To Yelp, Or Not to Yelp.

The world is becoming more open and connected with the help of technology and networks. The net generation, people ages 11-30, is changing the world in more ways than we might think. Don Tapscott explains how not only does the net generation communicate and collaborate with their friends, but globally through the internet.

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Don Tapscott explains that there are four principles to an open world, openness of collaboration, openness of transparency, openness of sharing, and openness of empowerment. Openness is defined as, “lack of restriction; accessibility.”  Openness of collaboration regards to the openness of boundaries from companies. This leads to the second principle of transparency. Transparency is the communication of information of a company to stake holders which includes customers, employees and business partners. This requires that the company is naked and allows others to find out what is going on even if the information is accessed through leakage. The open world allows access to information that could make or break a company. This encourages companies to produce good products and have good value and integrity to build trust with their stakeholders. The third principle is sharing, whether that be research, data or giving up assets to help humanity. Industries should share their information to help others and create an open world. The last principle is empowerment which includes knowledge, intelligence and power. With knowledge comes power which creates freedom within the open world. Don Tapscott’s principles can be integrated into every industry whether it be the medical field or the hospitality industry, these principles will aid in creating the open world that we strive for.

The hospitality industry succeeds solely by the level of satisfaction of their customers. For example, if you go to a new restaurant one evening for dinner and the service is unsatisfactory, the food is just not great and the bill cost you a fortune, you will probably never eat there again. You will also probably tell your friends and family not to eat there because you had a bad experience and do not want them to go through the same thing you did. It may take a while but this restaurant will probably go out of business because people will either try it for themselves and not return, or they will not even go there once because they have heard bad things about it and do not want to waste their time and money. If only there were a way to see if a restaurant is worth going to before you try it yourself, you could save yourself from disappointment.

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In 2004, two men founded what is now the global company of Yelp. Yelp is a crowd-sourced business review and social networking site. This site has eased the fear of not knowing the best restaurant in town or knowing what the rest of the world thinks about the restaurant down the block you have been dying to try. According to Wikipedia, “The site has pages devoted to individual locations, such as restaurants or schools, where Yelp users can submit a review on their products or services using a one to five star rating system. Businesses can also update contact information, hours and other basic listing information or add special deals. In addition to writing reviews, users can react to reviews, plan events or discuss their personal lives. According to Sterling Market Intelligence, Yelp is “one of the most important sites on the Internet.”“The next question is, does Yelp really affect the success of a hospitality business? The answer is absolutely yes. This video explains how Yelp impacts businesses.

Yelp can either help your business thrive if the reviewers like you, or hurt your business if the reviewers are not a fan. As stated in the video, Yelp often falls victim of fraud. The company has attempted to sort out authentic reviews from fraudulent ones but the system is not perfect. This can cause customers to question the integrity of some reviews. Fogel and Zachariah conducted research on Yelp reviews and concluded that trust impacts a customers buying habits. “With regard to online reviews, brand trust reliability that the brand can satisfy consumer needs mediates the relationship of reading online reviews with willingness to buy the product [12].” (Fogel & Zachariah, p. 55)

Overall, Yelp, along with many other similar social media sites will inevitably impact the hospitality industry immensely. The ease of access to reviews has already impacted how people choose where they will spend their money and how hospitality industry workers act. Knowing that you have the potential to be reviewed may affect your attitude and care of customer satisfaction. Yelp is a great example of how an open world will change the hospitality industry.

This video is a funny example of how some people take Yelp very seriously.

 

4 Principles for the open world. (2017). Techxb.com. Retrieved 26 February 2017, from http://techxb.com/4-principles-for-the-open-world

Wilson A. Grown up digital: how the net generation is changing your world. International Journal Of Market Research [serial online]. January 2010;52(1):139-140. Available from: Business Source Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 26, 2017.

Fogel J, Zachariah S. Intentions to Use the Yelp Review Website and Purchase Behavior after Reading Reviews. Journal Of Theoretical & Applied Electronic Commerce Research [serial online]. January 2017;12(1):53-67. Available from: Business Source Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 26, 2017.

Yelp. (2017). En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 26 February 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yelp

 

 

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