The Evolution of our Reviews (2017 to the Present)
This article will explain our review system. It takes about 3 to 4 minutes to read. If you do not have the time then please at least skip to the most important part – Do we receive and publish fake reviews?.
On 15th November 2023 we published our 2000th driver review! This is a fantastic milestone for us and, more importantly, for the drivers that have worked so hard to achieve it. For those who are new to the site we would like to explain how our reviews have changed over the years and why we strongly believe they are the most trustworthy you will find when searching for a driver in Sri Lanka.
The First Reviews
On 1st June 2017, Louis Tours Sri Lanka received the first review. When we first started publishing reviews they only had the name of the reviewer, a title, a narrative and an image. There was no rating system and we only published positive reviews. The image requirements were strict. The reviewer had to supply a photo showing them and the driver together. This helped us build credibility as a new site as most people found that a picture paints a thousand words.
At that time, as with other third party review platforms, a confirmed booking was not required to leave a review. This helped us to publish a large number of reviews and grow quickly. The image helped us to confirm that the review was genuine and build a picture of the business and its drivers.
From the start there has been a special category named “Top Reviews”. To achieve this badge the review needs to have a longer than normal narrative and a high quality photo. Congratulations to Louis Tours Sri Lanka for achieving this status on the first ever published review!
Just over two years later on 20th July 2019 we introduced the rating system. This change also allowed clients to post negative reviews. We are happy to say that we have published very few of these but nonetheless extra checks were performed if we received one. Of course we did not require an image for a negative review. If there was any doubt, we contacted the reviewer by email and asked for evidence of the trip. Most of the time we could confirm that the reviewer had booked the driver through our site.
Since the rating system was introduced “Top Reviews” have required a perfect 5 out of 5 score. In general, review ratings have always been high (98% of rated reviews have been higher than 4.5 out of 5). We genuinely believe that this is an accurate reflection of the efforts given by the drivers that have achieved them.
Confirmed Booking Reviews
The next major change was on 1st March 2023 when we started only permitting users of the site with a confirmed booking to leave a review. We were able to do this due to higher numbers of bookings being made. Since then each review has a description of the trip e.g 8 Day Tour in Jul 2023 or Colombo to Galle in Aug 2023 and a “Verified Booking” badge.
No Image Reviews
The latest change was on 15th Nov 2023 when we took the difficult decision to allow reviews without images. This is something that has been requested by a reasonable number of clients and drivers since we started. Obviously there are some clients and drivers that do not want their photo to be published on the website. This has made it very difficult for newer drivers on the site to become established. The main reason we required an image was to confirm the authenticity of the review. Since we introduced the “Verified Booking” badge this has become easier and we now believe that an image is not required to achieve it. Images are still optional though and we hope clients and drivers will continue to supply them where possible.
Do we receive and publish fake reviews?
While we have received a handful of fake reviews over the years these have been fairly easy to identify. Firstly, unlike TripAdvisor, Google and Facebook we do not rely on robots to check them. Each one is processed by a human with a great deal of industry experience and common sense. There are various measures we can use to determine whether a review is genuine or fake. While our system is very robust we cannot say it is 100% foolproof. We believe that it is entirely possible that there may be one or two fake reviews contained within the 2000+ we have published. However, we believe when compared to other platforms our success rate in publishing genuine review content is second to none and it is something that we are incredibly proud of.