In the travel and hospitality industry, social proof is more important than ever. Online review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and product review sections of websites, give customers a venue for sharing their experience.
"Research shows that 87% of people looking to book travel are influenced
by reviews (source: PhoCusWright's Social Media in Travel, 2010). This
is because user-generated content is fresh, authentic, and trustworthy."
Monitoring user-generated content is crucial for reputation management, and the fear of bad press can seem daunting. None of us like to hear criticism, especially business owners who devote so much time maintaining customers.
When a website displays reviews with low star quality and real comments, aren't they more believable? I am always impressed when I see a response from the company with an apology and offer to improve.
It takes time to monitor the feedback or reviews posted on other sites, but companies who take the time to join these community conversations can learn a lot and ultimately win over disgruntled customers.
TripAdvisor has launched a new online tool to allow hospitality businesses to collect reviews on their own website. If you're on the front (on)line (see what I did there?) you might be interested in this widget.
What are TripAdvisor widgets?
Some widgets display your latest reviews and awards, while others
promote the best of your local area, link to your TripAdvisor page, or
encourage customers to review your business.