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The TA ranking game with so called "colleagues"

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Tim_Toad_HLB

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Well, our usual local pattern on the TA rankings game with a few so called "colleagues" seems to have raised its head again.
Background: The vast majority of our respected colleagues share our position and philosophy on not prodding for reviews and letting them come from the sincere and objective satisfaction of our guests.
A few though play TA like its their own personal marketing tool and can;t stand the thought of anybody moving ahead of them in the rankings.
Thanks mostly to the advice found here about keeping it simple, prioritizing good guest relations, maintaining a positive attitude, etc.. we have received quite a few outstanding, sincere, unsolicited reviews in the last year. Nearly all of our fellow like minded colleagues will get a review here and there with no real pattern to the timing of them.
Almost like clockwork as we've moved ahead of the couple of competitors described above, they will get a flood of glowing reviews like a switch went on.
Frustrating as hell to deal with and really nothing to be done about it, just wanted to vent a little and than keveryone for reminding us what it takes on a daily basis to earn such accolades.
Thank you.
 

seashanty

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that is painful. and i'm sorry. best to take the high road knowing that none of your well-earned reviews are suspect.
what is it you think your colleague is doing? asking friends and relatives to post reviews? posting their own under aliases? offering incentives for good reviews? all of the 'above'? just curious where those reviews come from.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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that is painful. and i'm sorry. best to take the high road knowing that none of your well-earned reviews are suspect.
what is it you think your colleague is doing? asking friends and relatives to post reviews? posting their own under aliases? offering incentives for good reviews? all of the 'above'? just curious where those reviews come from..
seashanty said:
that is painful. and i'm sorry. best to take the high road knowing that none of your well-earned reviews are suspect.
what is it you think your colleague is doing? asking friends and relatives to post reviews? posting their own under aliases? offering incentives for good reviews? all of the 'above'? just curious where those reviews come from.
We've taken the high road on reviews from day one and are living proof that good rankings and reveiws are possible with no input or prodding from an innkeeper at all.
Probably "all of the above" or at least we have evidence of such from a few sources to that effect.
I'm sure many long time innkeepers have lists of long time repeat guests, friends, family, employees, former employees, etc. who would do it if asked by their "favorite" innkeeper.
What I don't get is the freakish coincidence of the timing and the effort involved in trying to maintain a certain pecking order.
We've been as high as #3 and as low as #9 out of 45 and just don't lay awake at night worrying about how many extra guests we might get if only we were a few notches higher.
I wasn't really looking for sympathy or too much outrage about it, just venting a little and wanting to thank everyone for reminding me of what is really important.
 

Breakfast Diva

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I know what you're going through, I'm in the same position. Take comfort that your reviews come from people's hearts. That's worth a lot more than the other ones. Be proud of yours....the other folks playing that "game" have no idea how good it feels to be you.
 

seashanty

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hmmm .... i well remember guests raving about how great the place was, how nice i was, how much they wanted to come back .... and sometimes they'd say we are going to tell everyone about you. made my day! but not many reviews popped up anywhere. even when i gave out those postcards from bed and breakfast dot com asking for a review.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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hmmm .... i well remember guests raving about how great the place was, how nice i was, how much they wanted to come back .... and sometimes they'd say we are going to tell everyone about you. made my day! but not many reviews popped up anywhere. even when i gave out those postcards from bed and breakfast dot com asking for a review..
seashanty said:
hmmm .... i well remember guests raving about how great the place was, how nice i was, how much they wanted to come back .... and sometimes they'd say we are going to tell everyone about you. made my day! but not many reviews popped up anywhere. even when i gave out those postcards from bed and breakfast dot com asking for a review.
Quite frankly, we get way more reveiws by going out of our way to NOT appear too eager to get them.
With B&B.com and now TA PRODDING US ALL to go capture more reviews, it seems like there could be some review fatigue starting to occur when regular travelers keep finding themselves at the end of their stay the object of a little too obvious solicitation for reviews.
On your point about all the proclamations by guests about "telling everyone about you", if we had even a fraction of those making such statements actually doing it, ours and most inn's occupancy rate would be double what it is.
We let most of that kind idle chatter go in one ear and out the other and focus on making sure the guest simply had a great time here.
 

seashanty

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i've said on forum before, i get irritated by being asked for reviews. i shop online a lot and am constantly receiving requests to 'rate our site', 'review your recent purchase' ... blah blah blah.
 

