Although companies dealing with reviews of their business tend to focus on the negative, a survey of more than 2,100 travelers by Forrester Research for TripAdvisor has found top reason travelers write an online review is to “share a good experience with other travelers,” according to TripAdvisor’s Brian Payea. TripAdvisor has found in its own reviews that the average rating is positive – a four on a scale of one to five.
The survey confirmed assumptions that user reviews are important to consumers, as nearly half of respondents said they would not even consider making a decision without checking out user reviews first. But its findings were contrary to the belief that users primarily turn to an online review forum when they want to vent about a negative experience with a company.
Response remains key to a company’s image in online review sites, whether the review is good or bad, as nearly four-fifths of respondents said that “a good management response to a bad review reassures them” and that “a good management response to a good review makes them think highly of the hotel.” When it comes to negative reviews, three-fifths of respondents said “an aggressive management response to a bad review” will negatively impact their impression of the company.
Since positive reviews are in abundance, one negative review can easily stand out in the pack, meaning a company’s response to it is even more noticeable than dozens of positive comments. This means that companies should still hold their focus on negative reviews and how to address them, but be aware that the few bad reviews are likely to soon be buried in a sea of positive ones.