If you work in travel and tourism, you know how important reviews are to your reputation (and how important your reputation is to growing your business). Local business reviews are essentially online word-of-mouth marketing, and they’re a huge driver of new bookings. But while maintaining a good reputation is incredibly important, for the tourism, travel, and hospitality industry, review management is much more than just online reputation management.
Here are six other important ways reviews can impact your tourism business.
1. Marketing research. Reviews can offer a wealth of free information about the people who tend to book business with you. Are people traveling from certain areas more than others? Are they traveling for business or leisure? Are they families? Couples? Singles? This info can help you understand where and how to connect with prospects. You can also look at the words people use in their reviews. If you start to notice patterns, these might be some good words and phrases to target on your website and in your blog posts.
2. Local business search rankings.
Speaking of keywords, reviews are a quick way to ascend the throne of Google search results (i.e. to make it to the top three local listings, where most people click). The more positive reviews you have, the higher you’ll climb. Pro tip: To fully reap the benefits, make sure you’ve claimed your Google My Business page.
3. Demonstrated hospitality.
It’s one thing to talk about your excellent hospitality. It’s another thing to demonstrate it. Graciously responding to reviews, both good and bad, gives interested parties a taste of how you treat your guests. Thanking someone for leaving a positive review, wishing them well, and inviting them back to your business goes a long way. So does responding sympathetically to a negative review. Reaching out and attempting to resolve the guest’s issue inspires confidence in your customer service.
4. Business-improving action items.
Remember that negative review? In addition to being a chance to demonstrate your hospitality, it’s also useful information about how to improve your business. Maybe one of your guides needs some sensitivity training. Maybe your website is confusing. Or, on the flip side, maybe people really love something you’re not promoting. It’s not always obvious which areas of your business to focus on first, and reviews can offer priceless information you can use to improve.
5. Earned media.
Having a lot of positive reviews can cause a snowball effect. In a good way. A snowball of love. Your local DMO, that travel columnist, and that social media influencer are all more likely to feature you in their content and tourism programs if you have a high review score. When you look good, they look good—and then you look even better.
6. More revenue.
Increasing your review score can increase your revenue, and not just because you attract more customers. When you have a high overall review score, people feel more comfortable spending money with your business, and they’re more likely to pay the prices you want to charge.
This might sound like a boatload of work—not only do you have to GET the reviews, you have to respond to them, mine them for information, and make action plans based on that information. But Swell’s customer engagement and review management software can handle the lion’s share of that work for you. From new-review generation to easy customer messaging to aggregated review data and a take-action dashboard for monitoring all your reviews, messages, and related to-dos, we’re with you every step of the way,
Growing your tourism business is a journey. Don’t go it alone. See how Swell can help.