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When and how to ask for reviews

8th November 2013
Home | Latest News | When and how to ask for reviews
 

Once you have a listing on the reviews website of your choice, and you have a plan in place about how to manage your responses, it’s time to build the number of reviews you have. So is there a best time to ask your guests to write reviews, and how do you go about asking in the first place?

It’s good to be proactive – you know what they say, if you don’t ask you don’t get! So don’t be bashful. The trick is to make sure that how you ask and when doesn’t create any barriers; so your guests are reassured that it really is easy to go ahead and submit a review.

When?

We all lead very busy lives, and your guests are more likely to take action if doing so is made as simple and straightforward as possible. The follow-up post-stay email provides the perfect opportunity. Send it within a couple of days of the end of their stay when everything is still fresh in their mind, including who you are! There are some automated reviews systems (UpFront Reviews is one) where you can set how many days after departure to send the review request.

But do remember that whilst this is the best time to actually ask for a review, it is always a good idea to add a link to all of your social media platforms including your reviews listing in all correspondence. They are all great marketing tools, enabling you to share feedback from previous guests at every step of the booking process. It reinforces the message that you invest in and value your online presence, and the contribution made by your guests, from the very outset of the relationship.

How?

  • Make it easy. Include something personal along the lines of: I loved the comment you wrote in our guest book, “Fantastic location for a seaside break with everything needed at this home from home and the most comfy bed I have ever slept in!” Would you be able to add it to our reviews listing on XXX? with a link to the page that the guest can copy the quote straight to. This enables your guest to submit a review quickly and easily without having to take the time to type anything or commit to searching to find the right website and page to post on. Make sure that the email is sent by you, or whoever had the most contact with your guest – use an email address that includes your name rather than manager, owner, info@ or even the property name. People like to speak to other people, we engage in relationships with individuals (not a property or a business) so are more likely to be willing to ‘help’ if that relationship is developed and maintained.
  • Let guests know that their opinion is valued. Guests like to read about previous guests experiences, they want to know where they should visit, what restaurants to eat in, what trips to take. They want reassuring that they are making the right decision and to get that feedback from real people who have already stayed at your holiday accommodation. Tell your guest that you would appreciate their help to build your online reputation and increase the number of online reviews that you have.
  • Monitoring your online reputation helps to identify opportunities. If someone posts about their stay on Facebook or Twitter thank them for their comment and ask them to share it on your reviews listing – again with a link straight to the posting page.

Acting quickly, being responsive and engaging in conversation with your guests are more important now than ever. We live in an increasingly social world, and reviews are just a part of it. All correspondence with guests past and present can potentially become an element of your marketing mix – it might be shared on Facebook, posted on Twitter, or even included in a guest’s review.

A strategic approach to collecting and managing reviews will help to maximise the opportunities available to you. It will enable you to do all that is possible to ensure the self-catering experience you provide is communicated and reviewed effectively.

 

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