Most tourism companies understand the growing importance of getting their tours or activities reviewed on well-known platforms like Yelp and TripAdvisor. It is another form of word-of-mouth marketing and has proven time and time again to be an extremely effective form of marketing.
On the other hand, Yelp published an article telling businesses not to ask their customers for reviews. Why? To avoid a biased perspective of your company to ensure that they continue to produce reliable content for their users. The implications here are clear: "If consumers don't trust our content, people stop using Yelp, and everyone loses: consumers don't have a resource they can trust to make spending decisions, and would-be customers stop visiting your business."
So how can you get customers to review your business without annoying them and ensuring that all the reviews you get are genuine? Here are 8 easy ways to do so.
1. Run a fantastic tour or activity
The first step to getting customers to leave a positive review with you is to deliver what you promised, and more. If customers feel like they've had a fantastic experience, they are likely to want to rave about you to everyone they meet, and that includes writing a review for you online.
On the flip side, run a terrible tour or activity and you risk customers going online to name and shame, doing more harm than good to your business. A great tip to minimise the chances of you receiving a negative review is to let people know that they can email you personally should they have any complaints about the tour or activity. From there, make sure to handle the situation in a professional manner.
2. Include a widget on your website
Most customers won't remember to review a company unless it's exceptionally good (or bad). Remind your customers to leave a review and make it easy for them to review you online by directing them to where they need to go. You can simply include a direct link or a widget on your website, which involves copying a line of code and pasting it onto your site.
TrekkSoft users can integrate this widget easily too. Just follow these steps.
3. Email customers after each tour and sneak in a request for a review
Sending follow-up emails to your customers is part and parcel of being a fantastic tour or activity operator. Apart from building up your relationship with your customers, you can also sneak in a cheeky request for a review by including a simple sentence at the end of your email. It could be as simple as "If you had a great time with us, do leave u a review on TripAdvisor. You can find us here."
4. Have your social media and review profiles printed onto your shirts
When customers are following your guides around town, they spend a lot of time staring at your guides. Why not make the most of this by printing out one or two online review sites that you would like your customers to head to?
5. Put up signs to review your business in your store
When customers enter your store, be sure to have one or two TripAdvisor or Yelp signs up at your desk. It may seem like a small gesture but having subtle physical reminders around can do wonders.
6. Make sure everyone in your team is on board
Having your team of guides on board with this makes a huge difference in how you effectively execute this form of word-of-mouth marketing strategy. If you are able to incentivise your employees to get more online reviews, even better.
You could run an internal competition, where the team member with the highest number of mentions on TripAdvisor for the season i rewarded. You could also tie monetary compensation and bonuses to the number of mentions of their name review sites.
7. If you must, ask
From quite a few tours that I've been on, this seems to be a message given either in the middle of the tour with a reminder at the end, or at the end of the tour. However you choose to do this, remember to tell customers where and how to find you online.
A great way to ensure the success of this strategy is by forming a relationship with your customers throughout the trip or excursion. This article is a fantastic example of how you could ask your customers to review your services.
8. Don't forget to thank you reviewers
This is probably the easiest part of the whole process. Spend 20 minutes each day checking your online profiles and thank customers who have left you a positive review.
Do you have any other tips on how tour and activity operators can gain more review online?
Are you interested in TrekkSoft's powerful marketing tools? Why not sign up for a free demo? Our software was created for tour and activity operators like you.
Written by Nicole Kow
Having graduated from the UK, Nicole travelled around Europe before joining TrekkSoft's marketing team. She is now based in KL and regularly blogs about her travels at Next Train Out.