Samster

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Yeah, I hear you Mr. Toad. One of my "colleagues" here has a couple of new reviews on TA & b andb com that are suspiciously in the innkeeper's style of writing or how they describe their place. That is even worse - to post your own review! Seems like they followed after I got a couple of good ones from guests.
If someone has expressed over & over how much they liked it here, I really don't feel that it's out of line to tell them how they can let other people know about us. I really like the new I Love Inns business card size review cards. I like them because they have the most well known B&B directory websites on there and some new inn-goers don't even know about those directories. So, I tell them that the card is a great reference for them for where they can find other B&Bs. We are new and trying to make it.
I have folks ask me to send the links to them for reviews and then they never get around to writing a review. The chips just fall where they may most of the time......and that's OK.
 

JBloggs

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What I hate is that every flippin' directory is pushing these stupid reviews. Bad enough if we had one or two. I really am not going to do that either, I hate to ruin a perfectly beautiful stay with a review request. But in the end, this is a business, and so at times, I remind myself and make an attempt to ask guests if they wouldn't mind sharing their stay with potential guests to keep us afloat.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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Yeah, I hear you Mr. Toad. One of my "colleagues" here has a couple of new reviews on TA & b andb com that are suspiciously in the innkeeper's style of writing or how they describe their place. That is even worse - to post your own review! Seems like they followed after I got a couple of good ones from guests.
If someone has expressed over & over how much they liked it here, I really don't feel that it's out of line to tell them how they can let other people know about us. I really like the new I Love Inns business card size review cards. I like them because they have the most well known B&B directory websites on there and some new inn-goers don't even know about those directories. So, I tell them that the card is a great reference for them for where they can find other B&Bs. We are new and trying to make it.
I have folks ask me to send the links to them for reviews and then they never get around to writing a review. The chips just fall where they may most of the time......and that's OK..
Samster said:
Yeah, I hear you Mr. Toad. One of my "colleagues" here has a couple of new reviews on TA & b andb com that are suspiciously in the innkeeper's style of writing or how they describe their place. That is even worse - to post your own review! Seems like they followed after I got a couple of good ones from guests.
If someone has expressed over & over how much they liked it here, I really don't feel that it's out of line to tell them how they can let other people know about us. I really like the new I Love Inns business card size review cards. I like them because they have the most well known B&B directory websites on there and some new inn-goers don't even know about those directories. So, I tell them that the card is a great reference for them for where they can find other B&Bs. We are new and trying to make it.
I have folks ask me to send the links to them for reviews and then they never get around to writing a review. The chips just fall where they may most of the time......and that's OK.
Samster,
You raise a point that just drives me beserk about the obviously innkeeper driven, coached, cheated, whatever type reviews. All the flowery language, the almost vomit inducing superlatives and adjectives... blah...blah...blah...
Like all of their guests who just happen to go write reviews, right after a competing inn moved ahead of them, or right after they got a negative review work for PR firms and write ad copy for a living?
One of our area's worst abusers of the golden goose we all think of as TA has even gone as far as having reviewers comment on amenities and service related things that some of us playing it straight will get complimented on in a recent review. Like, "oh, we offer that too" kind of thing.
Or the "rebuttal" type reviews that try to obviously counter and seek to rebut a lukewarm, negative review or aspect of a stay. I could see if they came in in a natural occuring frequency, but they rarely do which is what raised my suspicions to begin with a couple of years ago.
I believe that there are coincidences in life, just not so many similar ones.
I don't think its a big coincidence that all the B&Bs in my area that I know for a fact don't gild the lily on reviews receive very sincere, original sounding reviews written with real language written by real people and the ones received by the handful of known lily gilders all get these flowery, PR firm ad copy writer type reviews.
I also have no issue with when asked by a guest first "Oh, I love your place, how can I help spread the word on how lovely this is?" offering the various venues available.
We also used to put out the B&B.com cards, but in addition to feeling funny about the prize offered, the free assistance we were giving B&B.com to build its mailing list, we also wondered how many guests were simply filling one out to try and win.
We'd see other local B&Bs getting 40-50 reviews in a short period of time and questioned whether or not that might also sully the integrity of the whole system in the eyes of the average traveler. People aren't dumb and they certainly have some skepticism and cynicism in these strange times we find ourselves in.
 

