Do guests understand how to fill out online reviews?

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Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

I was just looking at some online reviews on bandb.com. I see reviews that SAY 'wonderful!' or, 'best place we've ever stayed' or, 'exceeded our expectations' and the writers gave the inn 3 stars. Or circles. Or whatever they are. Are there instructions to the guest on how to select the number of stars or whatever those little circles mean? I've never filled out a review on bandb and have only looked at the format quickly.

It seems that the guests may not realize that those circles are an overall rating that shows on the inn's review list. If no one wants to read the reviews, all they see are the circles, which can be very misleading.

Is there a better way to do this? Easier directions?

Hey, GeorgiaGirl, you did a lot of reviews. Did you find the directions easy/hard or are you just very familiar with how these things work?

I was surprised to see the reviews SAYING one thing and the stars saying something completely different. Unless 3 stars means 'exceeded my expectations'. Me, I'd think 3 stars meant, 'Yeah, it was ok, nothing to write home about. Maybe I'd stay here again.'

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No, not really...unless they're unhappy.

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Hey gang,

We see that properties that take gift cards get a lot more searches than those that don't, and of course if you have a gift card, you are not that likely to stay at a property that doesn't take them as long as there is one in the area that does.  But since they are redeemed directly at the property and they are not tied to reviews, nor do we require registration for reviews, it is tough to put the two together.

On the review cards themselves...  we read nothing but bad comments about how TA was not really working very well with B&B's, so we've tried hard to foster a review community of inngoers for inngoers.  We've tried to go the extra mile at quite a bit of expense - from requiring proof of stay in a lot of instances, to paying to print/mail/enter all the review cards.  Some of it doesn't work as well as the rest of it, some inns love things like review cards, some don't.  We don't always get it 100% right by every inn every time.  We're trying though - and we have to try different ideas and methods to find the right combination.  I believe we are certainly spending 10X more time and energy to make this work for the B&B industry than anyone else has, and we are now in the process of using a lot of feedback from this forum for our next round of changes to come out this winter.  Lets hope they work even better!

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GeorgiaGirl's picture
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06/09/2008

Until our Summer trip I had never wrote a review on B&B.com.  I found it easy, although I love to do stuff online.  On B&B.com the circles mean:

1. Unsatisfactory

2. Ok, but below average

3. Met my expectations

4. Exceeded my expectations

5. Outstanding

I'm trying to remember, I think you have to give them your email address when you are finished, but you do not neet to register at all to leave a review on this site.  I would think if you are going to the trouble to write a review you probably can tell you need to fill in the circles. When I go in and go to "write a review" all the circles are defaulted to 4.   I'm curious, you don't have any reviews on B&B.com do you??  I guess if someone is not using a B&B gift card they don't think about writing a review there? 

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

GeorgiaGirl25 wrote:

Until our Summer trip I had never wrote a review on B&B.com.  I found it easy, although I love to do stuff online.  On B&B.com the circles mean:

1. Unsatisfactory

2. Ok, but below average

3. Met my expectations

4. Exceeded my expectations

5. Outstanding

I'm trying to remember, I think you have to give them your email address when you are finished, but you do not neet to register at all to leave a review on this site.  I would think if you are going to the trouble to write a review you probably can tell you need to fill in the circles. When I go in and go to "write a review" all the circles are defaulted to 4.   I'm curious, you don't have any reviews on B&B.com do you??  I guess if someone is not using a B&B gift card they don't think about writing a review there? 

I don't have reviews partly, I guess, because I have never asked a guest to leave one on bandb.com. And that is mostly because I don't get a lot of guests who say they found me on there.

If a guest specifically says that's where they found me, then I would ask them to do a review there.

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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05/22/2008

Bree wrote:

GeorgiaGirl25 wrote:

Until our Summer trip I had never wrote a review on B&B.com.  I found it easy, although I love to do stuff online.  On B&B.com the circles mean:

1. Unsatisfactory

2. Ok, but below average

3. Met my expectations

4. Exceeded my expectations

5. Outstanding

I'm trying to remember, I think you have to give them your email address when you are finished, but you do not neet to register at all to leave a review on this site.  I would think if you are going to the trouble to write a review you probably can tell you need to fill in the circles. When I go in and go to "write a review" all the circles are defaulted to 4.   I'm curious, you don't have any reviews on B&B.com do you??  I guess if someone is not using a B&B gift card they don't think about writing a review there? 

