What's new

Welcome to aaohl | Welcome

Join us now to get access to all our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, and so, so much more. It's also quick and totally free, so what are you waiting for?

Mastering Post-Trip Automated Review Requests: A Guide For Tour Operators

Hoca

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 14, 2023
Messages
954
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Automating post-trip review requests doesn’t have to sound as impersonal as you think. In fact, using a system that automates the review collection process frees up your time so you can offer a personalized experience to your clients. Many tour operators don’t like the idea of asking for a client to leave a public-facing review for them, which is why most of them fall short on their sheer number of reviews.

If you’re one of those tour operators who shudders at the idea of asking a client to leave you a review, consider this: 65% of people left reviews because a business asked them to. It’s that whole saying, “Ask and you shall receive.” Now, asking seems to only work 65% of the time, but that’s a higher likelihood of someone leaving a review for you instead of leaving it to chance.

Now you might be wondering, what’s a post-trip review request? If not, skip ahead.

Table of Contents​


What is a post-trip review request?

How to automate review requests

How to encourage customers to leave reviews

What are the best practices for responding to reviews?

What platforms should you focus on for reviews?

alexandra-diaconu-x0jdZ03NsSc-unsplash-min-1024x767.jpg

What is a post-trip review request?​


A review request is when a business asks their customers (whether formally or informally) to share their feedback and experiences on a public-facing review platform. The goal of a review request is to collect customer opinions, testimonials, or ratings, which can be used to build the reputation of the business, improve services, and provide valuable information to potential customers.

Reviews are incredibly important for businesses, particularly local businesses. So much so that 98% of people believe reviews are essential when they’re deciding on buying something. To add to that, 87% of people used Google to evaluate local businesses in 2022. So, if your guiding company isn’t focusing on reviews, you’re missing out on lucrative business opportunities because people want the social proof that you’re guiding business is legit.

Manual versus automatic review requests​


A manual review request is when you personally reach out to your clients—either by phone, email, text, or in person—and ask them to write a review about their experiences with your business.

Unlike automated review requests that are sent through email campaigns or other automated systems, manual review requests involve a more personalized and direct approach. They’re also much more time-consuming than automating your post-tour review requests.

Why automating review requests is better​


There are a ton of benefits to automating review requests for tour operators. First of all, automation saves you time and money by eliminating manual follow-ups and outreach. Second, automating post-trip review requests means you’re standardizing your messaging and timing and thereby, reducing any inconsistencies that are typically caused by us humans.

Another great reason to automate review requests is that it’s easily scalable while still allowing for personalization. If you have a lot of transactions, you’d have to follow up with every single one yourself if you aren’t using an automated system. With automation, you’ll reach more people with less work. At the same time, a system can automatically send a review request immediately after your customer’s trip, while it’s still top of mind. Plus, you can still use details from their customer profile to customize your message.

You’ll also be able to integrate your review requests with your customer relationship management system, booking platform, and other business tools you use, which helps you streamline a lot of those annoying tasks most of us want to avoid.

loic-leray-fCzSfVIQlVY-unsplash.svg

How to automate review requests​


The initial setup of automating review requests may be a bit of work, but in the long run, it’ll be worth it, like most automated systems. If you’re starting from scratch, it’ll take more planning. If you’re on a booking platform that already collects reviews for you, then you’ll be far ahead of your competition.

This is a simplified way to implement automated post-trip review collection if you’re starting from scratch.

1. Select a Review Management Platform​


If you’re not using an online booking platform that collects post-trip reviews, then either find one of those (ahem) or choose a review management platform that works for you.

Be sure to look for a tool that allows for automated review requests and integrates with your existing systems. Some examples include Goodreviews, TourReview, and Birdeye. The only problem with these review management platforms is that they aren’t also a booking platform, so it’s one more app you’ll have to pay for.

2. Integrate with Booking Systems​


When you choose a review management platform make sure it integrates with your online booking platform and customer relationship management (CRM) system. This integration automatically triggers review requests based on customer interactions.

During your demo with the review management platform associate, ask them how their integrations work so you know if you can use them with your booking platform.

