The hotel business is becoming increasingly impacted by online review sites—but companies like Reputation Changer can help hotel owners take control of their online image.
Online review sites may not be anything new, but, for the hospitality business, they are growing more influential all the time. A recent article from a leading hotel industry publication makes note of the concerns that many hotel owners are coming to experience when it comes to consumer review sites. "With online reviews becoming an increasingly important channel for turning browsers into bookers," the article notes, hotel owners are growing more and more zealous for monitoring, and in some cases tweaking, their online reviews. The article has won the attention of leading reputation defense firm Reputation Changer—an agency that has helped many hotels ward off the threat of bad, brand-destroying online reviews.
The article makes note of the fact that consumer reviews are nothing new for the hotel business. Before the advent of the Internet, consumer "guidebooks" circulated, compiling hotel reviews submitted by frequent travelers. The article also notes that, even in these pre-Internet days, a primitive form of reputation management was common, with many hotel owners submitting rave reviews of their own establishments, seeking to stack the decks in their favor.
Cliff Stein, the CEO of Reputation Changer, says the article is right to spotlight the impact that online review sites have within the hotel industry. "Reputation Changer has worked with numerous hotels, all over the country, and what we have found is that even a single negative review can destroy a hotel's reputation," says Stein in a new statement to the press. "What's more, online reviews never stop with reputation destruction; they also destroy a hotel's sales."
Stein relays a specific example from his Reputation Changer tenure. "We worked with one hotel that had once been known as a four-star establishment," he says. "Thanks to a single one-star review, however, the hotel started experiencing major decreases in bookings, and it ultimately had to start charging one-star rates. That one bad review left to a drop-off in sales that ultimately changed the hotel's very identity, for the worse."
If hotels are increasingly impacted by online review sites, however, Stein cautions that it is generally not prudent for hotel owners to pen their own rave reviews.
"It is far from uncommon for business owners, including hotel owners, to pen fictitious reviews," notes Stein. "However, in the age of the Internet, this kind of practice is very transparent, and is typically not going to offer any real results in terms of suppressing those negative reviews." This, Stein says, is why more and more hotels are turning to companies like Reputation Changer—to obtain superior results in negative review suppression and brand enhancement.
"At Reputation Changer, we cannot keep consumers from writing reviews, nor can we ensure that every review is a positive one," says Stein. "What we can do is help hotels make sure that the positive reviews are highlighted, and that the negative ones are minimized."
Stein explains that, for hotels, the name of the game is suppression. "Most online consumers never look beyond the first page of search results," he says. "What this means is that a negative review, on the first page of Google or Yahoo, is going to be disastrous. A review on the third or fourth page, however, amounts to very little. In fact, because almost nobody will see it, that review is a virtual non-issue."
Reputation Changer provides these review suppression services for hotels all over the world. "Our goal is to present the client's hotel as a hotel of choice among consumers," Stein concludes. "That means doing everything we can to ensure that negative reviews are minimized, while positive, brand-enhancing content is made as visible as possible."
Known as the #1 online reputation management agency in the world, Reputation Changer was founded in 2009 by a team of seasoned SEO, marketing, and online business professionals, brought together by their shared vision for helping businesses and individuals take control of their online image. Since then, the firm has come to be celebrated as one of the most powerful and innovative forces in the online reputation management business. The company's vision is to help companies and individuals take charge of the way they are portrayed on the Web, via advanced content creation, SEO, and social media strategies. The company delivers these services on behalf of a wide range of clients, including Fortune 500 companies, small business start-ups, individual citizens, elected officials, medical practices, legal firms, and more.