Likewise, if a five-star review is received for attention to detail Here are five key steps recommended forduring a ticketing encounter, the customer service manager is likely to praise managing your TripAdvisor reputation:and encourage similar behavior with the reservations team. 16JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020FOGHORN'