If you’re using Origin, there’s already a review collection integrated within the booking process so you don’t have to worry about most of these steps.

3. Identify Key Touchpoints​


After you’ve decided on a review management platform or decided to stick with your online booking platform instead, figure out the key touchpoints in your customer journey where automated review requests will be most effective. This could include post-booking, after the tour, or both.

Using Origin, a text and/or email is automatically sent to your guests with a one-click review link for their trip and guide after they complete the tour—while it’s still fresh in their minds. Plus, we send another gentle reminder one week later if they haven’t left you a review yet. In fact, 34% of people surveyed by Brightlocal said they’d leave a review if the request came through email. Following that, 33% said if they were asked in person during their experience, they’d leave a review.

4. Personalize Automated Messages​


It’s important to write personalized and engaging automated messages that reflect the unique experience of your tours and what your business and guides offer that other companies don’t.

Whether you’re sending messages manually or automatically, you’ll want to include details such as the tour name, date, and a thank-you message to make the request more specific. With Origin, we already include pertinent details from your customers’ specific trip, but you also have the opportunity to add your message to your guests.

5. Set Timing for Requests​


As they say, “timing is everything.” Sending too early could be a turn-off and sending too late and your guest has already forgotten trip details. So, take some time to determine the optimal timing for sending automated review requests for the best chance of getting a review.

This could be immediately after the tour or a specific number of days later, ensuring that the request aligns with the customer’s experience. When Origin sends our automated review request immediately after the tour, 58% of customers complete it.

6. Offer Incentives​


According to Brightlocal, “81% of consumers will leave a positive review if they feel the business went above and beyond to ensure an exceptional experience,” “79% of people will leave a positive review if the business turned an initially negative experience into a positive one,” and “73% of people will leave a positive review if they know that the business is fairly new.”

Their report doesn’t cover how many customers leave an incentivized review, which could mean a couple of things: 1.) Brightlocal didn’t survey for that information or 2.) incentives aren’t that big of a deal to customers.

Try asking for reviews without incentives first and see where that gets you. If you’re still struggling to gather more reviews, then consider adding incentives like discounts on their next trip with you or free merchandise.

7. Multichannel Outreach​


You don’t have to restrict yourself to using one channel to request reviews from customers. Utilize multiple communication channels for automated review requests for a higher chance of customers completing them. This could include email, text, or in-app messages, depending on where your customers connect with you the most. Origin emails and texts your clients with a link to review your company and your guide. We send a friendly reminder one week later if they haven’t left a review yet. But you don’t have to stop there. You can post on your social media channels, and include a link in your email newsletter to review your company.

Something to note: Make sure you comply with privacy and data protection regulations by having clear opt-out options for customers who do not wish to receive review requests.

fionn-claydon-raluo59oxw0-unsplash-min-1024x813.jpg

How to encourage customers to leave reviews​


So you know how to automate review requests, but how can you encourage your customers to leave reviews—either automatically or not? There are a lot of ways and sometimes, you just have to get creative.

We have two lists for you: standard yet worthwhile tips most operators use when getting guests to leave trips and more creative ways to inspire your guests to leave reviews. Experiment and see what works and what doesn’t.

Standard ways to motivate guests to leave reviews​

Provide Exceptional Service​


Hands down, the easiest way to get customers to leave you reviews post-trip is by delivering exceptional experiences and customer service. Satisfied customers are more likely to leave positive reviews voluntarily as we noted earlier (81% of consumers will leave a positive review if they feel the business went above and beyond to ensure an exceptional experience).

Ask Personally​


It might feel weird to ask your customer to leave a review for you, but when 33% do it after being asked, it can’t be that weird. Train your guides to ask customers personally for feedback at the end of the tour. A direct and friendly request can prompt customers to share their thoughts.

Offer Incentives​


According to Power Reviews, “73% of consumers say they’d be motivated to write a review if they were offered an incentive.” Consider offering incentives for leaving reviews, such as discounts on future trips, free merchandise, or exclusive access to special events. Incentives can motivate customers to take the time to provide feedback.

