The internet has allowed people to find anything they want at the push of a button. Unfortunately, it has also provided malicious people an opportunity to spread untruths and even lies. As a result, it is very difficult to know whether something you read online is actually factual or not. Indeed, even with online reviews, it is hard to separate fact from fiction. One place where this is seen very strongly is in hospitality management, mainly hotels, restaurants and other such travel websites.
What Are Travel Review Websites?
On a travel review website, people can leave reviews on hotels, tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, museums and so on. Unfortunately, these websites usually don’t have any rules in terms of confirming someone’s identity, nor do they have any ability to check whether or not a review is left honestly. Anyone can review a place that they have never visited in their lives. While some of these reviews offer false positives, there are also a lot of false negatives and these are truly damaging to businesses.
The Damage Created by Negative Reviews
Negative online publicity has actually caused some businesses to go bankrupt. Unfortunately, while negative reviews are technically a form of libel, the reality is that this is almost impossible to prove. Even if it were provable, the legal expenses involved in this would also cripple a business. Furthermore, taking someone to court over this could actually cause further negative publicity.
The Solution? Reputation Management
Luckily, there are actions that can be taken. The most successful of these is to hire reputation management consultants. These companies understand the internet like no other, and they provide fantastic solutions to increase positive reviews and to respond properly to negative reviews. Indeed, statistics have shown that people are very forgiving of negative reviews if there is evidence that the company takes these issues seriously. Not just that, however, receiving positive reviews and responding to negative ones is an SEO (search engine optimization) tool, which means it becomes easier to find a business on the internet.
Thanks to the work of reputation management companies, a hospitality website, or any other type of website for that matter, can increase the positive views of a business. They also make sure that these reviews are true and factual, which further increases the trust people have in this business. Any concerns that are raised – whether true or false – are also addressed through direct communication visible to the public as a whole, as well as through marketing materials and more.
Essentially, these companies help to create promotional content that encourages positive reviews to be left. That is not to say they flood the internet with content that is repetitive or otherwise annoying. Rather, they make sure that people are exposed to the good things about a company, thereby building brand recognition and, most importantly, trust in that brand. Reputation management is one of the most important online tools available today.