Do you commit your time to read reviews before booking your safari vacations?
If you answered yes, you’re not alone.
Most safari makers try hard to find a company with as many five-star reviews as possible.
And honestly, it’s not hard to imagine why.
Look, before you open your wallet and book for a service, buy something online, or before you visit a restaurant you’ve never been to before what’s the first thing you normally do?
You probably browse around and read reviews.
If they’re negative, you probably won’t be comfortable using their service, and chances are, you won’t even consider becoming the customer of a particular business even when all other things seemed right.
On the other hand, if the reviews are good, you’ll likely give it a try and go all the way to try their services, right?
Actually, that shouldn’t be your goal.
And specifically, not your goal when looking to buy a Tanzania safari package.
Believe it or not, booking a Tanzania safari package from a company simply because they have all perfect reviews isn’t critical for a safari of a lifetime.
In fact, considering negative reviews can actually help you in ways you may have never expected.
If you’re putting all of your focus on avoiding to book your next Tanzania safari with a tour operator with negative reviews, you’re going about reviews all wrong.
You may find that hard to believe, but it’s true.
At the end of this post, you will see why you need to consider negative reviews when searching for your best match company to give you a memorable Tanzania trip.
Again, in this guide, I’ll show you some of the ways that they can be beneficial for your search for the perfect East Africa safari company.
Before I take you to the importance of considering reviews and how they can help you make the best-informed decision prior to booking your Tanzania trip, let’s first see, are reviews even worth it?
Should you really care about company reviews?—
The use of online reviews has become crucial than never before
Before the digital era, we all relied on hearing from friends and our families for testimonials.
But now, the influence of friends and families has decreased and we rely on so many other factors to make our final decisions about companies.
From the data, it appears that trustworthy reviews now have a bigger influence on many online purchasing decisions.
With a whopping 68%of US shoppers relying on reviews to make their purchase decision, that tells it all how reviews are important and you should rely on them any day
Nonetheless, there is a better way to use reviews.
A way that will lead you to make the best decision and help you end up booking your trip with a great safari company in Tanzania.
Let’s now dive deep into the best ways to use reviews to find the best Tanzania tours operator;
Reviews are very important as the table above shows.
They are what gives you a sneak preview of a service standard you’re likely to experience with a particular operator.
Despite that reviews are important, most travellers usually make the first-class mistake when searching for reviews.
They trust any reviews they find online about the company, regarding of their sources.
In this case, it’s important to check reviews from reliable third-party review sites.
Customer testimonials on the company’s website are one thing, but do some research for reviews on independent sites to really find out how an operator treats its customers.
On these third-party review sites, Trip Advisor and Safari Bookings are more common for Tanzania safaris.
TripAdvisor; is the largest online travel site, averaging 390 million unique visitors every month.
With most Tanzania operators registered on TripAdvisor, it is important you find out how they’re rated, & reviewed by the members of this mammoth travel review site.
On the other hand, SafariBookings; is one of the world’s largest and leading platforms specifically for planning African safaris.
Through SafariBookings, travellers are enabled to compare safari offers from 1,164 specialized tour operators.
Be that as it may, you need to know the most crucial things to look on when reading reviews on these review platforms.
So in this guide, I am going to share the 7 checklists you should look and by considering them, you’re nothing but set for a safari of a lifetime experience.
Checklist #1: Awards Worn
Has the company got awarded an accolade by TripAdvisor?
The concept here is simple, do the good work and it will be appreciated.
Yes, it’s no secret, a satisfied customer in a Tanzania safari would normally like to tell the world a thing or two about their experiences and a safari company they have used.
Furthermore, the most important thing here is consistency.
A company which has won their last certificate of excellence three years ago, for example, should leave you with suspicion and enough questions to work on.
Here are the awards by Earthlife, for example;
Checklist #2; Ranking by TripAdvisor
Let’s face it, Tanzania has more than 1,300 safari companies in which most of them are fairly good companies.
Going through a company after another will only eat a lion’s share of your time.
Here is what to do with this case;
Since TripAdvisor has already ranked the companies from #1 to 1,300+the most of the work has been done for you, you can now simply make your own decision on how many you’re going to explore before finding one.
Is it number 1 to 10, 1-20, or maybe 1-30? Whatever number you decide, TripAdvisor has made this process a hassle-free and you should embrace it if you need a chance to a lifetime safari experience.
Personally, I like to go with companies within the top 100
Checklist #3: Ratings by SafariBookings
While doing your research is important, I advise you to be careful on the operators with many reviews and they’re yet to get a single negative review.
I think you’d agree if I told you that it’s next to impossible for a safari company to be excellent to every service you deliver, a few services might end up being good or very good but not excellent for each and every customer.
Checklist #4: Bad Reviews
Today, more than 90% of consumers read service/product reviews before making a purchase decision.
