Due to the Internet, travelers are more and more involved in the preparation of their trips and spend a lot of time looking for information online. Review platforms, travel forums and social networks are becoming an important source of inspiration for travelers.
Basically, as local tour guides, you can’t avoid managing your online reputation anymore. You have to adapt to the market trends, to understand how it works and learn how to make the most of it…
Here is how to get you started:
Why are reviews so important?
More than ever, online reviews give an approximate value of your services. As everything tends to become digital, travelers trust other travelers more than they trust companies because they’ve been disappointed in the past.
Millennials are searching for authentic, unique and out-of-the-beaten-path experiences. Nonetheless, many of them don’t dare being the very first pioneers and tend to like to rely on testimonies from other travelers who seem like-minded.
In terms of figures, 96% of web users say that they are influenced by reviews as well as a brand’s e-reputation.
In this context, managing reviews is getting more and more professional. Here are a couple of tips to deal with travelers’ reviews online.
How to get more reviews?
“1 unhappy buyer spreads the word to 11 people, 1 satisfied buyer tells it to only 3”. (Source: Olimeo).
Therefore, it’s important to ask travelers to share their experiences, especially if they had a blast! I’ve listed below a couple of tricks you may want to use.
1. Get in touch with the traveler within 72 hours following the activity. Whether through mail or social networks, it’s important to contact them promptly otherwise the enthusiasm may fade.
2. Online review platforms, such as Trip Advisor, Yelp, Google +, etc., allow you to create a link to send to the travelers and simplify the process. You can also use some “widget” to display reviews on your own website.
3. Social networks allow travelers to leave a comment directly on a page. Facebook and Twitter are the best-known social networks but Instagram is gaining more and more importance. Furthermore, you already know that photos have more impact than words.
4. Collaborative platforms on which you can market your product are becoming very popular. For instance, on U2GUIDE, it’s possible for the traveler (and for the guide), to write a review. The more reviews you have, the better your ranking will be on the platform.
5. Having a guest book. If some travelers don’t want to give you their contact info or don’t feel confident with using a computer -or if you feel it’s best to have a review on the moment- you can also have a guest book.
Source: Galymzhan Abdugalimov
How to deal with travelers’ feedback?
It’s now possible to answer customers’ reviews. Just so you know, replies are as much read as the review itself, so it’s something you should really use.
A bad review with a good reply can have positive impact on potential clients and could have the ability to convince them.
6. Keep calm with negative reviews
Behind a screen, unhappy travelers empty their bags of complaints anonymously. In this kind of situation, it’s important to show how professional you are and you should remain as objective as possible.
- Thank the traveler for taking the time to write a review.
- Remain polite and stick to the facts.
- Offer solutions or alternatives.
7. Take into account constructive reviews
Unlike negative reviews, constructive reviews give you a hint about the things you can improve. Nothing is ever perfect and it may be useful to build upon travelers’ advices or suggestions.
If several travelers criticize a particular aspect of your activity but you know you’re doing it for the right reasons, just say it. On the other hand, you may be unaware of certain things and it’s likely that the traveler will feel pleased if you tell them that they helped you.
8. Never forget to answer positive reviews. Whether it is just a short “thank you” or a line saying that you also enjoyed meeting the person, if a traveler took the time to write a review for you, return the favor!
How to benefit from the reviews?
9. Showcase your reviews on your website. Whether they’re good or bad, being transparent helps building travelers’ trust.
10. Use reviews to improve how you market your product. Sometimes we are wrong about what travelers think would be the most important aspect of your offer.
If most reviews highlight the added value of your personality, your dynamism or soft skills, you may say it when advertising your product.
On the opposite, if you’re highlighting your historical skills but travelers don’t mention it or if they deny it, maybe it’s best to present your offer differently.
Reviews allow you to identify your weaknesses. Be transparent and, if you can, turn them into strengths.
Source: Clem Onojeghuo