Top rated. Working with review aggregators
Reviews can be both an incentive for improvement and a tool of promotion. Youngsters, foreigners and moms alike put their trust in review aggregators — and post reviews themselves. This is an important channel of communication with the Guests of entertainment centers and amusement parks.
But to explain how review aggregators work, let’s take a look at hotels. Many of us use Booking.com to book a residence for a trip. The most important thing is, of course, location and price tag. But what do we do next? Right, we compare hotels by ratings.
The same customer behavior can be witnessed on geolocation aggregators like Yandex. Maps, Google Maps and others. Before they organize a birthday party in an amusement park, the Guest will study reviews, see what other Guests like or dislike, and only then will they decide if they want to go to that certain park.
Just two years ago, only 20% of mothers would monitor reviews to choose the best child entertainment option. Today, 80% of mothers do that.
How to gain reviews
Allow me to introduce you to a new term — Net Promoter Score, which is an index of customer loyalty. It reflects how loyal current customers are to your company, and how likely they are to buy your product and recommend it to others. Every brand has neutral customers, positive customers (promoters) and negative customers (critics).
To estimate the NPS index, you just subtract the number of critics from the number of promoters. The resulting number is the NPS index.
When working with review aggregators, your task is to increase the number of positive customers. Neutrals account for nearly 70%; these Guests don’t usually leave reviews. Here are some tools you can use to transform neutrals into promoters — Guests who do leave reviews, and positive ones at that.
Motivating Guests to leave reviews. Case of Pavel Timets (FUN24 entertainment center)
Unfortunately, Russians don’t have a tradition to express gratitude for good service. So, you’ll have to make your Guests want to leave a review. It seems too simple but you only need to ask to get a review.
All over our park you can see ads that read «A gift for a review!» with QR codes leading to FUN24 profiles on tripadvisor and flamp. There, Guests can post their impressions about our park. After that, the author of the review will show that to an employee to receive a cup of beverage, cotton candy, dessert or some other bonus.
We’ve been using this tool from July 2019. In that time, we have soared from 28th line up to 7th among 140 parks and centers listed in the section «Entertainment and games» on tripadvisor.ru (as in Kazan). On flamp.ru, our rating has improved from 3.7 to 4.2. We’ve become a «green» company in the list of «companies you can trust». Last but not the least, we’ve taken up 4th position out of 551 in the section «Entertainment» (again, in Kazan).
Help your Guest figure it out. Case of Pavel Kovsharov (Zamania amusement parks)
One of our mechanisms for increasing rating is actually close to that in the previous case. Our employees are helping Guests out in posting reviews, as some of them are not confident users of the Internet.
We’ve found out that the most efficient method of collecting reviews is giving Guests a tablet with preloaded links to popular review aggregators. The rating of the park where we were testing that method out rose from 4.0 to 4.4 in just a few days.
Reviews are usually posted by grown-ups who can have some reasonable complaints… but children are always excited to have fun! Parents often allow us to record video reviews with their children, and that can really boost our rating in social media. Kids say funny stuff and look happy. Upon seeing this, some parents will sure want to make their kids happy too!
Reputation manager in Zamania explains working with reviews
My job in Zamania is to work with review aggregators. I comprise reports, perform necessary analysis and make sure the rating of our park goes right up. It’s quite common that a happy Guest will not leave a review but an unhappy one will post negative reviews in all aggregators they can find, causing sensible damage to our rating. My duty as a manager is to curb negativity and keep the ratings of our parks high.
Lately, Zamania has been investing less in offline advertising and more in online promotion, including work with review aggregators. To determine what aggregators I must work with, I simply google our company and look what our Guests have had to say about us.
There are 9 review aggregators I’m currently monitoring. The most important of them are Yandex. Maps, Google Maps, 2GIS, yell.ru, zoon.ru, and tripadvisor.ru. We’re constantly monitoring the ratings of our parks on these platforms in their dynamic and send reports to directors and key managers. When the rating drops, it definitely means that something’s wrong, so we study reviews to see what Guests are complaining about.
Our expected rating is 4.8 out of 5. That’s quite a demand to be met. The rating is crucial as it defines if and where our parks will show up in search engines. For example, on Yandex. Maps only 4+ guarantees that the park will be featured in the «Recommended» section.
Every review aggregator has its nuances but there are some indicators that are common for all most important sites from our list.
- Number of reviews. If you have 10–50 reviews, it’s relatively easy to boost your rating. But if that number is over 900, you’re in for a scrupulous work. We always estimate how many positive reviews we have to generate to reach the expected rating of 4.8.
- Tone of review. You’ll be surprised but sometimes reviews with 5 stars are full of complaints. Such reviews indirectly affect your rating in a deteriorating way.
- Some platforms (Yandex. Maps, yell.ru, zoon.ru, tripadvisor.ru) increase your rating if you provide feedback. So, it is crucial that you react to all reviews. Negative reviews are a priority but positive ones should not be neglected. A person who leaves a positive review generally expects gratitude in response. Positive reviews are often missed out but it is important that you respond to them as well.
- Urgency. That’s simple: latest reviews have a stronger effect on your rating.
It should be noted that, for example, on Yandex, not every review will affect your rating because Yandex users have different statuses. The strongest influencers are «City experts» with a high rating of their own (meaning that they’ve left many reviews). Their feedback is worth more than that of newcomers.
Working with Guests’ reviews
In Yandex. Maps and Google maps, a Guest can only leave a single review for each company. If that review is negative, you should get in contact with them by writing to them personally. If a Guest responds, the manager’s task is to reduce negativity through analysis of the situation. Sometimes the manager and the Guest arrive at an agreement that’s favorable for the company: the Guest will edit the review, delete it for good, or change the rating.
Every review opens for an opportunity to promote your product or service. Imagine some Guest praising a convenient parking lot of your entertainment center. In response, you can write something like this: «Thank you for your positive review and for your opinion on our parking lot. By the way, if you don’t have a car, there is a free of charge bus commuting between our center and the nearest underground station." Thus you complete two goals in one take: showing that you care and highlighting other advantages of your center.
The same approach works for negative reviews. If you see something like «Your center is pretty expensive!», here’s your possible response: «We have special offers on weekdays, as well as the ‘ticket + lunch’ option. You can also subscribe to monthly mailing about free events by leaving an application on our website." Don’t forget to add a link -that will increase attendance on the site of your company!
You should start working with reviews as early as possible. In a couple of years, reviews are going to be main drivers of purchases. In that future, it will be much more difficult to affect your ratings than it is now.
This post is based on the joint coaching session of Pavel Timets and Pavel Kovsharov «How to improve an entertainment center? Modern technologies and instruments».
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