On the flip side, some of the consumers look for negative reviews in order to make an informed decision before purchasing.
But do you know why people care about negative reviews?
Well, bad reviews are the most important way to give you an idea of the worst-case scenario.
In simple English, they will help you know what can go wrong to understand exactly how much it will matter to you.
And this is what I want you to start doing when measuring a safari company’s reputation through their online reviews.
Reading bad reviews in detail.
Checklist #5: Nature of the Bad reviews
There are some operators who just suck, they don’t really care once you have already handed them your money.
Their professionalism is simply shocking.
On the other hand, there are Tanzania tour operators who are ethical and they usually ensure that their operations are run professionally while looking to deliver a top-class service at the same time.
Both sort of safari companies however are likely to face negative reviews one day.
In this case, though, the nature of reviews for both sorts of companies won’t be the same.
Unethical operators will get negative reviews simply because of their carefree approach.
On the flip side, an ethical operator is likely to get a bad review because people differ in their preferences and it is impossible to satisfy everyone in the industry that requires an interdisciplinary approach.
On top of that, mistakes by ethical safari operators are likely to be bearable compared to the mistakes by the carefree side.
Look for the below example for example;
Reading the above review, you get a feeling that the company in question is ethical and professional which unfortunately faced unavoidable in the business.
On the other hand, the following review gives you a completely different picture than the previous one.
Perhaps the above review tells a thing or two about the safari company in question;
The above two companies have both displayed their worst-case scenarios.
But still, one has shown that the basic goals and standards towards Tanzania safari were maintained while on the other hand, the safari was simply a trip to forget by the other company.
On this case, you can exactly see that the nature of negative reviews by the first company is something that a traveller can tolerate while still end up having a lifetime safari.
That is what you look on the nature of bad review(s)
Checklist #6: Safari Company’s response to Bad Reviews
The way a tour company handles bad reviews should give you a clearer idea of the personalities you’re going to deal with.
Sure, that’s it!
If a company can’t accept the responsibility, (who doesn’t make mistakes) simply avoid it, my friend!
The tone a safari company is using in addressing negative reviews can be an alarming sign on how the particular company care for its customers’ satisfaction.
A company with selfish staff will try to put themselves on the safe side when answering reviews.
On the other hand, a company which cares for its customers will show a concern, apologize, and sympathize while taking responsibility on the complaints.
Look for example the way Managing Director of Earthlife sympathized, apologized while thanking a client who had written a constructive review.
The way Deo began addressing his reply was nothing but top-notch professionalism and sense of empathy for the disappointment his customer had received.
However, the same cannot be said about every company.
Most safari companies usually use negative reviews to bite back.
Using a fancy words, a set of certain words written in a template to fend off against the complaining customer.
They think that it is a must that they always provide excellent services and they can never be at fault, not even in a small detail.
They confuse themselves with Angels, if you will!
And when that happens, they never learn from the bad reviews which I call constructive feedbacks hence found themselves in a position to repeat mistakes again and again.
The above response to a negative review gives you an idea of the personalities of the company in question.
Checklist #7: I don’t believe in positive reviews only
In fact, too many positive reviews can seem fake to most online shoppers.
And with so many fake and paid reviews circulating on almost every review platform, you really need to be mindful on your search for the best Tanzania safari company.
I am that kind of people who usually avoid falling into the too good to be true shenanigans.
When it comes to the tourism industry, the 100% perfect scenario all day any day is even the hardest to achieve.
Why is this?
Tourism is an industry that requires an interdisciplinary approach like tourism.
Look, this is an industry where tour operators are required to assemble different services from various service providers and bring it under one package while ensuring every responsible service provider meets the required standards.
Tour operators bring together different independent sectors like national parks authorities, transport sector (both territorial and air transport), Accommodation & Food Services sector just to name a few.
A safari company should ensure all these sectors are brought together under a one safari package while ensuring the service standards are not sacrificed.
Checklist #8: Use negative reviews to measure the human side of a company.
Negative reviews are a perfect opportunity for you to see the actual human side of a company you are going to deal with.
With a negative review, you’re going to see exactly how the staffs & owners of the company react when problems arise.
This is when the true colours of the people you are going to deal with get unveiled.
The way a safari company handles and responds to the negative reviews should show you a customer service side of the particular company.
Yes, handling customers’ complaints is the part and parcel of customer service.
Finding an operator to book with your Tanzania safari might not be as easy as it sounds.
However, knowing a better way to look into reviews should help you pull the rabbit out of the hat.
Most travellers do everything they can to avoid a company with negative reviews. And in many ways, this makes sense.
But this is not how you should do in your journey to finding the perfect safari company.
Bad reviews should be helpful in several ways. They can help you to see the other side of the company. Use negative reviews to your advantage.
Above all, they should simply be your reflection on how much it will matter to you in the worst-case scenario.