Reviews now play an integral role in the path to purchase among consumers inclined to do research on the internet. According to a January 2014 survey of U.S. adult internet users conducted by YouGov, 79% of respondents checked online reviews at least some of the time before making a purchase, whether online or in person.
To put this in perspective, only seven percent of respondents said they never checked a review, underscoring how important they have become during the research phase of shopping.
Although online reviewers tended to lean towards writing good (54%) and mixed (57%), just over one-fifth (21%) of all those surveyed had left a bad review.
Bad reviews, in most cases, were written under the motivation of warning off other consumers about a poor product or experiences. Nearly 90% cited this reasoning for a negative review. Other top reasons for writing bad reviews were to feel less angry about the problem (23%) and hoping for a refund/help of some kind from the company implicated (21%).
Hoteliers should keep this last demographic, those looking for a refund or help of some kind from the company, in mind as it presents an opportunity for customer relations management to take over when a problem has been identified. Interacting with these consumers and making the necessary adjustments can only help to build your brand loyalty and improve the experience for future travelers.