As the world becomes increasingly interconnected through technology and social media, the impact of online reviews on businesses has become more prominent than ever before. For local businesses, positive reviews can be a powerful tool in attracting new loyal customers and happy customers and building a strong reputation.

This is especially true for those in the travel industry, as travelers often rely heavily on reviews when making decisions about where to stay, eat, and visit. In this competitive landscape, it is essential for local businesses to have a marketing efforts and strategy in place for garnering reviews from travelers.

In this article, we will explore effective strategies that businesses can implement to boost their online presence and attract more visitors through positive reviews from travelers.

From optimizing your online presence to providing exceptional customer service, these strategies will help you stand out in a sea of local businesses and drive success for your business.

Immense Pleasure

I take immense pleasure in prolonging the joy of my travels by documenting my experiences through reviews once I return home. It’s akin to crafting a condensed travelogue, allowing me to reminisce about the myriad of new encounters I encountered on my journey, whether they were delightful or not-so-pleasant.

I am well aware that when I compose a positive review for a local establishment or a public amenity, it can significantly enhance their online reputation, rankings, and ultimately, their revenue. Conversely, a fair critique of any shortcomings I experienced can assist business owners in making necessary improvements, which can contribute to their long-term success and metrics.

It is important to note that while the pursuit of natural beauty often entails seeking tranquility, silence is the last thing a local business owner should hope for when it comes to their online review profiles.

If you and your community rely on tourism to support your economic vitality, then this column is tailored specifically for you. I have curated an exclusive poll, along with relevant statistics and valuable tips, all aimed at assisting local businesses in garnering more reviews from travelers.

How many reviews do travelers write?

I have long been curious about whether Jane Austen and I share a common passion for documenting our travels through Derbyshire and Peanut, California. I often pondered whether others also indulge in reliving their experiences at inns, parks, restaurants, shops, and various public places, through the act of jotting down their impressions.

In order to satisfy my curiosity, I decided to conduct a Twitter poll to gauge how many individuals engage in writing local business reviews as a result of their trips. I would like to express my gratitude to all those who took the time to respond, as their participation has provided us with valuable data.

It is noteworthy that a significant percentage of individuals, specifically 37.5%, contribute by writing 1-3 honest reviews following their travel experiences. Additionally, 13.8% derive even greater satisfaction from sharing their opinions by writing 4-6 reviews.

Those who go above and beyond by crafting 7-10 reviews are truly commendable supporters of local businesses. Altogether, a considerable 52.6% of travelers actively engage in writing reviews, which is undeniably positive information.

However, it is disheartening to learn that almost half, precisely 47.5%, of vacationers and travelers choose not to share any feedback about their journeys. This unfortunate statistic represents a missed opportunity for local brands to benefit from the exposure and recognition that quality of reviews or authentic reviews can bring.

In fact, this pattern of a significant number of individuals refraining from providing quantity of reviews is not an isolated occurrence, but rather a common trend, as we shall explore further.

Why don’t travelers write reviews? Stats tell the story.

According to a comprehensive survey conducted by Moz, it has been found that a mere 14% of adults residing in the United States refrain from writing reviews. This statistic greatly contrasts with the considerably higher figure of 47.5% of travelers who do not engage in the practice of writing reviews.

Additionally, it is noteworthy that a majority of adults in the United States, specifically over 50%, exhibit a tendency to consistently or frequently provide guest feedback for local businesses when prompted to do so.

A Significant Portion of the Respondents

However, it is unfortunate to note that a significant portion of the respondents, precisely 39%, have not been approached by anyone within the last five years to provide a review for a local business. The significance of this statistic warrants the creation of a dedicated visual representation.

Failure to ask customers, including travelers, to provide reviews can greatly hinder your business from reaping the full advantages that come with earning more reviews. However, have you ever wondered why visitors to your town refrain from reviewing your establishment, either during their trip or upon returning home? Surprisingly, forgetfulness emerges as the primary reason behind this phenomenon.

