Every business is aware of the power of online reviews. A single review can have a huge impact on consumers' purchasing decisions and can make one company more favourable than another in the click of a mouse. In the past, the damage that one disgruntled customer could cause a businesses was minimal – his or her opinion would probably reach just a handful of people. Today however, one disgruntled customer could potentially ruin a business.
Research conducted by online travel giant TripAdvisor has revealed that 73% of UK businesses have taken steps to improve their service following an online review. In the survey, 85% of businesses agreed that online reviews have a positive impact on levels of customer service, and two thirds admitted that they check their site whenever a new review is posted.
In its TripBarometer 2015 survey, TripAdvisor also revealed that online reputation management is a key investment priority for travel businesses in the coming years. To stay ahead of the competition, travel companies need to make the most of online reviews. Here are a few tips on how to do that.
Make adding a review to your website as straight-forward as possible. Make sure users are able to write their comments and upload images or video as well.
Display reviews in the right places on your site. This could be below the fold on the homepage, landing pages, or on relevant product/ venue pages.
Encourage customers to leave reviews when you communicate with them – this could be at any stage in the customer journey.
Give customers a reason to leave a review of your product or service. Offer them the chance to enter a competition or give them money off a future purchase in exchange for an honest review.
You want visitors to your site to feel they can trust you, so this means only ever allowing genuine reviews to appear and not deleting any comments, negative or otherwise.
Remember, there is no such thing as a bad review. Look at a bad review as an opportunity for you to highlight some key facts about your company – who you are as a brand and your support channels. Customers know all too well how online reviews work, so the most important thing is that your brand is able to join in the conversation.
Be prepared to say sorry if needed. If your company has messed up (regardless of who is to blame) apologise to those affected. Being real, transparent and genuine is the best way to start making amends.
When responding to reviews, make sure you do so in a friendly, professional and timely manner. Show your customers that you are listening to their views, that you care about their experiences, are consistently looking for ways in which to improve your service, and are a genuinely nice brand to do business with.