Technology has changed our lives in many ways and has opened up a plethora of opportunities for expanding our human experience far beyond our imaginations. For instance, today’s shoppers can sit in the comfort of their homes while they explore the multitude of choices available. The convenience of online shopping isn’t limited to buying clothes or electronics. With this new way of doing business comes an innovative approach to booking hotels, rental cars, airlines, or travel insurance such as Travel Guard. Whether traveling for business, leisure, or relocating, we are only a few clicks away from organizing the entire experience.
In the past few years, online travel sales have grown significantly. The majority of online travel sales were generated in the U.S. alone with more than $168 billion spent. This figure is projected to continue this rapid growth pattern annually. Surveys show that 47% of travelers like OTAs (online travel agencies) because the websites are user-friendly and offer great discounts.
Evaluating OTAs: How They Measure Customer Experience
OTA’s were initially designed to book vacancies during periods of low demand. Today, OTAs handle the majority of bookings globally, being the primary source of revenue for many hotels. These platforms allow consumers to compare price, time, location, and other options to get the best deal for their money. More than fifty top ranking OTAs are competing for our business, so how do we know which one to choose?
One of the best ways to scrutinize an OTA is through the methods they use for measuring customer experience. Some of them use an independent customer review agency such as eKomi. Others utilize the Google seller rating application. These are excellent resources for finding authentic customer reviews that you can trust. Let’s take at look a three prominent online companies and how they measure customer experience and use that information to improve their services:
- Airbnb – Airbnb is an online travel agency for people who prefer a more relaxed, low-key experience. They offer a diverse listing of holiday cottages, hostels, homestays, apartments, treehouses, or enchanted castles for short-term rental or longer-term lease. The choices are almost endless. Most of these properties are situated outside of the main hotel areas and allow travelers to “live like the locals.” Airbnb gives customers fourteen days after their trip to post a review. All reviews are evaluated and guaranteed to be from an Airbnb customer. Any review that is not deemed honest or does not adhere to the review guidelines will be removed.
- Booking.com – Booking.com is a website that has grown significantly since its inception in 1996 in Amsterdam. It is now one of the largest e-commerce travel companies in the world. They assist travelers in choosing any type of accommodations they prefer, anywhere in the world. According to ebizmba.com, Booking is the number one most popular travel website today. On Booking .com, you will find more than 49,960,000 verified customer reviews.
- Blockchain – Blockchain is not an OTA, but it makes the world of digital shopping easier. It is a software platform that records online financial transactions between two parties by using “digital wallets.” More than 23 million customers enjoy the convenience of this method of online spending. The transactions are secure, verifiable, and permanent. The Blockchain website allows merchants and shoppers to post reviews and comments. You will also find research, statistics, and posts from some of the most influential press such as Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and many more.
Word-of-mouth advertising is crucial to online business success. Social media is another easy way for customers to share comments about their experience with a particular business. This vast amount of public exposure has a huge impact on a company’s public image. But, we have to be discerning when it comes to reviews found on social media because these have not been evaluated or verified by a reliable source.
Importance of Authentic Customer Reviews
Online shoppers are fickle and impressionable. Sometimes, all it takes is one negative review to make them abandon their cart, hit the back button, and choose another website. In fact, about 90% of online shoppers read reviews, and about 88% of them trust these reviews as much as they would trust a personal recommendation. Of course, even the most dedicated and efficient companies make mistakes, and a bad review will pop up from time to time. The important thing shoppers need to know is that not all of the reviews are made by authentic customers. To ensure that a review is authentic, visit an independent customer feedback management website such as eKomi-us.com. Their team screens every review collected to verify its authenticity.
In addition to customer reviews, you may also learn more about a company by checking the seller ratings. These ratings appear as a series of stars next to the company’s ad on Google search results. Google partners with reputable sources such as eKomi to generate seller ratings based on verifiable customer reviews. This makes it easier for shoppers to compare and evaluate the companies they are considering.
Customer reviews and seller ratings are vital to helping a company learn more about what their customers want. The information can also be used to help a company improve their product or services and enhance their bottom line.
If you would like more information about customer reviews or seller ratings, we invite you to contact us today.