Are guest review sites to be trusted?


Are guest review sites to be trusted?

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Guest review sites are a bone of contention within the hospitality industry. While there's no doubt honest feedback can be utilised by hospitality businesses to improve their offering, if the integrity of the reviews are called into question, it could make the whole process redundant.

TripAdvisor is one of the most popular guest review sites on the market, averaging 455m unique visitors every month. In order to maintain their integrity, a team of moderators make it their business to examine questionable reviews and the site uses automated tools to help flag potentially shifty content.

However, sometimes unscrupulous reviews can slip through the net. Just look at VICE journalist Oobah Butler and the way he boosted a fake restaurant - aka his garden shed - to become TripAdvisor's top-rated restaurant in London, simply by gaming the website with fake reviews. In fact, he even reveals in his article that he was once paid to submit fake reviews to the site.

Of course, this is quite an unusual case where someone who knows the tricks of the trade has gone above and beyond to fool the website. By and large, TripAdvisor is a valuable tool for hospitality businesses to gauge how their offering is received by their guests. However, it is just one source of insight and should by no means be solely relied upon to direct strategy.

Instead, savvy hospitality operators understand that gathering data from a variety of sources is the best way to gain an accurate picture of the guest experience. By blending insight from review sites with that from other sources, such as a branded website for guest feedback or brand standard audits, operators can put together a more balanced view of what's working and what isn't.

We have the technology and services to help you manage your guest experience in the most effective way, ensuring you gain greater control over communications and consistency while doing so.

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