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Online feedback culture forces hotels to make improvements

15 August 2016 - 11:07 by Graham Miller

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Before people could book hotels online, many major brands relied solely upon their established reputation in order to win over new customers. But now that anyone can write a review about the places they have stayed, it is no longer possible for companies offering accommodation to travellers to rest on their laurels.

The latest study from Crimson Hexagon has illustrated this point perfectly, assessing the kinds of conversations that people have about hotels in the digital space and revealing that more than three quarters of people choosing to make use of dedicated review sites or social media to have their say.

Fourteen per cent of people who discuss hotels online make reference to how luxurious their room and service was during their say, with just under a tenth focusing on the geographic location and whether or not this was convenient for their needs.

Online feedback is seen as being a major disruptor across the travel marketplace, adding an element of democracy and transparency to an industry which used to be littered with stories of nightmare holiday scenarios unfolding.

With the rise of shopping online, the strength of all travel business brands is far more volatile and could change quickly if an organisation suffers an especially well publicised scandal. But equally problematic is the cumulative impact of bad reviews which can pile up over time and make it harder for a firm to claw back its good reputation.

This demonstrates how powerful consumers have become in the age of e-commerce and social media, enabling anyone to voice their praise of a particular brand, or indeed to make their dissatisfaction known in a very public forum. And while travel companies may fret about how to cope, this should motivate them to take more care over the services they offer.