Samster

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Yeah, I hear you Mr. Toad. One of my "colleagues" here has a couple of new reviews on TA & b andb com that are suspiciously in the innkeeper's style of writing or how they describe their place. That is even worse - to post your own review! Seems like they followed after I got a couple of good ones from guests.
If someone has expressed over & over how much they liked it here, I really don't feel that it's out of line to tell them how they can let other people know about us. I really like the new I Love Inns business card size review cards. I like them because they have the most well known B&B directory websites on there and some new inn-goers don't even know about those directories. So, I tell them that the card is a great reference for them for where they can find other B&Bs. We are new and trying to make it.
I have folks ask me to send the links to them for reviews and then they never get around to writing a review. The chips just fall where they may most of the time......and that's OK..
Samster said:
Yeah, I hear you Mr. Toad. One of my "colleagues" here has a couple of new reviews on TA & b andb com that are suspiciously in the innkeeper's style of writing or how they describe their place. That is even worse - to post your own review! Seems like they followed after I got a couple of good ones from guests.
If someone has expressed over & over how much they liked it here, I really don't feel that it's out of line to tell them how they can let other people know about us. I really like the new I Love Inns business card size review cards. I like them because they have the most well known B&B directory websites on there and some new inn-goers don't even know about those directories. So, I tell them that the card is a great reference for them for where they can find other B&Bs. We are new and trying to make it.
I have folks ask me to send the links to them for reviews and then they never get around to writing a review. The chips just fall where they may most of the time......and that's OK.
Samster,
You raise a point that just drives me beserk about the obviously innkeeper driven, coached, cheated, whatever type reviews. All the flowery language, the almost vomit inducing superlatives and adjectives... blah...blah...blah...
Like all of their guests who just happen to go write reviews, right after a competing inn moved ahead of them, or right after they got a negative review work for PR firms and write ad copy for a living?
One of our area's worst abusers of the golden goose we all think of as TA has even gone as far as having reviewers comment on amenities and service related things that some of us playing it straight will get complimented on in a recent review. Like, "oh, we offer that too" kind of thing.
Or the "rebuttal" type reviews that try to obviously counter and seek to rebut a lukewarm, negative review or aspect of a stay. I could see if they came in in a natural occuring frequency, but they rarely do which is what raised my suspicions to begin with a couple of years ago.
I believe that there are coincidences in life, just not so many similar ones.
I don't think its a big coincidence that all the B&Bs in my area that I know for a fact don't gild the lily on reviews receive very sincere, original sounding reviews written with real language written by real people and the ones received by the handful of known lily gilders all get these flowery, PR firm ad copy writer type reviews.
I also have no issue with when asked by a guest first "Oh, I love your place, how can I help spread the word on how lovely this is?" offering the various venues available.
We also used to put out the B&B.com cards, but in addition to feeling funny about the prize offered, the free assistance we were giving B&B.com to build its mailing list, we also wondered how many guests were simply filling one out to try and win.
We'd see other local B&Bs getting 40-50 reviews in a short period of time and questioned whether or not that might also sully the integrity of the whole system in the eyes of the average traveler. People aren't dumb and they certainly have some skepticism and cynicism in these strange times we find ourselves in.
.
Interesting point of view... The longest and most over the top review that we've ever had on TA (and b and b com, too) was totally and completely unsolicited. I couldn't believe the detail that this gal went into. She was here for something that was pretty stressful and we just acted like we always do. Her reviews blew me away. So, sometimes you never know.....
I pegged this one review of one of the other places here as written by the owner because of the overall description of the place. I'm not sure that other people see it quite that way or would use that particular language. ;-)
 

