As a business owner, the way you respond to negative reviews can have a big impact on your bottom line. What some miss, though, is how much positive reviews contribute to a customer’s purchase decision. More than 72% of respondents in a local business survey said positive reviews make them trust a business more. Research shows customers spend up to 31% more on a business with excellent reviews.
These statistics demonstrate it’s high time for tour and activity operators to be more proactive in encouraging positive reviews, especially given these eye-opening figures: 83% of satisfied customers are willing to refer a product or service, but only 29% actually do.
Here are five easy ways to encourage positive reviews.
1. Ask for Reviews On Site
The best time to ask for a review is while the activity is fresh in your customer’s mind. Get them before they sit in traffic on the way home, sleep on it and go to work the next day. The happy memories get more out-of-focus with every minute that passes.
If possible, have a tablet or computer handy with review sites loaded up and ready (like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and your business’ Facebook page). If that’s not feasible, ask customers to visit a specific site and write a quick review with their smartphone. Just the act of verbally asking for a review can be enough to get people inspired.
2. Send a Follow-Up Email
A week or so after the activity, send an email to your customer. Let them know your goal is to create the best experience possible, and that you value their feedback. Thank them again for coming, and provide links to places they can write a review. With online booking software, you can automate these emails to make sure you reach everyone in a timely fashion.
Send a follow-up email to thank your customer and ask for feedback (with links to review sites)
3. Offer an Incentive
Of course, it wouldn’t be appropriate to bribe a customer for a positive review. But offering a small incentive for writing a review (regardless of its tone) is different—the goal is to get feedback, not to game the system. Encourage people to participate by offering a discount on a future booking, or running a monthly contest where writing a review is the entry ticket.
4. Respond to Reviews
Show customers that you’re available to talk by responding personally to each review. It’s a good idea to make accounts on review sites so you can create a dialog. And, of course, respond to messages on Facebook and Twitter as promptly as possible.
You don’t need to be present 24/7—it’s OK to post hours of operation on your Facebook page. Just strive to be responsive when you can be. When your future customers see you read and consider reviews, they’ll be more likely to write their own.
5. Promote Great Reviews (and Reviewers)
A little recognition goes a long way to developing a community of enthusiastic reviewers. Let your past, present and future customers know you value their input. You can feature great reviews on your social media pages and your website, and give a shout-out to the reviewer by name.
When a customer has a negative experience, they won’t hesitate to let you know. But the ones who have a great time most likely need a little encouragement to write their review. It’s important to encourage a dialog with customers on either side of the spectrum, to resolve negative reviews and cultivate an environment of positive feedback.