Authenticated review service Feefo has capped a remarkable entry into travel by securing a deal with arguably the world's biggest name in the sector.
The firm, which announced its intention to target travel in November 2011, has signed an agreement with Expedia to manage reviews for its UK, French, German and the Netherlands sites.
Further roll-out into Expedia’s other markets will follow potentially opening up the huge US market to Feefo. The service has been taking on an average of 50 new clients every month and is up 15% in revenue terms this year.
Notable travel clients already using the service include Teletext Holidays, On The Beach, Voyage Prive and Haven.
Andy Mabbutt, Feefo managing director, said: “Our ratings and reviews offering has been embraced by the travel, hotel and restaurant industry who want to hear and share customers’ genuine feedback, not bogus comments.
“We are delighted that Expedia, the world’s largest online travel company, recognises the benefits of our cost-effective solution and look forward to helping both them and their customers get maximum benefit from reviews over the coming months and years.”
The tie-up was struck after a trial in which Feefo managed to increase the number of Expedia’s reviews logged on Google by 4,000% in just a fortnight.
Expedia will use Feefo to gather feedback on its service, not on the product it sells. Hotel reviews will continue to be gathered through existing technology.
Stuart Newman, director of customer experience EMEA at Expedia, said: “Every day thousands of people travel and book with Expedia.
“So, finding a suitable partner to offer a level of engagement and insight with our customers, which reflects these volumes has been a challenge for Expedia.
“The Feefo system is simple to use and hugely effective, with the return on our investment easy to see, even in such a short time period.”
Feefo generates reviews from genuine customers by emailing them after they have booked and asking them to fill out a simple review form.
Its system enables firms to immediately respond to any bad reviews by sending an automated email informing a relevant employee of the negative review.
A partnership with Google means that firms using Feefo can quickly build up Google gold stars helping their visibility in search engine results.
Expedia says it brought in Feefo as part of its “People Shaped Travel” approach based on customer insight which required it to give timely response to customer concerns.
Expedia also expects the deal will attract new customers, citing research that has showed 83% of travellers consult reviews.
During the 14 day trial the quality score from Expedia customers was 92% - customers who rated Expedia Excellent/Good.
Newman added: “Online travel is an immensely fast-moving business and the ability to build on and anticipate customer needs is critical to our continued success.
“The Feefo team share Expedia’s immense belief that all feedback provides valuable insight to drive business improvement with the scale and immediate visibility necessary to maintaining a market-leading customer experience.
“Having offered verified hotel reviews for many years, we understand the importance of being able to guarantee 100% genuine feedback, as Feefo does.
“Our 92% quality score is a true testament to our continued commitment to improving the customer experience and together with Feefo we will be able to build on this further and faster in the future.”
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