JBloggs

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Yeah, I hear you Mr. Toad. One of my "colleagues" here has a couple of new reviews on TA & b andb com that are suspiciously in the innkeeper's style of writing or how they describe their place. That is even worse - to post your own review! Seems like they followed after I got a couple of good ones from guests.
If someone has expressed over & over how much they liked it here, I really don't feel that it's out of line to tell them how they can let other people know about us. I really like the new I Love Inns business card size review cards. I like them because they have the most well known B&B directory websites on there and some new inn-goers don't even know about those directories. So, I tell them that the card is a great reference for them for where they can find other B&Bs. We are new and trying to make it.
I have folks ask me to send the links to them for reviews and then they never get around to writing a review. The chips just fall where they may most of the time......and that's OK..
Samster said:
Yeah, I hear you Mr. Toad. One of my "colleagues" here has a couple of new reviews on TA & b andb com that are suspiciously in the innkeeper's style of writing or how they describe their place. That is even worse - to post your own review! Seems like they followed after I got a couple of good ones from guests.
If someone has expressed over & over how much they liked it here, I really don't feel that it's out of line to tell them how they can let other people know about us. I really like the new I Love Inns business card size review cards. I like them because they have the most well known B&B directory websites on there and some new inn-goers don't even know about those directories. So, I tell them that the card is a great reference for them for where they can find other B&Bs. We are new and trying to make it.
I have folks ask me to send the links to them for reviews and then they never get around to writing a review. The chips just fall where they may most of the time......and that's OK.
Samster,
You raise a point that just drives me beserk about the obviously innkeeper driven, coached, cheated, whatever type reviews. All the flowery language, the almost vomit inducing superlatives and adjectives... blah...blah...blah...
Like all of their guests who just happen to go write reviews, right after a competing inn moved ahead of them, or right after they got a negative review work for PR firms and write ad copy for a living?
One of our area's worst abusers of the golden goose we all think of as TA has even gone as far as having reviewers comment on amenities and service related things that some of us playing it straight will get complimented on in a recent review. Like, "oh, we offer that too" kind of thing.
Or the "rebuttal" type reviews that try to obviously counter and seek to rebut a lukewarm, negative review or aspect of a stay. I could see if they came in in a natural occuring frequency, but they rarely do which is what raised my suspicions to begin with a couple of years ago.
I believe that there are coincidences in life, just not so many similar ones.
I don't think its a big coincidence that all the B&Bs in my area that I know for a fact don't gild the lily on reviews receive very sincere, original sounding reviews written with real language written by real people and the ones received by the handful of known lily gilders all get these flowery, PR firm ad copy writer type reviews.
I also have no issue with when asked by a guest first "Oh, I love your place, how can I help spread the word on how lovely this is?" offering the various venues available.
We also used to put out the B&B.com cards, but in addition to feeling funny about the prize offered, the free assistance we were giving B&B.com to build its mailing list, we also wondered how many guests were simply filling one out to try and win.
We'd see other local B&Bs getting 40-50 reviews in a short period of time and questioned whether or not that might also sully the integrity of the whole system in the eyes of the average traveler. People aren't dumb and they certainly have some skepticism and cynicism in these strange times we find ourselves in.
.
Interesting point of view... The longest and most over the top review that we've ever had on TA (and b and b com, too) was totally and completely unsolicited. I couldn't believe the detail that this gal went into. She was here for something that was pretty stressful and we just acted like we always do. Her reviews blew me away. So, sometimes you never know.....
I pegged this one review of one of the other places here as written by the owner because of the overall description of the place. I'm not sure that other people see it quite that way or would use that particular language. ;-)
.
Samster said:
Interesting point of view... The longest and most over the top review that we've ever had on TA (and b and b com, too) was totally and completely unsolicited. I couldn't believe the detail that this gal went into. She was here for something that was pretty stressful and we just acted like we always do. Her reviews blew me away. So, sometimes you never know.....
I pegged this one review of one of the other places here as written by the owner because of the overall description of the place. I'm not sure that other people see it quite that way or would use that particular language. ;-)
Interesting...I have had a couple very detailed flowery reviews from genuine guests. I always think of the super short "This is the greatest place I have ever stayed" as being the fakes. Like it is the waitress at the pub or neighbor writing the review. This was the reason I was not impressed with the BandB.com cards as most guests wrote those super short reviews and made me nervous for that exact reason!
Perception.
 