According to the survey, a significant portion of respondents (38%) tend to forget to write reviews, especially when they have leisure time. Picture this scenario: after a long vacation in Derbyshire (or Peanut), the vacationer returns home with a sunburn, their children and pets covered in sand, and the daunting task of unpacking the luggage.

To add to their troubles, they find that the power was shut off in their absence, resulting in a pungent smell emanating from their refrigerator. Given these circumstances, it is understandable that writing a review is probably the last thing on their mind, even in the following week.

To ensure you receive reviews from these potential customers, it is advisable to collect their contact information, such as their text number or email address, at the time of providing your services. By doing so, you can remind them to leave a review later on.

However, determining the most appropriate time to request a review can be challenging.

Thank you Near Media (and university researchers) for Answering My Question

According to a recent study conducted by the University of Nevada and Arizona State, the common practice of sending review requests to customers shortly after their service may not be as effective as previously thought. Traditionally, it has been recommended to collect customers’ contact information and promptly follow up with an email or text expressing gratitude and asking for a review. However, this new research challenges that timeline.

Surprisingly, the study found that within the first five days after a transaction, customers are more likely to leave reviews if they are not explicitly asked to do so. On the other hand, after nine days have passed since the transaction, the number of reviews decreases unless the business actively seeks them.

Interestingly, the optimal timeframe for soliciting reviews appears to be between nine to fourteen days post-transaction. During this period, businesses have the highest chance of receiving reviews when they make a request.

The researchers from the university speculate that review requests sent too soon may come across as pushy or bothersome to customers. On the contrary, when requests are received later, they are often perceived as friendly reminders.

The Long-Standing Best Practice Recommendation

These findings challenge the long-standing best practice recommendation of immediately requesting reviews after a customer’s service. Businesses should consider adjusting their review solicitation timeline to maximize the number of reviews they receive.

The results of this study are both original and unexpected, and I find that the proposed revamped review request timeline aligns perfectly with businesses that rely on tourism as a significant part of their revenue. While traveling can be enjoyable, it often involves its fair share of challenges. There are even popular memes circulating about needing time to recover from the vacation itself.

Allowing a window of 9-14 days provides visitors with a period of recuperation, during which they are likely to have entered the forgetfulness zone mentioned in Moz’s survey. Placing your review request during this timeframe could be just what is required to gently remind customers and encourage them to relive their positive experiences by documenting them in a review.

Of course, Near Media recommends that you conduct experiments tailored to the behaviors and preferences of your own customer base. Their social media activities may or may not align with the findings of the university research, but to obtain an accurate understanding, it is essential to reexamine the aforementioned statistic.

The Main Reasons

One of the main reasons for the lack of reviews, second only to forgetfulness during busy times, is the difficulty and confusion associated with the review process. Our survey revealed that younger customers may require more assistance when it comes to leaving a review.

To ensure a smooth customer experience, it is important to include clear instructions and a direct link to your Google review profile in your email or text communications. Obtain this link by searching for your business on Google while logged into the account that manages your Google Business Profile.

Then, access the “Ask for reviews” tab in the New Merchant Experience interface, as exemplified below.

This prompt will appear, generating the link for you to assess and provide feedback on your business.

One way to facilitate customer reviews is by effortlessly sharing a link via texts and emails. This simple action can greatly enhance the precision of determining the optimal timeframe for community requests, offering a more comprehensive understanding of the ideal time window.