Make It Easy​


You know when you’re limited on time and have to do something online and it gets complicated fast? You don’t want that to be your review process. Simplify the review process by providing a one-click review link or a straightforward feedback form. The easier it is for your customers to leave reviews, the more likely they are to do so.

Highlight the Importance​


It’s not always obvious to your guests how important reviews are, even though they likely read them before signing up for a tour with you. Assume they don’t know how critical they are to growing your business and respectfully communicate that.

Follow Up​


Send friendly reminders to customers who haven’t left reviews after an initial request. A gentle follow-up can prompt those who may have intended to leave feedback but forgot. Psst.. Origin does this for you.

Show Appreciation​


Finally, express gratitude to customers who take the time to leave reviews. And don’t stop there. Post some of the best reviews on your website and social media platforms to showcase customer appreciation and establish trust with potential customers too.

What is the ideal timing to request reviews from customers?​


The best time to request post-trip reviews from customers depends on your tour, the overall customer experience, and how your guests interact with your business. Until you find out the best time for your tour guiding company, here are some ideas to help get you started:

Immediately After the Tour​


Sending a review request immediately after the tour while the experience is still fresh in their mind is super effective. This timing allows customers to provide detailed feedback based on vivid memories.

Next Day or Within 24 Hours​


If you can’t send a post-trip review request immediately after, try sending it within 24 hours of the trip ending. This timeframe still captures the post-tour excitement and it’s still soon enough that your customers haven’t forgotten the details of their experience. It also gives them time to get back home and reflect on their experience before leaving a review.

After a Positive Interaction​


If there was a particularly positive interaction during the tour, consider timing your review request to follow such moments. For example, after a guide goes above and beyond or after a memorable activity. This is when it’s important to teach your guides to ask for reviews in person because this could be a perfect moment.

One Week Later (Reminder)​


Send a friendly reminder one week later to customers who haven’t left a review (Origin does this for you automatically). This follow-up can serve as a gentle nudge and increase the chances of receiving feedback from those who may have initially intended to leave a review and forgotten.

The best timing will depend on your specific business and customer dynamics. Test different timing strategies and track the response rates to see what works best for your tour operation. Additionally, be respectful of your customers’ preferences and don’t inundate them with requests, otherwise, you could end up getting a negative response.

Examples of review requests​

Email Review Request​


Subject: Your Adventure Awaits – Share Your Experience with Us!

Hi [Customer’s Name]!

Thanks for choosing [Your Company Name] for your recent tour adventure! We hope you had an amazing time on [Trip Name] with [Tour guide’s name].

Your feedback is incredibly valuable to us and we’d love to hear about your experience. Share your thoughts on the tour, our guides, and any memorable moments you’d like to highlight. Your insights will not only help us improve our service but also educate fellow adventurers about us!

To leave your review, simply click on the link below:

[Review Link]

We can’t wait to hear about your trip and look forward to welcoming you back for another exciting adventure.

Safe travels,

[Your Company Name]

[Contact Information]

[Social Media Links]

In-Person Review Request​


“If there was a particular aspect of the tour that stood out for you and you enjoyed your time with us, we’d love to hear about it in your review. If you enjoyed your time with us, we’d appreciate it if you could share your experience on Origin and Google. Your insights can inspire future travelers.”

Social Media Review Request​


🌟
Share Your Adventure with Us!
🌟


If you’ve been on a recent trip with us, we’d love to hear all about your unforgettable moments! And we’re sure other travelers want to hear about it too!

📣
How to Leave Your Review:

1⃣ Visit our [platform you’re using to collect reviews] page (link in bio).

2⃣ Rate and review your tour.

3⃣ Share your favorite memories and tag us!

Your feedback helps us create more incredible experiences for adventurers like yourself. Remember to use #[TourCompanyName] and let the world know about your epic adventure!
🚀


Thank you for being a part of our journey. We can’t wait to read your stories and see your amazing photos!

fionn-claydon-zu9l6Lqi4bE-unsplash-1-min-1024x678.jpg

What are the best practices for responding to reviews?​


A big thing with reviews is that you have to respond to every single one—positive reviews and negative ones. When you respond in a timely (and professional) manner, this shows to other customers that you value your clients and their experience. Here are some other things to consider when responding to post-tour reviews.

