Harnessing the Power of Reviewing

Recently, I traveled to the lovely state of Vermont with a friend to experience horseback riding in the mountains and meadows of the greenest state I’ve ever seen. What fun, and what a great experience.  But that’s not the point of this blog. Rather, what also stood out was how attentive several businesses were when I decided to use social media to test if businesses were responding or not, to their customers and to online reviews.

Let’s start with my day of air travel, and by that, I mean a full 14 hours to get from California to Vermont, via Texas & Pennsylvania! Many decades ago, my husband and I decided to go all in with American Airlines and their frequent flyer program. We use only their credit card, we fly only American Airlines, and we are as loyal as the day is long.  While there was no fast way to get me there, the online agent spent time figuring out the best way with the least annoyance, so I happily booked the trip.  Imagine my surprise when I arrive at airport #1, check in and find that I’ve been bumped to First Class for all legs of the journey. YAY! I was the first on and first off on all 3 flights, with minimal layovers and absolutely no problems. Since I am a Gold member of their club, my bags are free and  I get priority TSA privileges, so basically I’m having a GREAT day! I take a moment to Tweet a quick “thanks” to American which is promptly shared/retweeted and answered! OK, that was fun.

Then, while at the resort in Vermont, while we were having a lovely time with little to no problems, there were a few small issues about the resort and their amount of weddings, which closed off common areas to the hotel guests. My friend and I decided to post a positive yet concise review on TripAdvisor and, voila! Within minutes, the bartender was informing us that the drinks were on the house. He never mentioned the review, but it was a curious coincidence. Our review has generated lots of views so far and I fully expect to hear more from the resort!

We also dined out in a neighboring town (at a truly memorable restaurant) and decided to post a Yelp review just for kicks, since we spent most of the night laughing with the staff, eating ourselves senseless with the most amazing food, and drinking new cocktails that made an impression. Sure enough, the owner answered the review, and more fun was had!

Finally, it was time to head home, facing another 14 hours of travel through some new states, but only on American Airlines. And yes, again I was bumped to First Class, had no issues and all was well.  So of course I Tweeted and of course, they answered!

The moral of this story?  Use reviewing wisely, fairly and often.  It’s fun when someone answers!

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