Some Hotels Getting Pushy About Good Online Reviews

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by Alex A. Kecskes

At some hotels, the days of the "Customer Comment" sheet are fast being replaced by high-pressure tactics in pursuit of good reviews. Lately, a few hotels have been pressuring their guests to give them a positive write up online—sometimes even before they've checked in. The practice known as reputation management encourages customers to post their experiences online to bolster a hotel's reputation.

TripAdvisor, the largest and one of the most credible online review sites, frowns on the idea of pressuring guests to write positive ratings. The site's policy, which has been in effect since 2006, states that property owners are welcome to encourage their guests to submit user reviews upon their return home, but they are not allowed to offer incentives, discounts, upgrades, or special treatment on current or future stays in exchange for reviews.

Quality hotels refrain from asking guests to write positive reviews of their experience online. They simply ask that they post a review on either TripAdvisor or, and they typically make the request as part of a thank-you note e-mailed after their stay. The best hotels have long realized that clever marketing gimmicks and forced reviews are no substitute for hard work and attentive service.

Tactics like these are among the many things you should be aware of as you advance in your hospitality career. It's always better to work for an organization that prides quality service over fancy marketing. For the "top of the mark" in hospitality employers, check out the Top 10 Best Luxury Hotels.

I've stayed at a number of hotels and I've always trusted the advice and suggestions of friends who have actually lodged there. Online review or no, there's no substitute for first-hand experience.

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Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients.

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