I don't have reviews partly, I guess, because I have never asked a guest to leave one on bandb.com. And that is mostly because I don't get a lot of guests who say they found me on there.

If a guest specifically says that's where they found me, then I would ask them to do a review there.

You are going to be in trouble with "the man"   SInce they sent out all those nice perforated review cards - that guests never filled in.  LOL!

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Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

JunieBJones (JBJ) wrote:

Bree wrote:

GeorgiaGirl25 wrote:

Until our Summer trip I had never wrote a review on B&B.com.  I found it easy, although I love to do stuff online.  On B&B.com the circles mean:

1. Unsatisfactory

2. Ok, but below average

3. Met my expectations

4. Exceeded my expectations

5. Outstanding

I'm trying to remember, I think you have to give them your email address when you are finished, but you do not neet to register at all to leave a review on this site.  I would think if you are going to the trouble to write a review you probably can tell you need to fill in the circles. When I go in and go to "write a review" all the circles are defaulted to 4.   I'm curious, you don't have any reviews on B&B.com do you??  I guess if someone is not using a B&B gift card they don't think about writing a review there? 

I don't have reviews partly, I guess, because I have never asked a guest to leave one on bandb.com. And that is mostly because I don't get a lot of guests who say they found me on there.

If a guest specifically says that's where they found me, then I would ask them to do a review there.

You are going to be in trouble with "the man"   SInce they sent out all those nice perforated review cards - that guests never filled in.  LOL!

I put those nice perforated cards in the guest rooms, name and address of the inn all filled in for them. They've been used as bookmarkers, coasters, you name it, but not a one has ever been turned in for a review. I had a sign up 'Win a $250 Gift Certificate!' did anyone take the review card to win? Nope.

I'm going to ask around how other B&B's here get reviewers to go to bandb.com. Some of the inns have 10+ reviews and I still have none.

 

GeorgiaGirl's picture
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06/09/2008

Maybe the Inns around you with reviews take the b&b gift card??  The $250 gift card was the whole reason why I decided at first to leave a review on there!  I'm already longing to come back up to New England so I would LOVE to win one of those gift cards!!!

muirford's picture
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05/22/2008

I have taken over $1500 worth of gift cards and gift certificates from bandb.com so far in 2008, and have only one review from 2008 on their website - and that one was not written by someone using a gift card! 

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Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

Good point. But, how many guests doing the review would look to see who took the GC before writing the review? I bet John has tracking data on that. Web tracking shows views of GC pages and then moves onto filling out review. And would a guest want to spend the 'free' money at a place they've already stayed? I'd want to go someplace new on bandb's dime. But that's how I think.

Free money usually entails me doing something I wouldn't spend my own money on. But something I would like to try.

seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

i have stacks of those cards. guests are removing them from being attached to their receipt and throwing them away.

no surprise.

 

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JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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05/22/2008

The problem is the bubbles are filled in to three or whatever it is, so you do not see it until it is done.  It should be set to ZERO so it flashes up red FILL IN THE BUBBLES or STARS.  But as it is, many miss it. Default to three stars/bubbles is idiotic.  It should default to ZERO and you ADD them. jmnvho

inncogneeto's picture
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08/31/2008

I don't think it's clear either. I've done them where you have to pick the stars, but unless you see it, you would not even fill them in...

We've had them where they didn't match the raving review either, doesn't make sense.

I think you're right.

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

I think it defaults to 3 circles. If you don't see that, or don't know what it means, you might just leave it at that.

I used to sell books on Amazon. THAT was rife with 'AAAAA+++++ Terrific!!!!' and then 1 star because it was a scrolling problem. If you didn't click after selecting the star rating and you scrolled down the page, it just ran thru all the star options until you stopped scrolling. At which point you were well past the star section and didn't see that the 5 star rating was now 1 star. Which led to all kinds of hand-wringing by sellers because the stars were what counted in how you were rated.

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08/21/2008

I don't think they get it.

If they say it's over the top, then it should be the max stars all the way.

Sorry, but I think the whole rating system makes joe public feel like a reviewer in the making. Going on and on (and on) with descriptions and opinions about the tiniest little things.  Endless.  

For me, just tell me ... I liked the place because ....  It was okay because ....  I didn't like ...  Short and sweet.

 

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