Good businesses understand that their reputation is their most valuable asset, but in this age of online reviews how do they continue to build and protect their reputation?
As the entire business world moves online (come in, Yellow Pages, your time is up) their customers move online too, and for many businesses, especially in the hotel and restaurant industries, this poses a massive threat.
Take an example - if I search Google for "hotels in loughborough" right now, the first 5 links (next to the map - great links to be sure) not only have links to the hotels' websites, but also have 57, 35, 8, 23 and 71 reviews respectively.
These reviews are on sites like booking.com, tripadvisor.com and hotelguide.com and are completely unmoderated. The hotels have no control over Google displaying thisstuff next to their links. On these sites people can say what they like about the hotels, with no comeback whatsoever. At least one of these hotels has very poor reviews - basically, its online reputation is in tatters. They are unlikely to get any business from the Internet and there's almost nothing they can do about it.
What they can do, and should have done already, is engage with the guests who have been happy with their stay, and find a way to get them to post their reviews to balance out the negative ones. They might have had 100 happy guests for every complainer, but it sure doesn't look that way.
To be fair they should have sorted out the problems being complained about too! And if all else fails, they can always change their name. Might be their only chance.
I'm the owner of thebestofloughborough and am proud to be associated with the local businesses you'll find on our website. Although I was brought up in Manchester, my wife is Loughborough-bred and schooled,...