Why Online Reviews Are Important to Small Businesses

Why Reviews (Online and Otherwise) Are So Important To A Small Business Like Zephyr

Last year, 70% of our travelers were repeat travelers – this is an incredible statistic, and we are extremely grateful for our alumni’s continued loyalty to Zephyr. Much of our business in the past 20 years has been generated by word of mouth from our alumni, and their stamp of approval is good enough to convince their friends to spend their vacations with us – last year referrals accounted for 14% of our travelers. This means that only 16% of our travelers last year were completely new to us. This also means there is a huge opportunity for a small company like ours to attract new travelers.

When somebody is considering plunking down a couple thousand dollars on a vacation with Zephyr, what is the first thing they do? Ask us for references? Surprisingly, no. Not many people do this. Online reviews are today’s word of mouth marketing for attracting new travelers.

According to the experts, over 90% of consumers read online reviews and form their opinion by reading as few as three reviews. And star ratings from crowd-sourced online review sites (like Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, and Booking.com) play a crucial role – they are the number one factor used by consumers to judge some businesses. It is important stuff!

Online reviews have become easier to find, thanks to search engines, mobile apps, and the addition of review features on popular platforms like Facebook. However, because we are a virtual company and don’t have an address or because we are multi-day tour rather than a single-day tour, we aren’t able to get onto some of these review sites, like Google or TripAdvisor.

This is one of the reasons why we are always asking you for feedback about your experience with us after traveling (that and, of course, the desire to constantly improve our trips and provide an outstanding experience for you)! We not only use your ratings and feedback as an internal metric to judge how we are doing but more and more you’ll see us using your comments and ratings on our website to help attract new customers.

Zephyr’s Current Ratings

In case you are curious, here are a couple of our key ratings for 2017:

Overall Average Tour Rating

Average Guide Rating

How To Review Zephyr on Facebook

If you have a desire to help us with our online ratings, one of the places you can leave a review is our Facebook page. Once on our page, go to the Reviews tab (you can find it on the left side menu). You should then see five gray stars near the top of the page. You can then click on the number of stars you’d like to rate us and leave additional comments for others to read.

We really appreciate you taking the time to do this for us – it’s a big help!

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