It’s no surprise that the travel industry has become increasingly competitive over the past decade. In this digital age, we've seen the rise of social media and travel influencers, online travel comparison sites, and instant sharing.
What does all this mean? Consumers are more empowered than ever and are making buying decisions based on a new type of word of mouth.
So, what’s the secret to helping your travel business stand out in a crowded market? The answer lies in customer reviews.
According to a recent survey, 92% of buyers make decisions based on online reviews and 88% of consumers now trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.
This makes customer reviews a key part of the purchasing process and one which your business can’t afford to ignore.
Apart from the obvious reasons, why are travel reviews so important for your travel business?
Build trust with social proof
The days where people would buy Lonely Planet or purchase stacks of travel books for a recommendation are long gone. Your customers want access to real, online reviews instantly, in order to help them make a quick purchasing decision there and then.
Displaying verified reviews on your website creates the biggest trust signal you can offer your customers and will help them feel secure that they are parting with their cash to receive the best experience possible, based on what other travellers have said.
Showcase your offering
You’ve come so far and worked tirelessly to build your travel company and you want to shout about your offering from the rooftop, we get it. Why not let your customers do that for you?
Asking your customers for a review gives them the perfect opportunity to write lovely, positive things about your brand and their trip and highlight key elements they enjoyed.
Boost sales conversions
As reviews increase buying confidence, displaying them on your website will help increase sales conversions. Offering that extra level of security and establishing trust with potential consumers means they are more likely to book with your company, rather than a competitor.
Plus, reviews help your website appear higher up in google searches, meaning customers are likely to find you first.
We'll get into that a little more later...
Improve your reputation & reduce complaints
It almost goes without saying that gleaming reviews are an excellent endorsement for your travel website! Honest, verified travel reviews also reduce complaints, as customers are getting exactly what they purchased based on real feedback from others.
Even negative reviews give you the opportunity to respond and help you improve your reputation. This is especially helpful if you have changed management or are operating under a similar name to someone with a bad reputation and you're experiencing a negative backlash.
Reviews can really help you establish your travel brand and give your company a better online reputation.
Enhance customer experiences
Collecting review data gives you invaluable insights into listening to what your customers want and more importantly, what they don’t. Evaluate your feedback and use it wisely to provide a better experience for your target audiences.
E.g. A young couple looking for a romantic holiday will most likely not want to book a holiday on a family-friendly resort with children entertainment.
Using reviews, you can help you market to each demographic and help them book the perfect holiday with reviews from fellow travellers in the same age range, seeking similar experiences.
Reviews can also highlight trends to help you make informed decisions about your business too.
For example, if a supplier is constantly receiving negative reviews, it’s a good idea to re-evaluate whether or not to continue working with them and associating yourself with this company publically on your website.
Rank higher in google with travel reviews
Customer reviews increase your visibility online by providing your business with a constant flow of unique, user-generated content, which Google loves!
Plus, if your website features reviews and your competitor doesn’t, search engines will automatically rank your website higher, as it’s dynamic and updated frequently with fresh content.
Even better, hosting reviews on your site increases your chances for ranking higher for long-form keyword search terms such as ‘cheap weekend break in Spain’.
These are just some of the ways travel reviews are key to helping your business succeed. If you'd like to find out more about how we can support your travel brand, email us now at firstname.lastname@example.org