In the UK, the new Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently published guidance about how UK businesses should handle online reviews – an area of particular relevance to the hotel and restaurant sectors. Many consumers are relying on the statements made in online reviews to help make their purchasing decisions (see image on left). Businesses of all kinds, from hospitality service providers to PR and social media firms, need to stay on the right side of applicable consumer protection laws.
The CMA explains more fully in its new Online Reviews: giving consumers the full picture. It states, “If your business’s website allows people to review your products or services or someone else’s, or if you work with a third party to generate or manage reviews, you need to make sure that the reviews provide the full picture to consumers. If the way you publish, present or manage reviews might mislead customers, you may be breaking the law.”
The document goes on to provide guidance about what do you need to do if:
- your business’s website publishes or hosts reviews of products or services.
- you’re a business whose products are being reviewed.
What makes this document even more helpful is its brevity – it is a single page “60 second summary” – so there’s no excuse for hospitality managers not to check it today!