Travel sites providing consumer reviews will be able to overcome the issue of fake reviews
Ratings and Reviews company Reevoo today announced a deal with Octopus, part of the Kuoni Group, to provide authenticated reviews of cities and hotels offered as destinations by Octopus. The deal heralds the beginning of the end for the problem of fake reviews, consigning to history the kind of allegations that have dogged some travel review sites.
“Travel review sites have been the subject of allegations regarding the authenticity of their reviews on several occasions. This is damaging for all parties because it plants doubt in consumers’ minds,” explained Richard Anson, Reevoo founder and CEO. “But
Reevoo only collects reviews from authenticated customers. This, and our independence, means travellers and holidaymakers can be confident that, wherever they see the Reevoo brand, the opinions they are reading are from people who have been on a particular holiday, stayed at the hotel, or gone on that trip.
“As we roll out our service throughout the travel sector, consumers will be quick to cotton on to the fact that sites which continue to display unverified reviews may be making a conscious decision to do so, because they know it doesn’t have to be that way,” he added.
Reevoo’s strategy of proactively contacting people who actually stayed in a hotel or visited a particular city, to invite them to write a review, overcomes the problem of fake reviews. This strategy is at the heart of the Reevoo manifesto announced in September, which focuses on the authenticity of its reviews. The UK Government welcomed Reevoo’s initiative via the Consumer Minister Ed Davey MP.
Research also shows that the independence of reviews is an important factor in determining how they are perceived: consumers trust reviews and opinions provided by an independent provider such as Reevoo three times more than reviews provided by the brand which stands to benefit from them.
In addition to reading reviews, visitors to the Octopus site will be able to ask questions of previous hotel guests directly, via an “Ask a guest” button, helping to provide reassurance and encouraging them to make their booking. Consumers will also be able to rate their own experience with Octopus and see how other travellers rated Octopus, providing continuously updated ratings including the percentage of satisfied customers who would book again through Octopus. Yet more social functionality will allow Octopus to respond in real-time to questions asked or issues raised in reviews.
A spokesperson for Octopus said: “For many people a holiday is the biggest single purchase they make in any year, paying up to thousands of pounds. It is absolutely right that they should know what other people genuinely thought of their own, similar trip, without worrying that the review might not be all it seems. We’re delighted to be leading the way in our sector by making that possible with Reevoo.
“As for allowing people to rate us, we’re confident about putting our money where our mouth is. Knowing what people like and dislike about the Octopus service sits well with our business ethos of listening to customers and continually improving our service. Conversations about our service will happen with or without us, so it is far better to be part of them and to learn from them,” he added.
Notes to editors
•Reviews for Octopus-offered hotels and cities are provided by Reevoo Mark.
•Service reviews will be provided by Reevoo Reputation.
•Reviews are ‘crawlable’ by search engines. This enables Reevoo Traffic to provide Octopus with valuable, user generated, constantly refreshed, keyword-rich content for SEO purposes.
•The product that allows potential guests to ask questions directly to past hotel guests is Reevoo Conversations.
•The product that enables Octopus to respond in real-time to questions and reviews is Brand Response .
The research mentioned here is from a consumer survey carried out by Fly Research in September 2011, with 1016 nationally representative UK consumers.