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The Interview


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The review platform’s chief executive is tasked with taking the service to the next level after a management buyout last November. Lee Hayhurst caught up with him


: 14


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VD\V DGRSWLQJ \RXU WHFKQRORJ\ ZDV WKH VLQJOH EHVW GHFLVLRQ KH PDGH LQ KLV FDUHHU \RX NQRZ \RXŧUH GRLQJ VRPHWKLQJ ULJKW Tat was what Gavin Tollman,


Trafalgar Tours’ chief executive and a member of Te Travel Corporation’s (TC) founding family, said of Feefo at a Travel Weekly Executive Dinner. Tollman’s comment reflected how


Feefo reviews and insights are now a central plank of how TTC develops its products and, importantly, hones its customer experience. However, for Feefo chief Mat


West, who took over following a management buyout last year, the challenge is to ensure Tollman is extolling its virtues years from now. Speaking to Travel Weekly at


Feefo’s home on a farm in Petersfield, West said: “We are looking to take Feefo to the next level. It’s challenging taking on a really good business,


11 JULY 2019


picking holes in it and saying ‘this is where I believe we can do beter’, to build on what has been a great start.” Tere’s litle doubt Feefo has


made a huge impact on travel since it targeted the sector as one ripe to take advantage of its ability to generate verified user reviews at scale. Ten-managing director


Andrew Mabbut did not claim to have a “golden answer” to review trustworthiness, but saw how Feefo could help protect brands’ reputations online. Feefo’s ability to not only generate


huge volumes of genuine reviews, but also to boost brands’ reputation by earning valuable Google star ratings, quickly won over doubters.


5HLQYHQWLRQ Today, it has reinvented itself aſter investing millions to transform its technology platform to offer ‘Soſtware as a Service’. West describes it as “Google Analytics for reviews”. “When I joined in 2016, we were


very much a business focused on growing the number of customers,”


he says. “Now, while we are still experiencing fantastic growth, we are moving from not just customer acquisition but to understanding how we can help all our customers develop and grow their businesses. “If you have an engagement with a


consumer, what intelligence can you gather from that? How do you listen and understand the importance of what they are telling you? “It’s not just about star ratings.


It’s about having a lot more detailed analytics, more understanding of customer sentiment.” Once collected, all this valuable


insight is available to Feefo’s customers through its Hub, the analytics suite they can adapt to


their needs and key performance indicators. Brands can use Feefo’s Campaign Manager to keep track of customer sentiment as they experience the product in real time, from research and booking to returning home. As well as analytics, the Hub


offers widgets to assist clients in areas such as conversion rate optimisation, customer experience and customer relationship management. Another Feefo service called


Smart Temes allows sentiment analysis associated with a particular product and insight into what people are saying about it. Tis can be used to ensure information is being provided that customers can relate


No one gets it right 100% of the time.


The biggest issue is how you deal with things when they go wrong. We have never lost our mantra of being transparent and trusted


travelweekly.co.uk


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