Why we’ll never be N°1 on TripAdvisor

Posted on Mar 3, 2017 in Time out to reflect | No Comments

Every traveller on planet Earth knows about TripAdvisor  and how their ranking system works: quality, quantity and “freshness” of the reviews let a business grow its popularity. We  know that too, and we came to terms with the fact we will never compete with the companies who are in Top 20 about “things to do” in Rome. But maybe this is not a flaw! Let’s see why:

  1. we only offer private tours, which means we cannot have a very large number of guests in a given day. Companies offering group tours can be rated ten or more times on the same tour. But we love the precious relationships that can be created  only in a private customised tour. 
  2. we are not a big company with a large team of tour guides and a rich calendar of tours per day. Again this implies less reviews. But when you book a tour with A Friend in Rome you are exchanging mails directly with a tour guide who might be your own guide when you finally land here. And if I’m not available, you will be guided by a colleague I personally know, I received great feedbacks about and I trust completely. In fact they are my friends and they are informed  about you and your family before the tour takes place. To sum up, you will not be just a name and a number in a list, but a guest we are waiting for!
  3. We do not bother you for a review with scheduled emails and insistence. We  send you our link once, that’s it. Some of our happy guests are not familiar with TripAdvisor reviews,maybe they read them but never wrote one and we do not expect them to open an account just to rate our tour. Most of our guests contact us after being recommended by friends and relatives. Companies who get most of their customers through Tripadvisor generally get more reviews because clients are used to the system. On the other side they do not enjoy the pleasure of getting updates on previous guests by their family members or by the same friends coming back again! 
  4. We never  NEVER paid for one review, never! Neither we asked mom, dad, cousins and old schoolmates to invent a review for us. All our reviews are real feedbacks and we are very proud of them all!
  5. Last but not least: some companies reply to all the reviews. Sometimes they let us feel at fault, maybe they also have a person in charge of this task… we surely admire them. But, when I thought about this point, I understood that the relationship created during our correspondence and tours surely exists, but not in public. It happens through private mails, pictures exchanged, little gifts given, Christmas cards sent, jokes and comments on social networks, and second trips…. We do not have a “Social Media Office”… we are just ourselves, tour guides, INSIDE social media or a review platform.