If you’re a program provider with listings on GoAbroad.com (or thinking about listing your programs!), then you’ve encountered reviews from past program participants. Reviews are a huge part of your presence on GoAbroad, and they play a vital role in whether or not users will give your listing the time of day.
In order to legitimize your profile on GoAbroad.com and attract more participants, you need to have an understanding of how reviews work and why they’re so important to your success. Below, we’ve wrapped up YOUR most frequently asked questions about GoAbroad reviews!
6 FAQs about GoAbroad reviews
1. So…what are reviews?
Reviews have become an essential part of marketing for any consumer product. Reviews are feedback from customers or users who have used a product or service of business. Reviewers share their experiences of how a business interacts with them through their ads, their website, the transaction, and to the product or service itself.
GoAbroad reviews are submitted by real program participants who are currently participating in or have completed programs with the providers, organizations, or universities listed on GoAbroad.com.
2. Why do reviews matter?
The answer to this is multi-faceted.
For any business (that’s you!), reviews help increase the trust and credibility of a business’s product or service which may lead to more customers. Many website users primarily look for testimonials about a product they are interested in before they decide to make a purchase. Reviews can also improve a business’s online presence through the unique content the review adds to a business’s listing.
For consumers (our users!), reviews contain valuable information about a product or service that can make or break their decision to apply for a program or position.
For GoAbroad marketing (ding ding ding!), reviews add to the content of the program listing which improves the SEO of the page. It also increases the ranking of a program listing against other programs with the same level of advertising, who have less or do not have reviews on the search results page of GoAbroad. Reviews are also a requirement for the verification process which means completing this requirement will help you get closer to getting Verified Status on GoAbroad.
Add all of that together, and there’s a pretty solid argument for why you want to collect high quality, accurate program reviews.
3. What kinds of reviews are there?
There are a few mediums that pack a powerful, influential punch when it comes to program reviews.
GoAbroad. Participants of different international education and travel programs promoted on the website leave reviews about their experiences during their travels. Programs are rated by different categories such as accommodations, program administration, community engagement, and other program aspects applicable to the type of program.
Google. Products and services are given an overall rating of one to five stars and customers give their feedback on their product experience.
Facebook. Reviews are presented as recommendations by customers and give the user the opportunity to share photos and their feedback about the product.
Internal. Businesses and other organizations conduct their own feedback surveys to help them learn more about their customers’ experience. They use different evaluation tools like SurveyMonkey and Google Forms to create feedback forms. Sometimes they use forms on paper to hand out to customers during or after their product experience. GoAbroad offers a white-label evaluation tool which organizations use to create their feedback forms.
4. How can my company collect reviews?
The easiest way to collect reviews is to follow a few best practices. (Don’t worry, it’s not very complicated!)
Timing. The best time to send surveys or evaluations is when the program is about to end or right before a participant travels back home. Their excitement about their experience is still fresh and they will be more enthusiastic in sharing it with other potential participants.
Make the evaluation or review process a requirement of the program. This will compel participants to submit their review before they receive a certificate of completion for the program.
Prizes or incentives. Asking customers to leave reviews for your business is sometimes difficult because you know that only a small number will respond to your request. However, the promise of a reward will encourage them to submit their feedback. Turn the review submissions into raffle entries with one of your customers winning a prize, or give away vouchers for them after they leave reviews.
Engagement. Responding to all the reviews, both positive and negative, is a great way to engage with alumni. Not only will past participants appreciate the effort, potential participants will see how the provider cares about each of their participants having a high quality experience.
Utilize tools available to you!
- Email: Utilize the most basic form of online communication to encourage your students to give feedback about the program.
- Paper Evaluations: Hand out forms at the end of the program for participants to complete and submit before they leave.
- Videos: Make fun videos of participants sharing their thoughts and experiences about the program. This is also valuable content you may add to your website or online listings.
- Customizable Online Forms: Many evaluation tools such as Google Forms and SurveyMonkey are available online to help create the ideal program evaluations. Unique links to the forms can be sent out to all program participants through email or as part of a CRM.
- If you go this route, it’s good to reach out to recipients once or twice for a quick reminder to complete the survey or send their feedback.
- In GoEvaluator, GoAbroad’s evaluation system, the form also includes questions used for a review on GoAbroad, which seamlessly combines the process of gathering internal evaluations and reviews.
5. Where do reviews appear on GoAbroad?
Reviews are displayed on each program listing providing helpful information to students and future travelers in their search for the perfect meaningful travel adventure. The reviews are also consolidated in the Reviews page of a program provider. A couple of these are displayed on the provider’s organization page. The overall rating and the number of reviews appear on each listing on GoAbroad’s search results pages.
6. How can my company deal with negative reviews?
Negative reviews may initially seem harmful for organizations, but experts believe that it’s actually a good thing to have a couple of negative reviews about a program! This is because negative reviews can help increase the authenticity of the positive reviews. Everyone knows that not all experiences are perfect, and it’s very possible that someone’s stars may not line up for at least one aspect of a program. A negative review is only a natural appearance among a long list of glowing participant reviews.
However, this is not to say that negative reviews should be ignored and that providers should pretend the experience never happened. Here are some ways to deal with that bad feedback.
Get more positive reviews. Complaints may be a common occurrence in organizations or businesses, but if your listing only has one review and it happens to highlight an unpleasant experience, it’s more than probable that customers will try to look for other options with more positive content. Make sure to reach out to other participants to share their wonderful experiences with your program!
Respond to the negative feedback or complaint. Short and sweet responses work for negative reviews that are generalized. Advice from experts tell providers to acknowledge the negative reviews, sympathize with the participant, and maybe mention the strengths and highlights of your program. Negative reviews always give providers the opportunity to show readers how they handle these problems and to showcase their ability to turn things around during conflict.
Reach out to the reviewer personally if you haven’t already. It’s possible that there’s something you can do to alleviate his or her negative feelings towards the experience. Often customers or participants appreciate that providers go out of their way to make sure everything is set right, which sometimes compel them to remove their review.
Use reviews to boost enrollment in your programs!
Is it starting to make sense why every program provider needs to be on top of program reviews? Both positive and negative, reviews WILL influence potential participants. Find the best way for your company to collect reviews, and roll with it. It can only add to the legitimacy of your organization!