Online customer rating and review service Feefo has launched a facility to enable retail travel agencies to get feedback from their customers.

Feefo Places is a new bespoke service for bricks and mortar businesses that will allow every agent on the high street to invite anyone who completes a transaction with them to rate the level of service provided and the holiday/travel arrangements they bought.

Managing director Andrew Mabbutt said: “For high street businesses, customer data is king; knowing what your customers buy and what they think of their shopping experience is invaluable. A great customer experience is one they will want to replicate, whereas a bad event is one agents should want to learn from and ensure never happens again.”

He said with the shift to online bookings, high street agents needed to differentiate themselves, and understanding how they are performing and sharing that with the world was a great way to do that.

Mabbutt said reviews and ratings had a massive influence on potential customers.

“85% of customers investigate your business online before they visit. And 57% read about you online while they are actually there! Having good reviews about your service and travel/holidays sold is so important.”

Feefo is offering any high street agents interested in the service a free 30-day trial.

Mabbutt said the benefits in just one month would include developing real brand ambassadors out of loyal customers, an understanding of how individual locations are performing, the ability to gather data to better target future marketing initiatives, and the opportunity to display the Feefo Places logo in their shop window to show potential customers their independent service rating and commitment to customer service.

He added that installing Feefo Places into a business was simple.

Agents can either send customer data they might already collect to Feefo who will then email their customers and collate the results enabling the agent to display his/her reviews.

Alternatively, Feefo Places can generate unique codes linked to an agent’s location which are entered online to provide verification and access to a feedback form. These codes can be printed by Feefo onto stickers, business cards or leaflets that can be inserted into ticket wallets for example, or stuck onto e-documents.

Finally, Feefo can provide shop staff with the ability to ask for an email address at the time of the transaction which automates an email receipt and feedback request.

Mabbutt has already rolled out Feefo Places in other retail sectors such as fashion and restaurants, and says it is perfect for travel agencies.

“We put it into TM Lewin shops and they were pretty sceptical, but we delivered them 27 pages of feedback – that was about 1,000 reviews which they could learn from and react to in order to make their service and product even better. They were delighted.

“Reviews and ratings are now commonplace online, so why not also get them from customers who walk in and buy from you on the high street? It’s a complete waste of valuable information and data that might benefit your business not to,” he said.