When travelers are searching for B&Bs, hearing the virtues of your inn from another traveler is one of the most valuable things to turn “lookers” into “bookers”. Embrace online reviews and actively request them from guests, and don't shy away from reviews out of fear that you might get a negative one. Responding to reviews is just as important to show travelers that you are on top of your business; A recent study showed that people who read online reviews are 59% more likely to book. Reviews also play an important in helping your listing rank higher in search engines like Google and Yahoo.
5 important things to know about reviews
1. Travelers need them
Not only do travelers enjoy reading reviews from peers, they've come to expect them! 93% of travelers worldwide say online reviews have an impact on their booking decisions and 53% of travelers in a PhocusWright study said they won’t book a hotel that doesn't have any reviews on its site.
2. A range of review scores is not a bad thing
While you might think that one 3-star review can ruin your reputation as a B&B, from a traveler's perspective having a range of review scores actually adds legitimacy to your inn. Don’t shy away from reviews at the thought that you might get a bad one, but embrace them and actively request them from guests. A recent study by Travelocity also showed that people who interacted with reviews had a 103% higher booking conversion than those who did not.
3. Volume matters!
While you may get overwhelmed thinking about your overall review score, research shows that the number of reviews and timing of latest review mean more to travelers than the overall score. Travelers want to see recent reviews. And lots of them!
4. Don't just listen! Engage professionally.
Whether you've received a glowing review or a not so positive one, responding to guests in a professional way shows travelers that you care. In the event that you DO receive a bad review, don’t reply with an emotional response. Instead, be professional, apologize for the bad experience, and let the traveler know what you’ve done to rectify the issue.
5. Use reviews as an opportunity!
While you may feel offended when you receive a negative review, but don't let your emotions get the best of you. Using the feedback from reviews is a great way to improve your B&B experience for travelers. Knowing what really resonates with guests and what stays with them after they stay with you is a great way to improve your reviews in the long term.