Monitor and Respond on Multiple Platforms and Respond Promptly​


Consistently monitor reviews on all the platforms you take reservations (e.g., Origin, TripAdvisor, Google, Yelp, etc.) and respond quickly. As in, three days or less. According to Review Tracker, “53% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week. 1 in 3 have a shorter time frame of 3 days or less.”

Take 20 minutes at the beginning of your day to scan the platforms you use for reservations to find new reviews. When you see one, take 5 minutes to read their experience thoroughly, then write a genuine response back. This makes a difference to future customers who read your response.

Express Genuine Gratitude and Personalize Your Response​


Start by thanking the customer for taking the time to leave their review. You could say something along the lines of, “Thank you so much for your kind words! We’re thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your experience with us.”

Personalize your response by using the reviewer’s name and addressing specific points they mentioned. You could say something like, “We’re stoked you loved the [specific activity]! It’s always great to hear that our guests had a memorable time.” This shows them that you actually read their review and care about what they said.

Invite Them Back​


Encourage them to book with you again by inviting the customer to come back for another adventure. Something like, “We can’t wait to welcome you back for more incredible experiences. See you on your next journey!” is motivating for someone who just left you a review.

Learn from Feedback​


Finally, what’s the point of reviews if you’re not using them to improve your offerings? Use both positive and negative feedback as an opportunity to learn and continually improve your services.

How to deal with negative reviews​


In our article, “How To Respond To Negative Reviews About Your Guided Tours,” we cover the best ways to respond to negative reviews as a tour operator. We emphasize the importance of maintaining professionalism and avoiding retaliation, highlighting a study that shows consumer preference for businesses that respond to all reviews.

Acknowledging concerns, genuinely apologizing for their negative experience, offering solutions, and requesting feedback for improvement are recommended strategies. Timely responses are crucial, as they show your commitment to customer satisfaction and can positively impact your reputation when other customers see your response.

greg-rosenke-8F47XWiUPrQ-unsplash-min-1024x683.jpg

What platforms should you focus on for reviews?​


Different platforms will offer you different perks and they all have drawbacks as well. For this section, we’ll focus on three review management platforms: Origin, Google, and TripAdvisor.

Origin​

Make It Easy For Your Customers To Leave Reviews​


Origin’s automated messaging requests reviews from past customers using their registered contact information so you don’t have to. We’ll text or email your guests a one-click review link for their trip and guide.

Upgrade The Quality Of Reviews​


Origin verifies your guests’ identity to prevent spammy or irrelevant reviews because there’s nothing worse than a 1-star review by someone who never went on your trip which lowers your overall rating.

Display Reviews On Your Website​


Showcase how incredible your tour company and guides really are, your professionalism, and your ability to change your clients’ lives through adventures with the Origin review widget. This no-code widget seamlessly integrates with your website and shows all your previous guests’ comments about their experience.

Drawbacks of Origin​


To keep it fair, we’ll include our own drawback which is that you can’t take your reviews with you should you decide to leave Origin. Those bad boys stay on our platform.

Google​


It’s hard to compete with Google, but we’ll include them in here anyway.

Using Google Reviews offers numerous benefits for businesses, including:

Increased Online Visibility​


Google Reviews contribute to your business’s online presence and visibility on Google Search and Google Maps. Google prioritizes businesses with positive reviews in local search results, making it easier for your business to be discovered by local customers.

Free Marketing​


Google Reviews are kind of free marketing. Positive reviews act as endorsements, attracting new customers without spending more money on advertising.

Drawbacks of Google Reviews​


While Google Reviews offer several benefits, there are also potential drawbacks and challenges associated with their use:

Negative Reviews Impact on Search Rankings​


Negative reviews, especially if there are a lot of them, can significantly impact your business’s reputation. Additionally, a lack of reviews or negative reviews may adversely affect your business’s online visibility. You may disappear from the search rankings.

