Hi everyone, I wanted to get the ball rolling on ideas for collaborative development. The first major idea I have is for a "BookEasy Reviews" system so that we can match TripAdvisor and get some really great benefits from an advanced review system.
It’s based on my experience owning my own holiday home and using sites like AirBnB, Booking.com, Stayz, Homeaway and FlipKey (by TripAdvisor).
All these sites have an excellent review system and it has actively encouraged me to collect good reviews and also uphold a higher standard of service in order to get good reviews and also keep my listings updated. The notifications of the reviews also engages me with my listings which also prompts me to look at them and spot errors or needed updates.
Bookeasy is the only system I use that doesn’t yet have a good review prompting system.
The research these sites have shown me say that 30% of travellers won’t even make a booking without reading a review. This seems to be true because the popularity of sites like Trip Advisor and AirBnB which make reviews the heart of what they do is gaining momentum and are the preferred booking methods across the world. In today’s social internet, reviews are vitally important.
I think the BookEasy system is already set up with a capacity to build this. All email addresses and departure dates are stored in each itinerary so it will be easy to reference this data when building this enhancement.
What can happen is, the client is sent an email 1 day after their check out date, saying that the visitor centre hopes they enjoyed their stay and could they please leave a review to help other travellers. Other information or news can be displayed here too so it can be like a mini newsletter as well.
The operator can get an email alert when a review is submitted. The trend for other sites is that reviews are compulsory, otherwise operators just stifle any negative feedback, but what is done to allow that to be acceptable to operators is to give operators the opportunity to respond to a review. So if a disgruntled customer went online and bad mouthed, even though the property went above and beyond their call of duty to satisfy them, they can post that on that review, or they can write what steps they took to improve after the feedback was given.
This will for the first time, provide a real opportunity for operators to truly engage with their bookeasy / vic page. By clicking the respond now or see your review link, it will take them to their visitor centre page, where they might realise their photographs need updating, or their prices are out of date or if a special hasn’t applied properly or anything else that needs their attention, that they didn’t check after logging into their bookeasy console last time but never checked the live site.
Booking.com asks users to rate the property out of 10 for:
Staff, Service/facilities, cleanliness, comfort, location and overall value for money. An average /10 is then calculated.
The review is split into what did you like and what didn’t you like.
The review score and the number of reviews could be added to the gadget search results, even a new tab called “reviews” next to the map tab on the gadgets could be a hugely unique feature (I personally love this, having an extra tab) as I haven’t seen that done yet in the search results view mix, but if you could browse the results by reviews you could quickly go down the list and read the latest review for each property. A new sort by could even by added of “review score” which I do see on other websites as well.
With the email prompting system, reviews being submitted and displayed on operator pages would skyrocket and I think bookings would as well. I find that on the sites that use the prompting system, I do get a lot of reviews so it works well.
Airbnb ask the client to rate accuracy, communication, cleanliness, location, check in and value out of 5 stars.
There could be a feature within the bookeasy console for operators to opt out of reviews, or for the visitor centre to turn reviews off when they need to, to allow an extra level of control.
I firmly believe that this update would move bookeasy up a notch in the marketplace and really increase sales and system engagement.
Getting the notification to leave a review would also prompt the visitor who booked to come back to the visitor centre site and book again, increasing loyalty.
They might have booked 2 months in advance and totally forgotten where they booked by the time they finish their stay, but the prompt would remind them completely of where they booked and once people finish one holiday they are usually looking to think about or book the next one!
What do you guys think?
great idea, look forward to seeing this one. i have however just paid to have the TA integration as a review tab but the rest sounds great, certainly a professional step in the right direction gaining credibility of our site as well.