Are Travel Management Companies Leveraging Reviews The Right Way?
Business is booming for corporate travel. The industry has been on a constant rise and is predicted to be a section of high growth within the travel sector. Business trips are now showing up in many job descriptions and employees are beginning to spend more on such trips every year, acknowledging their importance and impact. In fact, between 2016 and early 2019, average travel spending more than doubled, which shows an uprising trend and a great business opportunity for travel management companies. GBTA forecasts that travel spending will expand to $1.7 trillion by 2022. This, along with the imminent rise of the bleisure trend, the combination of business and leisure travel, paves the way to a stronger than ever business travel sector.
Some travel management companies have been thriving on the market for years. Giants like TripAction, Lola, or Egencia are well-known for their focus on business travel but more recently, even Kayak has recently made headlines for developing a new (free!) booking platform for business travel, simply named Kayak for Business. Although this new addition is currently focused on small companies, it goes to show their clear interest in the corporate travel market.
Traveler behavior is constantly shifting and changing and when referring to business travelers, it’s important to consider that this is a very specific faction of the traveler demographic and it automatically comes with certain requirements and expectations. From the technical user experience that a website enables to company policies and the importance of displaying guest reviews, different strategies have to be considered by business travel websites, in order to encourage use and conversions.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that travelers, regardless of their type, consider online reviews when making a booking decision. Naturally, the first step towards encouraging a booking is simply displaying reviews on your platform and the best ones to rely on are the verified reviews, which solidify the trust between travelers and hotels. By ensuring that travelers have all the necessary information to make a booking, you encourage conversions and boost user satisfaction rates.
Modern travelers prefer summarized review content since it provides an overview of a hotel’s reputation without consuming too much time. It’s safe to assume that when it comes to business travelers, immediacy is definitely key. Most corporate bookings are made during working hours and they need to be time-efficient and straight to the point. Scores, badges, and the Meta-Review are all highly effective ways of providing travelers with valuable information that will help guide their decision, as well as encourage them to use a single platform for the entire booking process, instead of looking somewhere else for additional information.
Keep in mind that travelers come in all shapes and sizes and they all want their specific needs and expectations to be met by the booking platform. What business travelers need is review content that matters most to them and their specific travel experience. To ease the searching and booking process, it is recommended to highlight the best hotels, divide them by categories, and combine review content with badges. These are used to signal specific accommodations that excel in one category or another and help them stand out as well as increase their chances of getting booked.
Another thing that should be considered by travel management companies is the categorization of travelers that had previously left reviews. The concept of social proof refers to our tendencies to rely on opinions and feedback from people that resemble us since we identify more with people alike and can even mimic their behavior sometimes. For this particular segment, seeing reviews of fellow business travelers is an asset that can deeply impact their booking decision. This is why it’s important for travel companies to rely on reviews that are thoroughly analyzed and broken down by different categories and enable a higher level of personalization throughout the booking journey.
All of these insights can be easily put into practice with the use of TrustYou’s marketing and Meta-Review API features. The setup on booking platforms and third parties is always seamless and hassle-free and the end result provides a complex analysis of review summaries from more than 200 global sources. So far, the TrustYou Meta-Review caters to more than 700,000 properties from around the globe and is available in 26 languages.