To say that coronavirus has affected the travel industry would, quite frankly, be a huge understatement. We’ve seen travel companies, big and small, restructure, make redundancies, and cut budgets to fight for survival in this new era.
One positive to come from the past couple of months is that we’ve seen a slow and steady increase in the number of people starting to travel again. Many are opting for staycations or choosing non-quarantine restricted areas, but are still, nevertheless, booking trips.
So the question is, how can you, as a travel company, encourage customers to start booking trips with you again? The answer lies in travel reviews.
How can reviews help my travel business?
While reviews were important for your travel business before, it’s now more crucial than ever to showcase feedback on your website.
According to a survey, a whopping 95% of buyers make purchasing decisions based on online reviews. This is only likely to increase, as 88% now trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
This means travel reviews serve as a vital marketing tool, especially now. As we've seen post-lockdown, people may be keen to book a trip but nervous due to coronavirus and travel restrictions and quarantines.
By displaying recent, up to date reviews from people who have been abroad or away as recent as a week or two ago, you will be helping to reassure customers that it’s safe to book. After all, reviews from genuine people provide that all-important, unbiased social proof that you yourself as a travel company simply cannot offer during this period.
Adapting to customer needs
Before COVID-19, travellers were concerned with customer service levels in terms of booking experience, hotel staff, etc. Now, cleanliness, social distancing, masks, and other government measures have taken priority. This is an opportune time to ask customers to rate your services in terms of how you've dealt with coronavirus.
Given the situation, many customers may have also needed to cancel or adjust their travel plans. Asking for customer service feedback now and showing how you respond to these types of requests will help put any potential customer's minds at ease that they are in safe hands, should the worst happen.
How to ask for travel reviews
Wouldn’t it be great if every single customer left a glowing review without you having to even give them a nudge? Unfortunately, that’s not quite how it happens. Luckily, you can automate the process, making it hassle-free on your part. Automating the process means you can start collecting reviews instantly and focus on what you do best.
To help you get started, we’ve designed a Service Review solution, specifically for the travel industry, which is 100% free for life for online travel agents. You can send unlimited email invites to your customers and use our reporting dashboard to check your performance. Plus, we have a unique rating widget, which you can display on your website.
Still not convinced your customers will leave feedback? In a similar survey as mentioned earlier,
76% of consumers who are asked for a review write one. That’s a lot of reviews!
Utilising reviews across marketing platforms
Once you start collecting reviews, it’s time to shout about them from the rooftops! Share positive reviews on social media (don’t forget to ask employees to share on their channels too) and in any upcoming email marketing campaigns. You can also write blog posts and include reviews within multiple pages on your website.
Reviews provide you with endless, unique, and FREE content - just make sure you’re utilising it so that customers can see how great you are!
To conclude, travel reviews are still super important for your travel company, especially during unprecedented times. We're all in this together, so if you have any questions or would like to work together, please get in touch.