Hotel Industry Blog

TripAdvisor moving to track business listing phone numbers

By Des O'Mahony | On Mon, February 09, 2015

TripAdvisor is busy writing to hotels in various countries proposing to replace the hotel’s own phone number (in certain circumstances) in the hotel’s Business Listings with a unique, dedicated TripAdvisor telephone number for the property page – at no cost to the hotel. Customers will no longer see your property’s phone number, but when they dial they are routed seamlessly to the hotel’s real number.

At first this might sound suspicious - why is TripAdvisor doing this? The reason is tracking. And (generally) it’s a very good reason to do it.

Hotels are already spending considerable sums of money on digital marketing and on the TripAdvisor Business Listing. Tracking online bookings from TripAdvisor is straightforward enough, and allows you to calculate a return. But what about calls directly to your property that come from customers seeing your phone number on TripAdvisor? Unless you ask the customer where they found you, or unless they announce it themselves, your hotel has no way of tracking the phone business generated by TripAdvisor. And that means TripAdvisor is losing out on the credit for helping your business (even if its not credit of the money type) and your hotel is losing out on better knowledge of where your business is really coming from on the phone.

TripAdvisor has begun automatically replacing hotels’ phone numbers on their Business Listing with the new unique TripAdvisor phone numbers and is rolling this out across all markets. US, Canada and UK already have it, and Bookassist clients in France have just been informed of the move. Hotels can opt out and decide to keep their number, but they lose out on the potential tracking information that will be provided by TripAdvisor.

The Bookassist angle is this:

  • hotels should take the offer of TripAdvisor’s unique phone number;
  • there is no cost to the hotel;
  • there is a lot to be gained in getting extra analysis of how effective your Business Listing is and you will see this in your Property Dashboard;
  • there is no privacy issue, as calls are automatically directed with no recording and no interaction by TripAdvisor;
  • hotels need to decide if the phone number from Tripadvisor “suits” them since the number being used may not be from their city or area code (but generally the online customer doesn’t take much notice of that issue if they’re just making that one call).

Note that TripAdvisor says your hotel “will not be eligible at this time if you: offer a toll-free number outside of the US, Canada or United Kingdom; have a unique telephone number for each TripAdvisor domain; or use premium phone numbers.”

Perhaps TripAdvisor might later charge for the service, but for now while it’s free it’s a great way to track your phone business if you’re not doing it in some other way.

To read more about it, see here:

Labels: tripadvisor, customers

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