I bet that when you look for a restaurant, a house painter or a mechanic, you (a) search online and (b) check out the reviews.
It’s said that 97% of consumers read reviews, and in the service industry they are now more important – and expected – than ever. How many times have you received an email or text message asking for a review? You can do that too!
There’s nothing like a great review (or even better, a few) to build credibility and help close sales. And since our industry is all about service, often planning trips with huge time and financial investments, reviews and testimonials can be incredibly effective tools.
What is a good review? Well, of course it should be honest and true. It should also provide detail – not just “our trip was great” but “Mary arranged a complimentary upgrade; a surprise amenity was in our room; our transfer was waiting for us; the day tour was exactly what we didn’t know we wanted; no detail was left out,” etc. As you are asking for reviews, try to ensure they vary.
I know it can be uncomfortable to ask for reviews and referrals. It probably feels similar to asking “Tell me how much you like me.” So how do you get started? Here are some ideas.
1) What have your clients said about you already? Past “thank you” emails, cards, and other communication probably mention what your clients most appreciated. The service you provide absolutely allows you to contact your clients, even providing suggested text, and asking permission to use it on your website, blog, social media, professional profiles – you get the idea.
2) If you are staying in touch with your clients while waiting for travel to open up, make a request for a review part of the conversation. Perhaps you are chatting about their bucket list or simply checking in with a hello. You can say, “Before I let you go, I’m updating my website and would appreciate a testimonial. May I ask you to write a quick reference?”
3) Don’t forget, it’s not just clients who can provide reviews. You likely have your favourite suppliers you work with who would be more than happy to provide a comment or two.
4) Add a line to your signature line that asks for a referral: “The best thank you is a referral!” or, “Are your friends and family travelling? Please tell them about me.”
I can’t imagine a client who would be offended by you asking. In fact, I’m sure they’d be happy to, and may even be surprised you haven’t already!