Reader Sylvie asks:
“…I do wonder though how many people think we post false reviews as well. I’d like to think that none but I’m sure they’re out there. How does a company go about ’showing’ their integrity? Proving they’re honest?”
Again, I’d like to take some pointers from the world of ecommerce. There, the credibility of the reviews has a large impact on sales performance – so the industry has developed creative ways to prove they’re real.
Here are 3 powerful ways to prove review integrity:
Postcards, letters, and hand-written feedback
Give away free postcards to all of your guests. If you’ve provided a great experience they will often write back to you. I saw this all the time when I worked as front desk staff at a hotel.
If people send youa postcard or letter, scan it and upload it to your website. It’s harder to fake that.
I like what Hotel SO is doing in New Zealand with their online guestbook:
Hotel SO online guestbook
They even posted this to a separate domain for easy reference…brilliant!
If you can’t get someone to write you a whole handwritten letter, at least get their signature on a paper (with permission, of course). You can then scan and add it to your website along with their comments in digital form.
Online video or audio
This is the hardest, but most compelling. If you ever have the opportunity (and permission) to record video or audio content of your guests’ feedback, do so. Showcase it on your blog. Featured on your website.
Your goal is to get some guest feedback in rich media formats. Reviews are typically more believable when they aren’t just typed text.
More importantly, make sure there is no reason for someone to doubt the authenticity of your reviews. Most people will trust the testimonials that you post to your website…unless there is good reason to believe otherwise.