Review Authenticity Concerns​


Some businesses may face challenges with the authenticity of reviews. Fake or manipulated reviews, whether positive or negative, can undermine the credibility of the review system and your business.

Limited Control​


With Google Reviews, businesses have limited control over the reviews they receive. Even with excellent products or services, there’s no guarantee that customers will leave positive reviews, and negative reviews may occur despite best efforts. There’s also the chance of malicious competitors leaving reviews on your public-facing profile—and sometimes Google won’t remove them.

TripAdvisor​


TripAdvisor is an online travel platform that provides reviews, recommendations, and information on accommodations, restaurants, attractions, and travel-related services throughout the world.

Global Exposure​


Businesses listed on TripAdvisor gain global exposure to a big audience of travelers. Positive reviews can attract international visitors and contribute to a business’s visibility on the platform.

Competitive Advantage​


High rankings and positive reviews provide businesses with a competitive advantage on TripAdvisor. Travelers are more likely to choose services that have a strong reputation on the platform over those with fewer or negative reviews.

SEO Impact​


TripAdvisor reviews can have a positive impact on a business’s search engine optimization (SEO). High ratings and positive reviews contribute to better visibility in search engine results outside of the platform.

Drawbacks of TripAdvisor​


While TripAdvisor reviews offer valuable insights for travelers and businesses, there are quite a number of potential drawbacks and challenges associated with the platform:

Limited-To-No Verification and Fake Reviews​


TripAdvisor does not verify the identity of reviewers, making it difficult to ensure that reviews are genuine and submitted by actual customers.

Because they don’t verify identifies, TripAdvisor has faced challenges with fake reviews, where businesses or competitors may attempt to manipulate ratings. The authenticity of some reviews may be questioned, affecting the reliability of the information.

Impact of Competitor Reviews​


Behind fake reviews, competitors or malicious robots may leave negative reviews to harm a business’s reputation, and it can be challenging to distinguish between genuine and intentionally harmful feedback.

Further, a single negative review, even if unrepresentative of the overall customer experience, can significantly impact a business’s reputation, deter potential customers, and push your trips to the bottom of the list.

Impact on Small Businesses​


Smaller businesses are disproportionately affected by negative reviews, as they don’t have the same volume of reviews to counterbalance the impact of a few unfavorable ones.

Emphasis on Quantity over Quality​


The emphasis on the quantity of reviews, rather than their quality, may lead to a skewed representation of a business’s reputation, especially if a business has a small number of reviews.

While all three platforms have different perks and drawbacks, it’s probably in your best interest to use them all or if you’re not using these, use many review platforms. That gives you the best chance of catching someone’s eye who doesn’t visit a different platform (e.g. someone who uses Yelp but doesn’t use TripAdvisor).

maxime-gilbert-LxwlUczYduM-unsplash-1-min-1024x681.jpg

TL; DR​


In conclusion, automating post-trip review requests for your tour operation can be a game-changer, and you don’t have to sacrifice the personal touch that makes your business stand out. By using review management platforms, such as Origin, Google, and TripAdvisor, you can streamline the process, save time, and still offer a personalized experience to your clients.

The data speaks for itself—99.9% of consumers say they read reviews when shopping online at least sometimes. So, embrace post-tour review request automation. It’ll increase the chances of your clients sharing their experiences, giving your business the social proof it needs to thrive in a competitive market.

Implementing automation may require some initial effort, especially if you’re starting from scratch. However, the long-term advantages, such as increased review numbers and improved business reputation, make it a worthwhile investment.

In the competitive landscape of tour operations, embracing automation and effective review management practices not only improves your online reputation but also opens doors to new business opportunities. So, don’t shy away from asking for those reviews—automate the process, personalize your approach, and watch your business grow.

If you’re ready to see what Origin has to offer when it comes to automated review requests (plus so much more), create a free account or schedule a demo with us today.

The post Mastering Post-Trip Automated Review Requests: A Guide For Tour Operators appeared first on Origin.
 
Top Bottom