These days, it seems every travel company has reviews of their products and services online. However, not all online reviews are created equal. Here are our simple rules to help you get the best results out of reading online reviews.
1. Be Critical of a Company’s Own Online Reviews
When a company requests and posts their own online reviews on their website, they are often not transparent enough to be an accurate representation of customer feedback. From hiding bad reviews at the bottom of a page or removing negative comments altogether, there are a number of ways to hide a travel product or service’s ‘true’ user appraisal.
2. Always Check 3rd Party Sites
Reviews on 3rd party sites are typically a more credible representation of customer feedback since a company cannot edit or manipulate them. So before you book through sites like Kayak or Orbitz, check their user reviews first.
3. Brownie Points for Fast Responses
And speaking of reviews on 3rd party sites, look for companies that respond to online reviews in a timely manner. Not only does a quick online response to a bad review show strong customer service, it also demonstrates an appreciation for customer feedback. No travel product or service is always perfect, but how a company responds to flaws is what sets them apart.
4. Find Your Online Doppelganger
One of the most important ways to ensure a relevant online review, is to find reviewers similar to you. For instance, someone who went to a Holiday Inn for her honeymoon instead of a family vacation may post a very different review. So whether your travel goal is business, relaxation, or recreation, weigh highly the opinions of reviewers with plans similar to your own.
5. The Average is Ideal
Oftentimes, people are moved to submit reviews when they’ve had a very extreme experience—either good or bad. The best and worst reviews are not a good representation of a travel product’s overall rating. It’s actually the average rating that best shows you what your similar experience may be.
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