By Martin Kelly

Be open, honest and forthright – that’s the advice from Rydges Hotels on dealing with comment on user review sites such as TripAdvisor.com.

Industry research now indicates that review sites, part of the so-called Web 2.0 movement led by the likes of MySpace, have become the most trusted source of booking information, outranking even family and friends.

“But there are some serious flaws in consumer generated reviews,” said Tessa Court, Chief Marketing Officer at Hitwise. “Not all consumer reviewers review rationally and information is polluted with textual vendettas.”

Which is precisely why Rydges Hotels has developed guidelines for its management team and encouraged them “join the conversation” where appropriate.

Stefan Drury, e-Commerce Manager at the AHL Group, which own Rydges Hotels, said it was important to address concerns raised through the consumer generated sites.

He said responses should be honest and relevant, while taking responsibility for the issues raised.

“Don’t argue with customers, they are always right,” Drury said.

He also said there was little point in staff posing as customers and posting positive reviews about their hotels.

“It would come across as marketing speak and look ridiculous,” he said.

TravelTrends.biz,
June 5, 2007

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