Samster

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Yeah, I hear you Mr. Toad. One of my "colleagues" here has a couple of new reviews on TA & b andb com that are suspiciously in the innkeeper's style of writing or how they describe their place. That is even worse - to post your own review! Seems like they followed after I got a couple of good ones from guests.
If someone has expressed over & over how much they liked it here, I really don't feel that it's out of line to tell them how they can let other people know about us. I really like the new I Love Inns business card size review cards. I like them because they have the most well known B&B directory websites on there and some new inn-goers don't even know about those directories. So, I tell them that the card is a great reference for them for where they can find other B&Bs. We are new and trying to make it.
I have folks ask me to send the links to them for reviews and then they never get around to writing a review. The chips just fall where they may most of the time......and that's OK..
Samster said:
Yeah, I hear you Mr. Toad. One of my "colleagues" here has a couple of new reviews on TA & b andb com that are suspiciously in the innkeeper's style of writing or how they describe their place. That is even worse - to post your own review! Seems like they followed after I got a couple of good ones from guests.
If someone has expressed over & over how much they liked it here, I really don't feel that it's out of line to tell them how they can let other people know about us. I really like the new I Love Inns business card size review cards. I like them because they have the most well known B&B directory websites on there and some new inn-goers don't even know about those directories. So, I tell them that the card is a great reference for them for where they can find other B&Bs. We are new and trying to make it.
I have folks ask me to send the links to them for reviews and then they never get around to writing a review. The chips just fall where they may most of the time......and that's OK.
Samster,
You raise a point that just drives me beserk about the obviously innkeeper driven, coached, cheated, whatever type reviews. All the flowery language, the almost vomit inducing superlatives and adjectives... blah...blah...blah...
Like all of their guests who just happen to go write reviews, right after a competing inn moved ahead of them, or right after they got a negative review work for PR firms and write ad copy for a living?
One of our area's worst abusers of the golden goose we all think of as TA has even gone as far as having reviewers comment on amenities and service related things that some of us playing it straight will get complimented on in a recent review. Like, "oh, we offer that too" kind of thing.
Or the "rebuttal" type reviews that try to obviously counter and seek to rebut a lukewarm, negative review or aspect of a stay. I could see if they came in in a natural occuring frequency, but they rarely do which is what raised my suspicions to begin with a couple of years ago.
I believe that there are coincidences in life, just not so many similar ones.
I don't think its a big coincidence that all the B&Bs in my area that I know for a fact don't gild the lily on reviews receive very sincere, original sounding reviews written with real language written by real people and the ones received by the handful of known lily gilders all get these flowery, PR firm ad copy writer type reviews.
I also have no issue with when asked by a guest first "Oh, I love your place, how can I help spread the word on how lovely this is?" offering the various venues available.
We also used to put out the B&B.com cards, but in addition to feeling funny about the prize offered, the free assistance we were giving B&B.com to build its mailing list, we also wondered how many guests were simply filling one out to try and win.
We'd see other local B&Bs getting 40-50 reviews in a short period of time and questioned whether or not that might also sully the integrity of the whole system in the eyes of the average traveler. People aren't dumb and they certainly have some skepticism and cynicism in these strange times we find ourselves in.
.
Interesting point of view... The longest and most over the top review that we've ever had on TA (and b and b com, too) was totally and completely unsolicited. I couldn't believe the detail that this gal went into. She was here for something that was pretty stressful and we just acted like we always do. Her reviews blew me away. So, sometimes you never know.....
I pegged this one review of one of the other places here as written by the owner because of the overall description of the place. I'm not sure that other people see it quite that way or would use that particular language. ;-)
.
Samster said:
Interesting point of view... The longest and most over the top review that we've ever had on TA (and b and b com, too) was totally and completely unsolicited. I couldn't believe the detail that this gal went into. She was here for something that was pretty stressful and we just acted like we always do. Her reviews blew me away. So, sometimes you never know.....
I pegged this one review of one of the other places here as written by the owner because of the overall description of the place. I'm not sure that other people see it quite that way or would use that particular language. ;-)
Interesting...I have had a couple very detailed flowery reviews from genuine guests. I always think of the super short "This is the greatest place I have ever stayed" as being the fakes. Like it is the waitress at the pub or neighbor writing the review. This was the reason I was not impressed with the BandB.com cards as most guests wrote those super short reviews and made me nervous for that exact reason!
Perception.
.
Actually the one that I suspect as "fake" is pretty short. It's the way the place is described. It's almost verbatim from their website. Dur....
 

aieechihuahua

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Yeah, I hear you Mr. Toad. One of my "colleagues" here has a couple of new reviews on TA & b andb com that are suspiciously in the innkeeper's style of writing or how they describe their place. That is even worse - to post your own review! Seems like they followed after I got a couple of good ones from guests.
If someone has expressed over & over how much they liked it here, I really don't feel that it's out of line to tell them how they can let other people know about us. I really like the new I Love Inns business card size review cards. I like them because they have the most well known B&B directory websites on there and some new inn-goers don't even know about those directories. So, I tell them that the card is a great reference for them for where they can find other B&Bs. We are new and trying to make it.
I have folks ask me to send the links to them for reviews and then they never get around to writing a review. The chips just fall where they may most of the time......and that's OK..
I like those new cards too, and when we give then to a guest they are always happy to hear that they can go to a place to read reviews. Not everyone knows these review sites are out there.
If someone says they read about me on tripadvisor, I have no problem asking them to say something about us if they are regular users.
 
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