How to get 5-star customer reviews

Positive customer reviews increase your brand reputation, credibility, customer loyalty and business success. Learn how to increase your own rating.
How to get 5-star customer reviews as a tourism business

Customer reviews are key

When people are interested in buying any product or service, they usually do a quick research online. They look at what different businesses offer, their quality and what makes their product or service so great. All aspects of the business are compared and looked into. Besides looking at the communication of the company itself, they also look at customer reviews:

  • How many customers left a review?
  • Are they happy?
  • Are there complaints that are mentioned regularly?

If a potential customer sees many positive reviews with high ratings, they’re more likely to feel confident about buying from you.

A customer review is defined as a reflection of a customer’s experience with your business products or services. Online reviews are a simple marketing technique you can use to display the value of your services to potential customers. Having high rated customer reviews contributes to your success.

Three reasons why customer reviews are important for your business

1. Customer reviews increase your reputation and credibility

Customer reviews affect your business reputation and having many positive reviews increases your social credibility and leaves a positive impression on potential customers and provide transparency.

2. Customer reviews allow your customers to engage with your business

Having a place where customers can leave reviews is a positive way for customers to engage. They’re interested in writing you a review, want to feel connected and also want to share relevant information about their travel experience with others.

3. Customer reviews help you improve your business

Customer reviews are public feedback from your travellers. And they may include suggestions for ways to improve. This feedback allows you to better understand your customers needs and identify how you can improve your travel experiences and services.

Understand your customers

The first step in getting better customer reviews is to understand your customers. For this we have to go back to your buyer persona. Your buyer persona is a blueprint of your ideal customer, created for your business. They’re an essential tool for tour operators to respond to the needs of their potential customers.

Base your buyer persona on your ideal target group

The importance of going back to your buyer persona is because you can only receive 5-star customer reviews if you meet the needs of your customers. For this, you need to know what they’re looking for, what their values are and when they’re satisfied. It’s about offering travel experiences and customer service that meet and exceed their needs and demands. Be aware that you won’t receive 5-star reviews with an average offer. It has to be outstanding.

Asking for a review

As I mentioned earlier, high rated reviews give your business a positive reputation and credibility. But only a few high rated reviews won’t convince any potential customer. Therefore, it’s important you generate more customer reviews in a consistent way.

It might seem a challenge to ask for feedback, but if you create a strategic planning, you realise it’s not difficult at all. Most likely, your customers are ready to share their positive experience with you and your potential customers. When asking for feedback, don’t forget to ask for permission to share it publicly.

So, when do you ask for feedback? It depends on your type of business and the kind of products you offer, but there are three main ways to ask for feedback from your travellers.

1. Right after the travel experience

The most direct way to receive feedback from your customers is right after the travel experience. This is most suited for multiday-trips or excursions where travellers spend time together with a guide. When asking for feedback right after the experience, make sure it’s a concise and only requires a few minutes.

Tip: use a QR code

Create a QR code travellers can scan with their phone right after the travel experience. Have travellers share their feedback directly and quickly while they’re still in the experience. Limit to a few questions only and provide an open field for comments and an overall impression.

2. Via email after they got home

To gain more insight in the experiences of your travellers throughout their entire experience, it’s helpful to send them an extensive survey when they got home. By asking more specific questions and a rating, you receive in-depth insights in where you met their expectations and where you didn’t. It allows you to pinpoint issues very quickly.

Tip: create a survey

Create a survey with direct questions and multiple-choice answers only. Ask them for a rating on aspects such as level of communication, choice of activities and accommodation, quality of the guide, and focus on good tourism. Also provide an open field for comments and an overall impression.

3. Ask them to leave a review online

While feedback from a survey is key to improve your business, reviews on platforms such as TripAdvisor are great for marketing. Public reviews from real travellers who share positive experiences of travelling with you will convince potential customers to book with you as well. It helps you build your brand positively online.

Tip: send a personal email

Send customers a personal email a few days after they arrived at home thanking them for travelling with you. Let them know you’d love to hear their overall feedback and invite them to share their experience with potential customers on for example TripAdvisor. You can also award customers who have left a positive review with a discount.

Engage with your customer reviews

When asking for feedback, make sure you always engage with your customers as well. They have taken the time to write a review so always reward them by thanking them. Show you appreciate feedback and act upon it as well. If a customer leaves a negative review, reply as soon as possible, and acknowledge their pain points and be open to further discussion.

Always respond in a thoughtful and engaged way. This helps you build a strong online foundation with your (potential) customers, builds trust, and also shows them you genuinely care about their travel experience with you. Share positive reviews on your social media and website and promote your own reputation and increase customer engagement even more.

Increase your online rating

Even if you have already started a customer feedback program, focus on improving the process. Are you currently doing everything it takes to receive positive reviews only? To increase your reputation, online credibility, and customer loyalty, you need to enhance your business performance. Develop a strategic plan to not only meet and exceed customer expectations, but also develop the best timing and tool to ask for their feedback. Positive customer reviews will boost your business brand image, success, and sales!


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