Reviews play an increasingly important role within the modern travel industry, which is why the concept of review management has become so important. By using the right techniques and strategies, companies can help to amplify positive feedback and limit the damage caused by negative reviews. In this article, you will learn more about the importance of reviews, the value of review management, and 10 tips for companies looking to improve in this area.
- What is Review Management?
- The Importance of Review Management
- Which Travel Industry Companies Should Consider Review Management?
- 10 Review Management Tips for Travel Companies
- 1. Provide an Excellent Customer Experience
- 2. Ask Customers to Leave Feedback Online
- 3. Look for Trends in Online Reviews
- 4. Respond to Online Reviews From Customers
- 5. Think About How You Communicate
- 6. Face Up to All Legitimate Criticism
- 7. Manage Your Listings Pages on Review Sites
- 8. Ensure Customer Feedback is Visible
- 9. Devise a Review Management Strategy
- 10. Make Use of Reputation Management Software
- More Travel & Tourism Marketing tips
What is Review Management?
Review management is the continuous process of monitoring customer reviews, increasing the number of positive reviews that are left, limiting the damage caused by bad reviews, and responding to customers who leave reviews appropriately. The main goal is to develop and maintain a positive reputation and/or brand image.
Ultimately, review management efforts within the travel industry are intended to ensure that customer reviews have a positive effect, leading to more bookings or sales, and improved revenue generation. Additionally, these efforts should lead to fewer negative reviews coming in, more positive feedback, and a better relationship with customers.
The Importance of Review Management
The concept of review management has become increasingly important in recent years and for good reason. According to statistics and research compiled by learn.g2.com, almost 95 percent of shoppers read online reviews before making purchases and 97 percent say reviews influence their buying decisions.
This applies to B2B companies too, with 92 percent of B2B buyers saying they are more likely to make a purchase after they have read a trusted review. Moreover, companies that make it easy for customers to find online feedback are rewarded, as displaying reviews has been shown to increase conversion rates by as much as 270 percent.
In terms of what they are hoping to find, 68 percent of customers say they are interested in the reviewer’s experience, or interested in the problems the reviewer experienced when dealing with a particular company.
Positive reviews can provide those who are considering a purchase with the sense of certainty required to follow through with that intention. When your company has enough positive reviews and a good ratio of positive-to-negative reviews, your online reputation can help to attract mire customers and boost sales.
Given the importance of online reviews and the influence they can have on the purchasing decisions made by customers, it is fair to say that virtually all companies operating in the travel & tourism industry today could benefit from the use of review management. After all, review management has effectively become a marketing tool and the companies that manage their reputation most effectively will have a significant competitive advantage.
In particular, companies operating in the hotel industry, airline industry, car rental industry, cruise industry, and parts of the entertainment industry aimed towards travellers could all benefit greatly from the ability to manage online reviews. The same also applies to travel agents, travel management companies and tour operators.
10 Review Management Tips for Travel Companies
With the value of review management clearly established, it is important to understand how to actually manage reviews effectively and improve your reputation. Below, you will find 10 specific tips for travel companies.
On a basic level, the single biggest step you can take to achieve success is to focus on providing the best possible experience for your customers. No amount of strategy and careful review management can deliver the same benefits for your overall reputation that actually offering a genuinely great experience can.
By focusing on delivering what customers want, you can ensure people leave with a positive impression of your company. This, in turn, functions as organic review management, resulting in better reviews.
A successful review management process relies on your business generating reviews in the first place, which is why it is vital to actually encourage your customers to leave feedback. This can be done in a number of ways. For instance, you could send an email request after a customer checks out of a hotel, or after they use a booking platform.
It is important to keep a steady flow of reviews coming in. Travellers increasingly make purchasing decisions based on online reviews and recent ones will offer a better reflection of what your business has to offer.
Once your travel company is generating plenty of online reviews from customers, an important management step involves looking out for some of the key trends within these reviews. What aspects of your company – and the product or service you offer – are most commonly mentioned? Are there problems that are brought up repeatedly?
Think about the words and phrases that reviewers are using to describe you, in order to build a picture of how they feel.
It is important to remember that when customers leave negative reviews, you have a right to reply and you do not have to simply leave the review to stand. There are various ways you can reduce the damage of negative reviews. For example, if you dispute their version of events, you can provide your own account of what transpired.
Of course, you can also respond to positive reviews too, and doing so may encourage other users to leave feedback.
While marketing communications will be significantly influenced by your branding strategy, it is important that you adopt a different approach when it comes to review management. Generally, reviewers want to be treated as individuals, so it is crucial that you speak to them like a person and avoid sounding too robotic or unnatural.
Other potential customers who are reading your online reviews will also appreciate seeing a human touch from you. Refer to people by name and avoid leaving replies that sound generic or like stock responses.
Every travel company will attract bad reviews from time to time, but it is important that you face up to legitimate criticism properly. Do not be afraid to own up to mistakes, but make sure you learn from them and do not repeat them. Tell customers that you will address the issue(s) they raised and follow through with that promise.
Refusing to acknowledge valid complaints can come across very badly, as can promising to make changes and failing to actually deliver. Over time, if you listen and learn, the good reviews will far outweigh the bad.
Many of the major review platforms, such as those dedicated to hotel reviews, will afford you the opportunity to manage your own listings page, and you should take them up on this as much as you can. For customers, review pages may be the first point of contact they have with your business, so make sure you provide the best first impression you can.
This means keeping photographs up-to-date, ensuring all descriptions are still relevant, and so forth.
While a significant number of potential travel industry customers will actively seek out reviews on their own, it can still pay to make this process easier. A great way to display confidence in your own reputation and the customer experience you provide is to actually showcase online reviews on your own website and social media platforms.
Provide direct links to your listings pages on some of the major review platforms and consider allowing reviews directly on your website too. Showcasing positive reviews is a great way to get website visitors to convert.
Once you are generating a significant number of reviews, it is imperative that you develop a clear review management strategy. For instance, you need to be clear on who is going to take on responsibility for managing and responding to reviews, and devise a system for feeding important information back to key decision makers.
Staff members who are tasked with this job must also know the best practices to follow and common pitfalls to avoid.
Finally, one of the single best ways to manage your reviews is to make use of reputation management applications. As an example, hotel reputation management software allows hotels to monitor reviews left across multiple platforms from a single place. The software sends notifications when new reviews are left and allows you to respond quickly.
In the article “Reputation Management Software for Travel Companies”, you will learn more about how this software can be of benefit, not only for hotels, but also for airlines, restaurants and other businesses in the tourism industry.
Review management is important within the travel and tourism industry, because so many customers make purchasing decisions based on the reviews they read. For this reason, travel companies must take the necessary steps to manage their reviews, generate more positive feedback and reduce the impact of any negative comments.
Do You Want to Learn More About Travel & Tourism Marketing?Marketing plays a central role in helping companies operating in the travel industry to maximise revenue. It is the main way in which those in the travel and tourism industry are able to reach out to potential customers, conveying their unique selling proposition and brand values. In the following articles you find more important marketing strategies to boost your revenue:
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