93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions according to Podium. And as online sources of bookings grow more vital every year, reviews have never been more important.
There are two reasons for this. The first is the concept of Social Proof, in that people rely on social cues from others on how to think, feel, and act in many situations. The second is that reviews are the only form of data available online that demonstrates the quality of the tours & activities.
Here’s the good news though, 68% of consumers will leave a review if asked(BrightLocal).
So, if you’re ready to start working on your reviews, here are-
Imagine someone jumps onto google and searches “Walking tour near me”. Your business shows up but you either have bad reviews or no reviews. This would be an immediate turn-off and the searcher would likely book with an alternative.
P.S. 3.5 billion Google searches are made every day. Meaning, this scenario probably happens a lot more than you’d think.
Since Google is the primary place people go to when looking for something, this is often the first time they’ll be exposed to your business, making this one of the most, if not the most important places for you to focus on your ratings and reviews.
If you need help managing your Google profile, consider a service like Good Reviews who can manage it for you.
60.6% of internet users are on Facebook, according to a study done in 2018. This number is likely to be higher now. That number is 2.6 billion people.
Facebook is still the king of social media, there are still ALOT of people on it. And as we mentioned before, since 93% of consumers say online reviews are important, it’s no surprise that Facebook would be one of the first places they check for a business’s reviews.
Note: Facebook recently switched their reviews to Facebook Page Recommendations. It differs in that a user can either recommend or not recommend your business, so no scores/ numbers are kept. However, a recommendation is still a review as it’s a user’s thoughts on your business and people will still take this into consideration when making a decision.
Since most people are on Facebook, it is also the easiest place for you to get reviews from your customers. It’s also the first place people turn to when leaving an angry review, so make sure you monitor this one closely!
While not as large as the likes of Google or Facebook, there’s a high chance that this is the first place plenty of people will be exposed to your tours & activities. Research shows that 34% of millennials are increasingly turning to travel agents for their travel bookings. In fact, according to a research done in 2018, OTA’s are expected to own 41% of online bookings.
So whether you’re connected to Viator, GetYourGuide, Klook or TripAdvisor, ensure you’ve got plenty of ratings and reviews available. Because there’s a good chance you’ll appear alongside your competitors on these OTA’s and one of the biggest differentiating factors you could have is the quality and quantity of your reviews.
96% of unhappy customers won’t tell you directly(Reputation Refinery). What this means is, if a customer is unhappy with your service, they will likely tell their friends or take to social media to complain about you without tagging you or letting you know in any way.
While this isn’t an official outlet for reviews and the ratings are not collated over time, it is still your customer sharing his/her thoughts on your brand, hence it’s a review. This is especially important because this is usually where all the angry reviews hide. It’s also more damaging to your brand because the review is shared with friends of the reviewer, making it more believable and damaging to your business.
Here’s the silver lining: People who complain online without tagging you are more honest and do not expect a response from you. This becomes a great opportunity for you to receive honest feedback, it’s also a great opportunity to defy expectations. Responding to someone who’s not expecting a response from you shows that you care and creates a positive experience for the reviewer.
You can perform social monitoring with tools like TweetDeck and Mention. These tools allow for you to be notified every time your brand or business is mentioned in a social post. You could even take it a step further and get a notification every time a competitor is mentioned.
We get it, tour operators already lack time, and there are way too many platforms to focus on just for reviews! Alternatively, you could always opt for a managed service like TrustPilot or BazaarVoice.
These are paid services, however they could save you a lot of time. These services help you collect reviews of your business, whether it’d be from customers directly or third party sites. They then collate and share the reviews across all the platforms you’d like to be seen on. Some services also help you respond to reviews, good or bad.
Awesome! You know where to focus on with regard to reviews. Now all you need to do is generate a steady stream of great online reviews, here’s how you can do it. If you need help managing negative reviews, you can read about our 4 steps to handling bad reviews here.
If you’re already connected with Rezdy, you can set up automated emails to be sent out after your guest has completed the tour. In these emails, ask for a review for your tour and activities business. It’s an easy way to set up a steady flow of customer reviews. If you’re not yet connected to Rezdy, don’t worry! You can start a 21-day free trial today.