The hotel industry attracts more online reviews than any other sector, research carried out on behalf of marketing agency RAPP has found.
Some 45% of the 2,029 customers surveyed said they would write to recommend a hotel, while 43% would write to criticise one.
Consumers were more likely to write about a hotel online than a restarant, bar or club, broadband telephony provider or cable/satelline TV provider.
The survey also showed that 80% of customers will use online reviews before making a purchase, and 62% will change their minds about a product as a result of a bad review.
Consumers are becoming more aware of their power, with just under half saying they would write a review to “actively influence” how a company deals with its customers. A total of 56% of people said they would write a review to make sure others don’t make the same mistake.
RAPP customer experience director Gavin Hilton said: “Word of mouth is no longer the preserve of the young and internet savvy. It’s now ubiquitous.
“Companies need to have a strategy with impact, both on reputation and ROI, not just for cosmetic purposes.”
The research was undertaken by YouGov between November 30 and December 2 2009.