Ten years ago you would have often seen many disappointed, angry and sad faces standing outside hotels, all belonging to guests who had paid for a hotel that looked like a 5 star on pictures, but a 2 star in real life.
Although we still see this happen today, we see it increasingly less, all thanks to review sites such as Trip Advisor. However, although these sites may be beneficial to the customers, what do they mean for the businesses?
The Pennsylvania State University conducted a study which looked at the impact that reviews and ratings had on purchase decisions. Unsurprisingly they found that customers were most likely to book a hotel if it had positive reviews, followed by if it was low priced. However, something which is slightly surprising is that no matter how cheap a hotel was customers would not pick it at all if it had negative reviews.
Although review sites are made up of comments from genuine customers who have stayed at the hotel, sometimes the comments can be false. For example, if a hotel that isn’t performing very well is located near to one that is, the under-performing hotel may post false negative reviews purposely to steal customers. As review sites allow freedom of expression, due to the majority of the reviews being opinion, it is very hard to establish which ones are false, thus making it close to impossible to have them removed.
The Pennsylvania State University’s study highlights how damaging negative hotel reviews can be for a business and that the only way to survive when you become a victim to this is by improving your reputation. However, what if there actually isn’t anything wrong with your hotel and 99% of customers were happy, yet you’re still receiving negative reviews? Well that’s where online reputation management comes in to play.
Although 99% of the time it isn’t possible to have reviews removed, there is a way to manage them by counteracting negative content with positive content and so changing the rankings on Google’s page one for your search term.