"Words have no wings but they can fly thousands of miles"
It seems that when it comes to business life, this ancient proverb is even more true. Misconduct of an employee in front of a customer or erroneous judgment can lead to a negative experience and from there on reach the point of actual harm to the business.
Your business's online reputation is based not only on the way it is presented by you on your website and social media, but also (and these days, mainly) on what is written about you in the various online channels - social media, blogs, review sites and the like. Thus, users can have a significant impact on your business.
If you haven't started allocating resources to online reviews, including tracking, encouraging positive reviews and addressing negative customer experiences before they reach the online discussion – these numbers will convince you that it's time to do so:
- Every minute 50 reviews are posted online.
- Every person has, on average, 130 friends in their social networks.
- Over 3.5 million posts are shared on Facebook every week.
- 250 million tweets are posted daily.
The web today is a great platform for the wisdom of the masses. We consult long before making purchases - asking questions and doing research. The opinions supply is large. Starting with Facebook groups, through reviews on Google and sales sites - it seems that there is no product or service without a variety of opinions and documented experiences about it. Everyone has the power to influence the other's consumption decision by sharing their views on commercial companies and their products.
Online review sites and booking agents (TripAdvisor, Booking, Expedia etc.) are now a crucial factor in the surfer's decision when booking.
More than 80% of consumers read hotel reviews before booking. More than 50% check reviews before reservation in restaurants and 44% before booking an attraction or activity.
Positive reviews for a particular hotel increase the demand for bookings there and accordingly lead to growth in the volume of sales and even in the level of price that can be demanded.
A study by Cornell University (2012) shows that improving a hotel's rating by a single point on a 5-point scale allows the hotel to raise its price by 11.2% without losing market share.