Responding to Direct Messages on Tripadvisor
In addition to leaving a public review on Tripadvisor, diners can include feedback shared only with the owner or manager of the restaurant’s Tripadvisor listing. Here’s a guide to receiving and responding to direct messages on Tripadvisor.
Introducing Direct Messaging
When a diner writes a review on Tripadvisor, they now have the option to include a private message directly to you. This may be a specific piece of feedback, a special shout-out to a rockstar staff member, or some context around their review that may help you act on the feedback. You’ll be able to continue the conversation with the diner to extend your hospitality beyond when they leave your restaurant.
You’ll receive this message only if you’ve first claimed your Tripadvisor listing — it’s easy and free to do so here.
The Difference Between Direct Messages and Public Reviews
Direct messages are 1:1 conversations between you and the diner. They are not attached to a bubble rating and do not impact your Tripadvisor ranking. The message will not appear on your public Tripadvisor listing. It’s simply a way for you to receive additional feedback on your restaurant.
Anyone who leaves a direct message also writes a review. The review is public, attached to a bubble rating, and impacts your Tripadvisor ranking. The review and your Management Response will be posted to your Tripadvisor page for anyone to see.
Responding to Direct Messages
If you're the sole owner of your restaurant, you'll automatically be opted-in to receiving direct messages from diners. However, if more than one person manages your listing, you'll need to choose a point of contact. Once you've determined a point of contact among your staff, have them log in to the Management Center and opt-in via the "Messaging Settings" section of the Management Center homepage. You can learn more with our step-by-step guide.
To see and respond to your direct messages:
- Click on the inbox icon on the top right hand corner of the Management Center.
- From there, a dropdown will appear with your messages and notifications. Choose the message you wish to see or respond to in full, or to see all of your messages, click the “See all” link at the top of the dropdown.
- Once you’re in your inbox, you can sort your messages at the top where it says “Sort by.”
- Click into the specific message you wish to respond to.
- To respond, scroll down to the bottom of the message thread and start typing where it says “Write a message.”
The diner will receive a notification once you respond to their message. You can also see the review attached to the private feedback from your inbox menu.
Tips to Make the Most Out of Direct Messaging
Harness the Feedback
While the overwhelming majority of reviews on Tripadvisor are positive, everyone receives negative feedback at one point or another. Chances are, you’ll receive negative feedback through private conversations, too. Before you respond, take a deep breath and think through how you can use this feedback to elevate your hospitality.
Then, take a few minutes once a month to look back through your reviews and private messages. Look for themes, like the dishes that people love or the ones that need some work. Understanding what kind of feedback you’re getting can only help you make your business that much better.
Then, Make an Effort to Respond
If someone leaves you private feedback, it’s a good idea to respond so that your customer feels heard. Even if you don’t have a ton of time, it’s a good idea to quickly thank them for their feedback and invite them back to your restaurant.
Then, you’ll be able to respond publicly to their review with a Management Response. Not sure how to get started? Here are our tips.
Personalize Your Message
While you should keep it courteous, polite, and professional, just like in your Management Response, because this is a direct message, you have an opportunity to make your response significantly more personalized. For example, if you remember the diner or their party, tell them so.
To make your responses feel more human, we recommend updating your profile picture to a photo of yourself. It’s a great visual to make your diners feel like they’re speaking to a real person (even if multiple folks are responding to messages). Follow the directions here to do so.
And Keep It Classy
Tripadvisor takes verbal harassment and abuse seriously. If someone is inappropriate over message, please report it by clicking the three dots in the top right hand corner of the message and choosing “Report.” It’s always a good idea to take the high road and remain calm, cool, and collected, regardless of whether the channel is public or private. Being overly negative toward your diner only makes your brand look bad.
Keep in mind, too, that it’s against Tripadvisor policy for someone to ask for something for free or discounted in exchange for deleting their review or writing a more favorable one. It’s also against our policy for you to offer. For more on our content policies, click here.
Head to your inbox
Head to your inbox
Last Updated: 6 December 2017