Tui Travel and Thomas Cook have ignored Google’s move into the online review space and could regret it, according to the boss of a major bed bank.
Writing on his blog, On Holiday Group chief executive Steve Endacott said Google reviews were changing the social media landscape.
He said: “Amazingly traditional tour operators like Thomson and Thomas Cook seem to have completely ignored the move to online reviews, having no scores next to their names and appear to be continuing with paper based customer review sheets completed on return flights.
“I think they will regret the lack of transparency in the publication of their customer’s reviews, since I still believe in general they offer a high quality product.
“Yet when you look on review sites such as Review Centre, Thomas Cook for example score a very poor 1.9 out of 5 from 442 reviews. To put this into context my own Holiday Nights brand scores of 4.8 out of 5. Are we that much better? I doubt it, but unlike traditional tour operators we are working hard on social media and ensure that every returning customer is emailed to ask them to post a review via Feefo that will be picked up and published by Google.”
However, Endacott said the best time to gain positive reviews from customers was on the flight home, when they still have the ‘holiday halo’.
“I believe that if you do not engage actively with your happy customers in this period, its likely the only ones bothered to make the effort to leave a review will be the ones who did not have a good time!
“I think Google’s move into brand reviews has given social media further bite, making customers views not only more visible, but commercial attractive as they can reduce advertising costs. Therefore, ignore this at your peril big guys, since Google and customer opinion is bigger than you.”
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