Hotel Reviews: Revenue Lost to Fake Hotel Reviews
Figures from online reputation management specialists, Got Juice, reveal that customers are heavily swayed by online reviews and negative feedback will deter them from completing a sale.
- 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.
Many review sites encourage guest reviews but do not authenticate them as genuine. In fact, it is estimated that one in ten online 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, guest house or bed and breakfast. 85% of consumers search for reviews and recommendations online before making a purchase.
“A single bad review can ruin the chances of gaining new customers and create a long standing, horrible word of mouth campaign offline,” said Got Juice MD, Mark Hall “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,” continues Hall. “A good response would be to offer an apology and a invitation to discuss things in more detail. It may be possible in some cases to remove the negative review or comment, but in many cases this requires professional guidance and management”
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.