Customer Spotlight: A Travel Agency Asks How They Can Get More Reviews Using GetFiveStars

Steve Griswold of Pixie Vacations left the following comment on a recent blog post asking for insight and help to best acquire online reviews for his Disney themed travel agency.  I felt the answers and ideas I had for Steve were too lengthy and valuable to sit in the comments of the blog post so I pulled it out into it’s own Customer Spotlight post.

GFS questions

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Hi Aaron,

Thanks for the information about getting customer feedback. You said you did studies with the NPS score and how that scores ties to the actual number of reviews the business is getting. I would love to know what those numbers are so I know if I need to update my follow up email to clients to help get actual reviews online.

I’d also love a blog post showcasing the best or top 5 follow up emails that obtained the top number of get five stars online reviews in 2015 or to date are.

I am getting 64% percentage of our client taking the first 1-10 rating survey and our NPS score is high at 94. But my actual number of reviews that clients create online is very very low.

Sent out 255 surveys
64% opened it and took the one question rate us 0-10 survey
94% NPS score. Meaning almost every single survey was a 10 out of 10 rating.

But I have had just two reviews, out of the 255 surveys sent out.

-Steve

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I reached out to Steve to find out what type of business he was and a few other questions so I could give him the best advice. He shared that he really wants to focus on customer testimonials in 2016 and is adding about 50 customers to the GetFiveStar’s platform each week as they return from vacations booked through Steve and Pixie Vacations.  Let’s look at the questions Steve asked and I’ll give some answers and tips.

Excellent Net Promoter Scores Effect Reviews

In a study of 2 businesses in the same industry we compared one business with a NPS of 60 and the other of a 90 (exceptional NPS score).  The higher NPS business had their feedback request emails opened at a higher rate, more clicks to their review sites and 6 times the reviews left.

NPS reviews study

Pixie Vacation’s NPS of 94 is at an exceptional level.  Since it’s so high, we’d recommend you ask for online reviews at just about every opportunity.  This would include your email signatures, website and social media channels.  Your customers love you.

Email Content That Gets Results

Thanks for the suggestion on the blog post Steve, we’ll consider the topic of best email performances in the future for sure!  In a broader sense, we would recommend that looking at customizing all of your emails and landing page content is a great idea.

Transparency in your communication is a solid start, so one idea might be to change how your initial Feedback Request email is worded and let your customer know that their feedback matters, online reviews are a huge benefit to you and this process will only take them a few minutes and 3 steps.  Setting expectations always wins with consumers.

Display Those Great Testimonials

In looking over your website I did notice you have customer testimonials, but you don’t have our Testimonial Widget embedded.  Adding this will help in a few ways beyond the dozen you have displayed.

1. It gives new prospects valuable and trusted customer content to help them consider their choice to work with you. The 5-star rating is something every consumer understands.

2. It sells your services from a customer’s perspective.

3. It quickly summarizes how your customers feel about you.  If the numbers you gave us in your comment are correct, you have over 100 pieces of positive customer testimonials to market!  That shows customers you have LOTS of happy customers and they can be next, not just a dozen.

4. The testimonials from the widget include dates.  Surveys have shown that how recent a review is matters to consumers, as they prefer reviews within the last 3 months.

Testimonial widget

Building Online Reviews

You outlined in your comment that you have requested feedback from 255 customers and that has generated 2 online reviews.  In your email exchange with me you also added that you have generated reviews on Facebook separately from GetFiveStars by having staff personally ask customers for them.  You are on to one big key already.

They may be no more of a powerful component to generating online reviews than a personal ask.  The numbers you shared are typical for a business using our platform solely on it’s own, without “optimizing” or truly baking feedback into their business process.

As an average across thousands of business types and industries we see that 100 Feedback requests will get you 20 customers giving you a rating and feedback/testimonial with 1 or 2 of those leaving an online review. This is the average and some industries are better positioned for online reviews than others.

This leaves you with two general outcomes.

1. You continue to run GetFiveStars without any “optimization” or support from your staff or other touch-points.  With the rate of 50 customers a week, the platform would generate you somewhere around 20+ reviews over 2016.  That is NOTHING to ignore at all!  I stress to people all of the time that online reviews are about slow, steady and constant love. 

While you’re not alone in wanting a tidal wave of 20 reviews in a month or two, having those 20 over your first year an building from there will put you so far ahead.  There are many pitfalls to a lot of reviews fast and especially reviews that are inconsistent in timing.  What happens when 20 reviews in a month makes you happy, then you shut off getting reviews and customers won’t trust your 6 month old or year old reviews in the future?

If you choose to stay this course above, you have to be realistic with your expectations and look at the long term success and the dozens you’ll add over the year.

2. Optimize.  You have already realized that personal requests for reviews really produce results.  I’d advise you to let customers know in the sales process that you will ask for feedback and that you goal is to service them so well they will give great feedback and write an online review.  Our own Mike Blumenthal stresses that a great business learns to “Seed” the feedback process to get the best results.

You can further improve by reviewing the content in the emails and landing pages as we outlined above.  Make some changes, test and improve.

You can also provide as many ways to give feedback as possible by:
1. Button enabled on your Testimonial Widget to leave feedback from your website
2. Postcard or flyer handout reminding them to give feedback
3. Market your customer testimonials on social and other touch points as customers tend to want to “join the party” on leaving reviews.  The first 10 reviews are often the hardest to get on any review site and things usually move a little faster once you have more.

Customer feedback

Plan The Work, Work The Plan

In closing, it appears that Pixie Vacations will get results on the path you are currently on. While you might have bigger expectations, the outcome at the end of a year will be significant.

This post and answers hopefully give you additional ideas to really strengthen your feedback process with your customers.  While GetFiveStars is a solid platform, optimizing many aspects of it, especially adding the human element to it will produce even more for you.  Getting reviews is hard!  Add more to your customer feedback plan and then work that plan for the next 12 months, I think you’ll end up in a fantastic place (maybe some type of magical kingdom.) 🙂

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About the Author

Aaron Weiche

Aaron Weiche is the CMO for GetFiveStars.com, a customer feedback and online review platform. Aaron is a digital marketing veteran of over 15 years growing agencies small and large in executive roles. Building websites since 1998 and a search marketer since 2004, Aaron helped found MnSearch, is a partner at Local University, speaks nationally on reviews, search marketing, web design and mobile.

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