Every business owner knows that the key to staying open is positive reviews by word of mouth. With the advent of the Internet, that word of mouth has gone online, and now the vast majority of customers check online reviews before making a purchasing decision. You’d think that getting a good review would be a good thing in all cases. And you would be wrong.
An online review only works for a business if it’s legitimate and earned through an honest assessment of the product sold, customer service involved, price and other important considerations that go into making a purchasing decision. Unfortunately, there has been an uncomfortable rise in the number of instances when an online review is placed by an unscrupulous owner in hopes of gaining more positive attention and more sales for their business. It’s a bit like playing Russian roulette because consumers have become more sophisticated in spotting imposter reviews, and government regulators have become more aggressive in weeding out phony posts.
Here are several reasons why a good review can backfire if it’s placed as part of a fake review strategy:
Fake reviews destroy trust. If your business is outed for using imposter reviews and you’re caught doing it, there’s no way that it will translate into anything good for your customer base. Trust is a key element in a highly competitive online environment, and when you’ve lost that trust, chances are you’ve lost that customer forever.
Fake reviews can kill your bottom line. Not only are scam reviews a bad idea, if a business is caught there’s a good chance they may be looking at fines and penalties. Larger businesses have been fined millions of dollars for posting false reviews and false online advertising. Smaller online businesses may not be able to weather the financial penalties they could incur if they are caught in a fake review scheme.
Fake reviews generally sound too good to be true. Faced with a barrage of online information, consumers have become savvier than ever. Many are becoming experts at spotting reviews that sound contrived or too good to be true. Even if you manage to draw customers based on glowing scam reviews, customers will know they’ve been had when they see the reality of your business. And when that happens, they will skew your business with a fresh set of negative online reviews that will do all kinds of damage to your credibility and your bottom line.
Fake reviews kill your local search performance. If your reviews are tagged as false, your local search performance will suffer and your online visibility will drop like a stone. You’ll lose valuable opportunities to connect with new customers and be unable to deliver an experience that matches their expectations.
1. Do not underestimate the importance of online reputation management
We all know that modern travellers rely on reviews from other travellers before making any hotel booking. Moreover, as more and more travellers have started trusting online reviews and it has become an important part of travel planning, maintaining, a positive online reputation is critical to the success of hotel business.
2. Develop a customer-obsessed environment in your hotel
The most important aspect of online reputation management takes place at your hotel itself. Hence, you have to confirm that no stone is unturned to ensure that your guests have the best stay experience. This, to some extent will guarantee positive feedback from guests.
Train and empower your staff to exceed guest expectations, handle any bad experiences on the spot and prevent on-property issues from escalating to online complaints. Device a social media policy and guidelines for your hotel staff to ensure that employees know how to conduct themselves with guests both online and in person. Your staff should be well aware of the risks and repercussions of mishandling guests.
3. Establish and share your reputation objectives and strategies clearly with the team
Set an objective of what kind of reputation you want to establish for your property. What is it that you want your hotel to be known for and want is that your guests should say about your hotel after they leave. Plan and work towards achieving that objective. Analyze your hotel’s ratings and reviews on key review sites, and identify what are the positive and negative things that your guests write about you and then work from there. Strategize how you will meet your goals.
4. Reputation Management is a team task
Share your reputation related objectives, vision, and strategies with your entire hotel staff, and ensure that your entire team understands their contribution, role & responsibilities in fulfilling these objectives.
5. Optimize and own your online presence
Own your profile online. Claim and update your profiles on key review sites like TripAdvisor, Google Business, Yelp and Online Travel Agencies. Add descriptions, images and contact information, and ensure that the information is correct and up to date.
6. Analyze guest reviews
Closely analyze your guest reviews and look for any specific patterns that need special consideration. Pay attention to identify key differentiators or core strengths that your consumers are talking about and put you a level up from your competitors to influence direct bookings. Further club feedback in guest reviews with the feedback from guest surveys to get a 360-degree view of guest satisfaction score and Net Promoter Score.
7. Take regular meetings with your ground staff and then plan next action
Interact with your customer-facing staff, take their feedback, and use it as a productive learning insight to improve your service. Take the necessary actions to fix problems and prevent recurring complaints. This will help generate a steady stream of positive reviews.
