UK Hotels lose out on new sales every day due to fake or unjust reviews, affecting the hotel, the local economy, and local employment rates. When considering the importance of ‘managing’ your online reviews, consider these statistics:
- 82% of Internet users trust customer reviews over expert reviews or testimonials on a company website.
- 95% of potential customers will not buy if they read a negative review.
- 79% of potential customers are influenced by online reviews when purchasing offline.
- Companies with positive reviews convert 183% more new business than those with no reviews or negative reviews
Review sites such as Qype, Yelp and Trip Advisor encourage consumers to write reviews but do not authenticate them or attempt to prove that the reviewer is genuine. It is estimated that 1 in 10 reviews are fake.
The Internet is part of everyday life and the first port of call for consumers looking for a business such as a hotel or restaurant. 85% of consumers search for reviews and recommendations online before making a purchase.
Mark Hall, managing director of Got Juice, offers these comments and recommendations:
- A single bad review can ruin the chances of gaining new customers and create a long standing, horrible word of mouth campaign offline. If left, the review could quickly lead the company to bankruptcy.
- Although the UK defamation law is in place to protect businesses and individuals from unjust mentions online, this law is difficult to enforce, as the vast majority of review sites are based overseas and do not acknowledge the UK law.
- If your business receives a negative review or mention it is very important to respond to the customer online, always remain calm and do not take it personally. A good response would be to offer an apology and an invitation to discuss things in more detail.
- For example: Thanks for alerting us to this. We work very hard to offer good (food/product/service) and a friendly service, and I was sorry to hear on this occasion we didn’t meet your expectations. If you would like to contact me directly then please call xxxxxxx and ask for xxxxxx or email xxxxx@XYZbusinessname.
- It may be possible in some cases to remove the negative review or comment, but in many cases this requires professional guidance and management.
- Whatever you do, do not argue or defend your business, as this will only lead to more negative comments and an increased chance of the content appearing on the first page of the search engine results pages.
- Even if a business has no reviews, that can be equally as harmful as a negative one: with over 70% of new business inquiries coming from reviews, referrals and word of mouth, it has never been as important to have a good online reputation.”
Got Juice is the UK’s largest and the first online reputation management company. Based in the UK, it focuses on helping businesses gain positive reviews, and on fighting back and removing unwanted negative press from review sites and from the first page of Google.
Committed to helping business improve their online reputations, they provide free advice and tips on their website on how to improve a company’s online reputation.
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