Welcome to the century of reviews. It seems that very soon, a consumer will be able to write a review about anything. It is really unbelievable, what incredible power could be hidden in a simple review. Rather than sending complaints to representatives of a company, one is just capable of presenting his own version to the world. Making pictures, publishing communication, giving detailed explanation and sharing, what the outcome is. Damage for a business could be severe. Bad review could cost not only a few clients, but might turn impossible to remove. If the problem is really serious, a consumer can go further and even buy a domain to devote a web page to the issue. If properly structured, every time one mentions the name of a business or a product, this webpage could go top in search engines. Scary, isn’t it? By all means, the review is a weapon, that should be carefully controlled.
In the travel world, and especially hotel reservations, Travel 2.0 technology made the review part of the pre- and aftersales processes. A popular review sources are the websites designed especially for this, but isn’t it important who owns them? Well, if a popular hotel chain or an online booking website, owns a travel website, which provides information and reviews of travel-related content, wouldn’t that be disturbing? There should definitely be criteria for the ones allowed to develop such pages.
It is not a secret that the reviews could be written by an owner or more frightening by a competitor. An employee in a popular online booking website, would defend the system, claiming that a review could be written only by person, who booked and stayed in a certain property. And that makes fake reviews impossible? The verification used is the e-mail address, which means that the one, who made the booking, is the one who writes the review. We leave the rest to your imagination… Conclusion here is that, the verification process should be improved.
Question is, can we trust to comments written by people we don’t even know? The personal judgment is influenced by many factors. Those, who worked in the Hospitality industry, know that there are people whose demands are not only vain, but purely insane. Any refusal from hotel staff might drive many guests to seek revenge. Could anyone think of easier, faster, less time consuming, free and more effective revenge than giving a bad review?
So, one side the review is undoubtedly necessary, vital and irreplaceable tool, on the other side, it is a new-born baby and we will see it grow in the coming decades. Only time will shows, whether it will be a villain or a friend for a regular consumer.