We all know that people remember what their friends say about their experience of a brand. They might support or disregard businesses that have treated their friends well or unfavourably. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful ways to amplify your brand online and in person. Even more so when it comes to travel. If your friend booked a cruise and vomited for a week because of rough seas, you’ll know about it. You’ll be mindful not to make the same mistake when you book a trip.
Comments and reviews can destroy your business in one Hollywood second or see your business soar to unexpected heights overnight. In this blog we discuss how you can build trust for your travel business.
According to TripAdvisor, 96% of users think reviews influence choices.
MarkMonitor found 7 out of 100 travellers changed their plans after reading negative online reviews. Passport-photo.online conducted a study on how social media shapes tourists’ choices in 2023. They’ve found that “52% of travellers decided to visit a specific destination after seeing its images/videos from friends, family, or peers on social media.”
An interesting insight is that online bookings make it easier to leave reviews and comments. It also makes it much easier to complain.
Reviews can range from the sublime to the ridiculous. We could not resist sharing a few:
Travellers always complain about long flight delays and substandard accommodation. Rightly so. Sometimes they go too far. From complaining there’s too much sand on the beach to blaming hotels or even swimming pools for falling pregnant – we kid you not… Here are some priceless ones:
“The bread was not buttered on both sides, and there was no milk in the tea,” (it was in a jug next to the teacup, as is the custom:)
“Stonehenge was just a bunch of rocks. You can’t even go up to them. Not worth the effort.”
“The Mona Lisa is too small. Effectively A4 size…And that smile? She looks to me like she just pulled a bank job and got away with it.”
About the Eiffel Tower; “More like an awful tower,” said one visitor.
“We booked a day out to a water park, but no one told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price.”
The mind boggles. They live amongst us:( Hopefully, people reading these reviews will also smile and not change their plans.
Tips to encourage reviews and feedback
Tripadvisor published an insightful paper on the “Power of reviews”. You can download it here. They’ve found long reviews work best for them. There are some strategies to increase online reviews and comments to build trust for your travel business.
Send a post-purchase email
Ask customers what they thought of their trip on their return. Use the feedback next to the ‘book now’ button on your travel site. You can obviously sift through all the comments and select the most appropriate and original ones. When travellers book the same trip in future, they can read what previous travellers had to say about it. Be clever in what you select. It is always good to know how the weather will affect trips. Remember the vomiting reference we made above for cruises? While Mozambique is a wonderful destination in Summer, it will be terrible during a cyclone. Remind people of that, and emphasise that cheaper trips are often ‘out of season’. Shorthand for ‘weather dependent’. The more honest you are on your booking pages, the fewer negative reviews you’ll receive and in turn, you can build trust for your travel business.
Give travellers who bothered to submit reviews an incentive. It can take many forms. Discount vouchers for their next trip, a free travel bag, and discounts on local restaurants. The list is endless. Be creative and consider roping in some complimentary brands when you issue vouchers.
Ask for feedback on social media
According to Condor, 80% of travellers spend up to 4 weeks on TripAdvisor reading traveller reviews and researching a destination. Their research will often include social media sites. Run paid campaigns and organic posts across all your social media pages to ask for and promote reviews.
Reviews: front to back
If users have to do a song and dance to leave reviews, they won’t. Consider how you react when you must go through unnecessary steps to complete anything online. It’s frustrating, to say the least. After three clicks, people lose interest. Make it super easy to leave comments on your social pages, emails and landing pages. Ask browsers to leave a quick ‘five-star’ rating after they’ve completed a purchase. It will help you gauge if your payment pages work properly.
Remember you must process all the comments on the backend to select the best ones. The most practical way is with online forms, where the data feeds into spreadsheets. You can then quickly process everything without worrying about sorting or converting formats.
Perhaps the most important aspect of reviews and comments is that you respond as fast as humanly possible. Whether they are positive or negative. Feedback is golden, as is speed.
Speaking of speed. Truevo offers effortless payment processing for ecommerce stores. We make money flow so your travel business can grow. Switch to a payment provider that delivers simple, secure online payment processing that just works. Speak to us if you’re looking for a payment provider you can trust. Or even better, why don’t you leave a comment on one of our social media or on our Google Business Page. We’ll respond faster than your ice cream can melt on a hot Summer day.