If you have heard the news about the hotels that have added contract clauses promising to fine consumers who write scathing reviews, then there is likely a small piece of you that loves the idea. No one wants a bad review, and the idea of being able to come back at those who verbally smash your business is undoubtedly appealing.
Unfortunately, though, bad reviews are important, and not just for the other consumers looking to make an informed decision. They are also important for your business. If you are made aware of the fact that a customer has been left with an unpleasant impression of your company, or some aspect of it, then you can take action to ensure that image is altered. In doing so, especially if the problem is handled correctly, you can turn that potentially harmful comment into something much more positive. In essence, that bad review provides you the opportunity to shine.
In a recent piece posted by Smarter Travel, some of the proposed contract text from a hotel involved in this movement was quoted as:
“In an effort to ensure fair and honest feedback, and to prevent the publishing of libelous content in any form, your acceptance of this sales contract prohibits you from taking any action that negatively impacts (company), its reputation, products, services, management or employees. Should you violate this clause, as determined by (company) in its sole discretion, you will be provided a seventy-two (72) hour opportunity to retract the content in question. If the content remains, in whole or in part, you will immediately be billed $3,500.00 USD for legal fees and court costs.”
The efforts of the American hotel chains are being thwarted. A U.S. governor has already signed legislation to stop these clauses, and the Consumer Review Freedom Act will soon be introduced to US Congress.
Remember, it is better to treat those bad reviews with an honest remorse, and to encourage others to write positive reviews based on their own experiences, rather than make an attempt to remove or ban the bad. Reputation management is important because it keeps your business looking good in the eye of the consumer, but it also provides you the opportunity to recognize weak points and correct them before the problem escalates.
Learn more about our Reputation Management Service.