A station wagon load of other tips for earning vacationers’ reviews

To facilitate customer reviews and obtain a more accurate assessment of your business, you can easily share the link provided in your texts and emails. Here are some additional strategies you can employ to maximize the number of reviews your business receives:

  • Prioritize exceptional customer service. Research shows that 63% of individuals who write reviews do so to express their appreciation for businesses that have taken good care of them.
  • Respond to all reviews. One of the main reasons why people refrain from writing reviews is their belief that businesses won’t bother reading their feedback. Show your genuine concern by authentically responding to what customers have written.
  • Utilize physical spaces to encourage reviews. Display signs on windows, walls, front desks, tables, shelves, business vehicles, and other surfaces, conveying your eagerness to receive reviews and how much they are valued.
  • Incorporate review requests in printed materials. Include review prompts in menus, receipts, mailers, bags, and packaging to encourage customers to share their experiences.
  • Train staff to request reviews on a more individualized basis. Rather than having employees robotically repeat the same message to every customer, empower them to identify personalized opportunities for review requests during positive interactions.\

Actively Managing your Local Business Listings

  • Prevent negative reviews by actively managing your local business listings across various platforms. Ensure accurate information regarding locations, hours, and contact details, as inconsistent or outdated information can lead to customer dissatisfaction.
  • Leverage social media to highlight the impact of reviews on your business’s success. Share stories of how new reviews have contributed to improvements or expansions, such as acquiring new furniture or adopting eco-friendly delivery vehicles. However, remember not to offer incentives for reviews, as this may compromise their authenticity.
  • Absolutely avoid engaging in review spamming. A significant number of customers have received requests to post ineligible reviews that violate platform guidelines and even legal regulations in many countries. Maintain customers’ trust and respect by refraining from any form of review spam.
  • Remember that Google is not the sole platform for reviews. Diversify your review requests by encouraging customers to review your business on their preferred platforms. While Google is popular, other platforms like Yelp, Facebook, TripAdvisor, and Nextdoor also attract significant review activity. By having reviews visible across multiple platforms, you can ensure that potential customers can access information about your business even if your Google Business Profile encounters technical issues.

Enhance your Business’s Review Count

By implementing these strategies, you can enhance your business’s review count, gaining valuable insights and establishing a strong online presence in the community you serve.

If you find this article inspiring, I encourage you to dedicate some time this week to reflect on the visitors who come to your town. Hospitality business owners devote a portion of their day to developing strategies to ensure guests feel welcome, and this level of care can be applied to various businesses located in towns or cities that attract many travelers.

Consider what kind of unique welcome you are offering newcomers to your community. How are you ensuring that they have a memorable experience, making them want to return if they ever visit your area again, share positive feedback with their friends and family, and take the time to review your business?

A Special Offer

Perhaps you provide a special offer specifically for vacationers. Maybe you display an inviting sign in your window, warmly welcoming tourists and encouraging them to visit your staff for information about exciting events happening in the community.

It could be as simple as having a bench outside your shop for tired pedestrians in the downtown area or providing a dog watering station on your porch for vacationers accompanied by their pets.

In a nearby popular location, the community has posted signs asking visitors to tune their car radios to a specific station for information about the area. This is an idea that your town could implement to make visitors feel considered and included in local life. It’s the little things that can make a significant impact.

The Most Valuable Aspects

One of the most valuable aspects of local business reviews is that they resemble a lengthy novel rather than a short story. Whether you operate in Derbyshire or Peanut, what you aspire to have is a consistent flow of fresh reviews over time.

This allows you the opportunity to experiment, try new approaches, and adjust your strategies based on new data, as we have discussed today. It’s worth noting that 96% of US adults read reviews, and 86% write them.

Reviews are a form of content that people genuinely enjoy under the right circumstances. With a little timely encouragement, more of your traveling customers will utilize their creative writing skills to contribute to your business.

This will not only enhance your local search rankings but also establish a persuasive reputation and lead to a profitable upward trend in transactions.

In Conclusion

Now that you have a better understanding of the importance of reviews for your local business and some effective strategies to garner them from travelers, it’s time to put these tips into action. Remember to always provide exceptional customer service, engage with your customers, and make it easy for them to leave reviews.

By doing so, you can boost your online reputation and attract more customers to your business. So don’t wait any longer, start implementing these strategies today and watch your business thrive.

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