Tips to Online review success
Tips to Online review success
August 31, 2018

Tips to Online review success

Why are online reviews important?

A vast majority of customers are influenced by reviews. Your potential guests would probably check a review site before they finalize a booking, just to be sure they are making the right choice. We’ve all done it, but have you ever wondered how you can use this to improve conversion for your business? In this post we’ll share a few tips.
The reason you check reviews is attributed to a concept called “Social Proof”

What is Social Proof?

Social Proof is a psychological phenomenon in which people follow the actions of others in an effort to reflect what is considered correct.  Simply put, Social Proof influences people’s decisions on how they should behave or what they should purchase.
The chart below from Statista.com  shows how important reviews are;

“How do online customer reviews affect your opinion of a local business?”

Source
Google has recognized this phenomenon and therefore ranks reviews at the top of their search results. This means that whenever someone searches for your business, reviews are usually at the top of the search results pages, therefore they are vitally important.

What can reviews do for my business?

The most obvious thing they do is enable your business to be found by search engines, so they bring your business to the attention of the customer. They can also be critical in the decision-making process, they enable the consumer to make a value judgement on the following;

  • The accuracy and honesty of the information provided on your Website and Social Media channels
  • The level of service they are likely to receive and your willingness to resolve issues
  • Guest tips to make their experience more enjoyable
  • Perceived value for money

Who are the big players?

We’ve mentioned in a previous post why Google and Facebook reviews are important, but there are other big players. A combination of great Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor and Online Travel Agent reviews should satisfy the fussiest of customers.

Why TripAdvisor?

Why you need to be active on TripAdvisor can be summarized in this simple diagram below

It’s all about volume and brand recognition and TripAdvisor has the numbers. Most customers automatically link travel reviews to TripAdvisor. It is a one stop shop, it’s easy to use and it has online booking capability and a sizeable market share.
So, if you have not yet claimed your TripAdvisor listing we recommend you do. Our first tip is to get onto TripAdvisor.

Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)

Secondly, we recommend you look at the OTAs and what’s being said about your business online, especially if you’re already getting bookings from them.
Booking.com, Expedia, Wotif, Webjet, Hotels.com are OTAs that are important to your business. They provide customer reviews on their site and actively source them from their customers
Take Booking.com for example

Not only is the review score obvious, but it is divided into 7 key areas (when you click on it) they are:

  • Staff
  • Location
  • Cleanliness
  • Comfort
  • Value for money
  • Facilities
  • Free wi-fi

These indicators are important even if the consumer doesn’t book through the OTA. They are also valuable feedback you can use to improve your business.

Top Tips

So, in summary, because reviews are vitally important to your business, we suggest you actively engage with the following review sites;

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • TripAdvisor
  • OTAs

We recommend you write yourself an online review plan too;

  • Write a plan to be active and engage with the above
  • Incorporate sourcing reviews in your business processes. Do not do a monthly request. Have cards at reception, send emails after checkout, SMS a reminder, make it easy for your customers to leave reviews
  • Link your TripAdvisor reviews to your Website and Facebook pages
  • Respond to all reviews with prompt, articulate, caring and informative replies
  • Be consistent in your style and tone of replies and ALWAYS thank the customer for taking the time to leave a review