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Use your customer reviews to bring new ones through the door
Customer reviews are, perhaps, the most important part of a strong marketing strategy for your travel agency. More than any other industry, travel agencies live and die by their reputation – which means an impeccable online reputation is essential for your company.
But how do you get more positive online customer reviews for travel agents? What can you do to manage your reputation more effectively long term?
In this guide, we’ll give you some tips you can turn your customers' reviews into your greatest online marketing tool that will bring new customers through the door as well as increase customer loyalty.
1. Make Sure You’re Listed On All Common Travel Agency Review Sites
First things first, you need to make sure that your travel agency is already listed sites that have customer reviews for travel agents. A few of the most common websites used to review travel agencies include:
• Angie’s List
• Better Business Bureau
• Google Reviews
• Facebook Reviews
Chances are, your business may already have a presence (and some reviews) on a few of these websites already. If that’s the case, you need to take ownership of the page.
You can typically contact the website in question to prove your association with your business, and verify that you are the owner. This will allow you to look at the reviews and respond to them directly on the website.
Once you’ve created and/or taken ownership of your presence on these platforms, check them regularly for new reviews – both negative and positive – and respond to them when you can. This helps show both current and potential customers that you’re actively engaged in managing your online reputation and that you’re truly listening to their feedback.
2. Use A Service Like Trustpilot To Collect Feedback On Your Website
You shouldn’t only rely on third-party websites for reviews. Using a tool like Trustpilot, you can quickly and easily add online review functionality to your website. Integrating real customer reviews onto your website lets potential customers quickly get more details about what they can expect from your travel agency. In turn, this creates a more seamless sales funnel, which can help you bring in more customers.
3. Ask Customers To Post Honest Reviews About Their Experiences
You need to make sure that you get as many reviews as possible from your customers. Review quantity matters – even if you have very positive reviews, potential customers won’t trust your reviews as much if there are only a handful on each review platform.
We recommend contacting your customers within 0-24 hours after their trip ends to ask them if they would be willing to share a little bit about their experiences by writing a review on your website, TripAdvisor, Yelp, or other online review outlets. Chances are, they’ll say “yes!”
You can even offer them a special reward for leaving an honest review – something as simple and affordable as a $5 Starbucks gift card will make them more likely to review your services.
However, you need to make it clear that, as long as they leave a review (no matter how positive or negative), they will qualify for this reward. Your customers should not feel obligated to leave only positive feedback – honesty and integrity are of utmost importance.
4. Respond To Negative Reviews As Soon As You Can, And Be Professional!
Things go wrong during trips. That’s just a fact. And, every once in awhile, you’ll find that someone has left a negative review of your services. What should you do?
First, don’t panic. It happens – nobody is perfect. Mistakes happen.
Second, try to understand the negative review from the reviewer’s perspective. Even if the issue was not your fault, do not be defensive. Their feelings are legitimate, even if the basis for these feelings is unfounded. Use this as an opportunity to offer advice and show your expertise as a travel guru.
Lastly and most importantly, respond to the negative review as soon as you can. Be professional, and address the problem. Don’t try to explain what went wrong – but instead be empathetic, and emphasize that you will do everything you can to resolve the issue, and prevent it from happening to other travelers in the future. Depending on the severity of the issue, you could invite the customer to contact you to work out a mutually-agreeable solution.
Even if the customer never reaches out to you and you can’t win them back, responding to negative feedback is always a good idea. It shows that you are willing to work with your customers and try to resolve things in a positive way. If you leave negative reviews unaddressed, this reflects poorly on your online reputation.
Follow These Four Tips – And Keep Your Travel Agency’s Online Reputation Strong!