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, if you are ready to shop, you can sit in the comfort of your own home while exploring the multitude of choices available online. But, 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 your 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 for hotels. Today, OTAs can handle the majority of bookings globally, being the primary source for consumers looking to travel and relax. These platforms allow you to compare price, time, location, and other options to get the best deal for your money. More than fifty top ranking OTAs are competing for your business, so how do you 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 at 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 if you 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. If you are looking for a larger, long-established online booking tool, Booking.com is perfect for you. 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 to browse.
- 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 you 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 and hearing about first-hand experiences from other travelers is usually a trustworthy resource. You can browse social media platforms in order to get the scoop on other customers’ experiences with a particular business. This can act as a wonderful resource for making travel plans and booking. On the flip side, 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 can be fickle and impressionable. Sometimes, all it takes is one negative review to make you abandon your 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 you 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 you to compare and evaluate the companies and products you are considering.