Online reputation management is undeniably important. With each decade, the entire timeshare industry continues to evolve and progress. Sale programs and software now enjoy more sophistication. The community now sees more integration and cooperation. In turn, this strives to promote timeshare as a whole.
One of the biggest changes is the way that owners find information about resorts: the Internet. The Internet is now one of the best promotional tools for some timeshare resorts. On the flip side, it can be a thorn in the side of many others. Some resorts have seen their sales increase due to outstanding reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor and others. However, many more resorts have seen their rescission rates dramatically increase. Some have even seen a decrease in the amount of tours they are booking.
Because of this, proper timeshare online reputation management is paramount to being successful in today’s digital age. Consumers are smarter, savvier, and more suspicious than ever before. Before making any large purchase, they immediately look up the name of the resort. Some even search for the salesperson that is pitching to them. This can take place on mobile devices – oftentimes in the bathroom or during the tour itself. If they find any sort of negativity, they’re infinitely less likely to buy.
Online Reputation Management is a Complicated, Fast-Paced, and Evolving Industry
There are many companies out there that claim to have “expertise” in online reputation management. However, often it is not the only business that they engage in. When timeshare resorts hire an online reputation management firm, they should check how many other services the firm offers. Be wary of firms that are magazine publishers, online reputation management specialists, and wear several other hats. Due to the time and effort it takes to stay up to date on latest trends, the main focus of the firm should be online reputation management.
Many online reputation management firms claim that negative posts by owners and tour attendees should be ignored. These firms say that posts on the keywords of “scams,” “complaints,” “rip-off” and other negatives should be left alone. They believe responses will agitate posters into putting more negative content on the Internet. This is simply not true.
“If you don’t do anything about the negatives, you leave it there, for the consumer to see, on a silver platter,” says reputation expert and CEO of Reputation Maxx, Walter Halicki. Mr. Halicki has over 20 years of experience in selling and managing sales rooms at timeshare resorts in both Canada and Mexico.
“Wouldn’t you rather them see information on how to avoid scams and ways to reduce complaints? The biggest mistake we see is that timeshare resorts do absolutely nothing about the negativity tied to their name online. When they do this, and they let those negative posts sit there for days, months and even years, it makes it that much harder to force off of the first page of search engine results. The quicker they react to the post, the better.”
Consumers are More Wary and Cautious When Making Large Purchases
Therefore, they will specifically search for the timeshare resort’s name with the keywords of scam, complaints, reviews and more to see if the resort is a reputable company. Conversely, if they have bought and are experiencing buyer’s remorse, they look for people who have similar experiences. In turn, this just adds fuel to a fire that can quickly spread out of control on the search engine results for a resort.
It is interesting to note that while most timeshare resorts and travel clubs are extremely aggressive in the approach that they take towards marketing their products, the same aggressive attitude is rarely seen when it comes to protecting the way that the business looks online.
The absolute best plan of action, shares the timeshare reputation experts at Reputation Maxx, is to take a proactive and aggressive approach to protecting their image. By building up a buffer zone of positive press, it makes it much harder for negative posts to break through. If something negative does make it through the buffer zone, it will be much easier to get around it and force that negativity off of the front page. It’s important to note that most consumers do not look past the first and second pages of search engine results.