It used to be that a bad customer experience would be shared with 10 people, on average. Now, thanks to social media and online review sites, it is quickly and easily shared with tens of thousands. It can make or break your hotel. What you do in the real world is the main influence on what people say about your hotel in the online world. And what they say online can either help or hurt your sales and profits. Get it wrong and it can send your hotel into a death spin.

In the early days of online review sites it was relatively easy to ignore online comments about off-line experiences because it was mostly people at the extremes who commented, and there were fewer people who consulted online review sites. There were also fewer people discussing hotels on social media.

Now there is a growing middle ground of people who consistently write reviews of the hotels they visit. This is especially true on some of the most heavily read sites like TripAdvisor, which reward frequent reviewers with stars, prestige titles such as “Senior Contributor” and by giving their reviews higher prominence.

via The Online Impacts of Offline Customer Service, by Tema Frank.

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