Customer reviews as a means of building loyalty for your destination

Customer reviews as a means of building loyalty for your destination

Whether good or bad, customer reviews are a valuable resource for destinations and leisure activities such as winter sports resorts. They provide a better knowledge of visitors, and allow to anticipate their expectations and to start a process of constant improvement of the offer and the services proposed. 

In this article, discover the best practices to ask the right questions at the right time and take advantage of customer reviews for your relationship strategy with your visitors.

Why ask for reviews?

Asking your visitors for feedback is primarily a loyalty tool. Asking for feedback proactively strengthens relationships and builds an additional bond beyond the activity or stay.

By collecting their opinions, you show that they are valuable to you and that you want to provide them with the best possible experience through a continuous improvement process.

Your customers' reviews are a recommendation tool. 75% of French people 75% of French people say they actively consult reviews to get information about a company they are interested in. Ratings and reviews on Google or Tripadvisor are obviously not going to fill your reservations, but they are important to reassure certain profiles such as families or individuals who have not yet visited your destination. This rating plays an even more decisive role in triggering a visit or booking an activity.

It is interesting to note that according to a study on consumer purchasing decisions by Reviewtracker, the average ratings resulting from requests for reviews are generally higher than those obtained spontaneously (4.34/5 versus 3.89/5). Asking your customers for their opinion will allow you to mechanically increase the ratings that appear on the various platforms that group them together.

When to ask for a customer review?

Good timing is key to asking for feedback. Your various points of contact with visitors give you the opportunity to do this. We can separate review requests into two categories:

  • Requests for advice related to a transaction or event: purchase of a package, reservation for an activity or visit, contact with the tourist office, etc.
  • more in-depth surveys: annually for regular visitors.

How to request a customer review?

Email is the most obvious channel to use to collect customer feedback. It can be sent after a purchase on an online store or in a physical store (when you can link a purchase to an email) or after the stay. 

The email request allows you to obtain reviews directly linked to a transaction and therefore more authentic. This link with the transaction also allows you to better identify contextual elements: weather, school vacations, etc.

SMS is also a good channel for collecting feedback. Its 98% opening rate guarantees that your request will be well received. However, you will need to adapt your message (number of characters in the SMS) and the feedback form. The latter must be perfectly readable on a smartphone and require less attention.

Finally, you can also ask your customers for feedback directly via your website, with a dedicated page or at the end of a transaction (for example, after a purchase).

Collecting customer reviews: best practices

Define your objectives

Do you want to improve the loyalty of your visitors? Encourage your one-time customers to come back more often? Target heavy investments in your infrastructure or prepare the arrival of a new online store?

Before interviewing your target, think about what you want to achieve and then define the questions you will ask. This will ensure that you have the right information to make your decisions.

A short and adapted questionnaire

Even if the people you are going to interview are rather inclined to give you their opinion, they can quickly be discouraged if the questionnaire is too long, too complex, too disorganized. Adapt your questionnaire to the moment and the issue at stake: is it about a purchase on the online store? A specific experience? About the whole season?

In some cases, you may be satisfied with 2 or 3 closed questions, in others, you may propose a much more extensive questionnaire. The order of the questions should be organised by theme in order to inform the respondent of the estimated time needed to complete the questionnaire. Also don't forget to include a free field, this will allow the respondent to express him/herself fully and you may find answers that you may not have thought of.

Communicate on the results achieved and your actions

Whether by private response or publicly on social media and your website, it is essential to communicate the results of your questionnaire. This will allow respondents to see that their opinion has at least been consulted. Better still, if you have taken action as a result of a questionnaire, respondents' satisfaction will be even higher. This will make you more credible in future questionnaires.

Generate recommendations and new revenues

Don't stop there yet. If you ask your visitors, fans, customers, via an internal questionnaire, you can then send them to platforms like Google, to encourage them to leave their opinion. This can work, for example, by inviting those who answered with a 9 or 10/10 or 5 stars out of 5 in your questionnaire, to share their opinion.

It is also an opportunity to create a purchase or re-purchase opportunity. Thanks to marketing automation scenarios, you can offer :

  • a sponsorship offer for those who give a very positive rating
  • a voucher for the online shop for those who bought in the physical shop
  • an incentive to return a few months after a poor evaluation to observe the corrections

The reasons for attachment to a destination are varied: family tradition, geographical proximity or current media interest, etc. Consumption of leisure activities is also part of traditional consumption, where opinions and recommendations can play a key role. It is therefore essential to take this subject in hand to make it a positive element in the relationship with visitors.

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Sophia Baladi

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