8. Incentivize and reward your Employees
Only making strategies is not enough, you have to also work towards it and provide regular updates on the status of achieving your reputation objectives. Incentivize and reward your hotel staff for achieving the goals defined. There are ORM tools available that help you set and track goals for your team. Recognize their efforts and reward them.
9. Select and prioritize to respond to guest reviews
Responding to guest reviews confirms your interest in what your consumers are saying about you. Moreover, this is an opportunity to show to other prospect guests also that you care about guest feedback. In addition, it gives you a chance to change incorrect perceptions about your hotel and comfort the prospective guests that you are keen on taking measures to ensure no unpleasant experience for your hotel guests.
However, you cannot respond to all the reviews, hence prioritize and select reviews that demand an apology, an explanation or expression of gratitude. However, do ensure to update the concerned guest about any measures you have taken to solve the issue they faced. In addition, in extremely bad situations, offer guests some incentive or discounts on next bookings.
10. Choose the right Online Reputation Management Tools
Social media and online reputation management are real-time. With so much action in digital space, it is practically impossible to keep up with the pace manually. To ensure that you do not miss a thing, use an advanced ORM tool to give you a holistic picture and collection of guest reviews from more than 120 review sites. A modern reputation management tool will help to automate this process and will make responding also a cakewalk.
With all the methods of forms of advertising on the internet, it’s really easy to get intimidated. Most people think you have to learn all methods and advertise on as many sites as you possibly can. This may be true in terms of trying to collect backlinks but it’s not true in the sense of getting traffic to your site.
When getting traffic, you only need to advertise in a couple of sites and databases online. In fact you only need three to help get your site some consistent traffic. Let’s explore these three places to get traffic to your CPA programs.
Ezine Articles: This is probably the best article directory on the internet right now. Article marketing is a great way to get free traffic to your site. However, you don’t need to submit your content to every single article directory site just to get traffic. You can submit content to plenty of article directories for backlinks but if you are looking for more consistency and traffic, then you will need to turn to Ezine articles. In addition to this, the directory enables you to build backlinks to your site by getting picked up by ezine publishers.
Social Bookmarking: Social bookmarking is the best way to get backlinks and traffic to your site very quickly. You can join a site called only wire to submit your content to over forty different bookmarking sites with a push of a button. You don’t need to find hundreds of these sites and submit your link to them. All you need are high page rank sites to submit your sites to.
Classified Ads: These are great sites to get traffic from because you can reach extremely targeted traffic to your CPA program. Now you are not going to place links into the ads. You are going to allow interested people to get in contact with you by phone or by email and then you will direct them to your CPA program.
These are three methods that you can use to get traffic to your site. The only way you are going to properly gain traffic to your CPA program is to have a blog or website that will redirect them to the program. Otherwise, you will run the risk of getting banned from the CPA network for not promoting their programs properly. Therefore, you will need to make sure that you have a splash page, blog or website built around the general theme of the CPA program you are promoting online.
If you are thinking of starting an online business you will need to consider some very important aspects that will help launch your internet based business in style and become even more successful. Honestly speaking, if people can not easily find your online business and it is not satisfying a certain need either, it can easily vanish in the cyberspace world. This can frustrate your goals of being a successful online entrepreneur. Starting an internet based business can be hard or simple depending on how you handle it.
First of all, the best thing you can do to have an easy time with your online business is to identify your niche and then concentrate your efforts towards satisfying their needs. As noted above, the cyberspace is one large universe and you can not be everything to everyone. Sometimes, you can even be having the exact type of services or products that your niche market needs but if you maintain a vague looking website, no one will careless of what you are offering. Once you have identified the kind of online business you want to participate in, take some time and research thoroughly on the internet especially on your competition.
Search for the most successful websites dealing in the same line of products as your business and check key aspects of their websites such as availability of products, prices, guarantees or warranties and even their return policies. Knowing your type of competition will assist you in making the right business decisions and make your site unique when it comes to WebPages, logos and graphics. The name that you give your online business is also something that you will need to come up with and it should be perfect in all manners. It is essential that name of product you are selling is included in the name you have chosen in order to give your customers a quick grasp of what your business is all about.
Having a good website is not optional for a successful online business and if you can not create one by yourself, you can outsource web building services from the experts. A website is your communication center a platform where your business is set up. You need to ensure that it appears professional and user friendly especially for your customers. Lastly, the final thing that you will have to do is to promote your online business to keep up with the stiff competition on the online platform.