Online traveler ratings and reviews of your business scare you?
Trip Advisor , you know? It is the most popular traveler ratings and reviews site online with 25 million unique visitors per month, over 11 million members and 25 million reviews and opinions (Maud Larpent, Trip Advisor ). However, what is the portrait of travelers who comment online? Why do they do it and what are the business opportunities for a tourism company? This is what a study carried out by the firm Forrester entitled Why Travelers Contribute Ratings, Reviews, And More Online (2009) reveals to us.
WHO COMMENTS AND WHY?
3x more travelers read social media ratings and reviews in tourism than those who create content. However, who are the travelers who read and create content?
First, the more frequently users travel, the more they will link reviews and ratings from other travelers in order to plan their stay. Also , younger millennial travelers between the ages of 18 and 29 are more likely to create content and contribute to travel ratings and reviews.
The motivations of travelers to comment are also very interesting to watch. Nearly half of users, or 48%, share their travel experience online (rating, comment, photo, etc.) because they are delighted with the experience they have had. Another argument for those who are afraid of the opinions of online travelers! 😉 . In addition, 35% share their opinion and content with an altruistic objective, that is to say to have a positive feeling of sharing useful information with other travelers.
Another interesting tactic to consider if you want to get more reviews and user-generated content about your business is to encourage users to comment by sending them an email following their visit encouraging them to submit their opinions and comments. Indeed, 31% have written or created content and shared their travel experiences following receipt of a follow-up email urging them to provide feedback on the service received. Let's not forget that 87% of Internet users consult the ratings and comments of other travelers before making a purchase decision.
And nod to those who believe that Trip Advisor is filled with false reviews of companies promoting themselves, this is the case in only 7% of cases !
HOW TO STOP SEEING REVIEWS AS A THREAT, BUT AS AN OPPORTUNITY
With more than 6 in 10 online leisure travelers in the United States regularly participating in travel business review activities on social media sites, online traveler opinions are certainly not something to be taken lightly. let alone ignore (Forrester, 2009).
How many times have I heard travel businesses say Trip Advisor is a threat to them because travelers can write negative reviews about their business? This is indeed the truth and many (too many!) tourism businesses still view tourist ratings and reviews as a threat rather than an opportunity for their business.
A traveler said your hotel lobby was dirty? So why not relay the information to the person responsible for housekeeping to ensure that the situation is corrected for future customers? Better yet, why not take this opportunity to respond to the reviewer who submitted this review by politely apologizing and letting them know that their review was heard and showing them pictures of the clean new lobby? You will only see them happier and instead of making them a lost customer who will do bad word of mouth for you, you will only make them a happier customer who will probably return to your hotel!
FINALLY, WHAT TO DO?
Tracking your company's online reputation is key to knowing what your consumers are saying about you. It is important to listen, to understand, to participate in the conversation and to be proactive. Finally, adding comments and ratings from Trip Advisor , for example, directly on the company's website can be an additional argument that will convince the customer to book with you.
Giving the possibility to the customer to comment directly on your website is also another opportunity to be seized. Your business will look all the more credible in the eyes of potential customers and you will be able to get customer feedback directly on your site.
Other comment and rating sites specializing in tourism also exist such as Igougo , WAYN , Yelp! and not to mention all the reviews from Google Local or otherwise, hence the importance of tracking your online reputation and being proactive, not reactive. Seize the opportunity of user-generated content and stop being scared!