While it is only a small percentage of matched leads that can potentially get matched with vendors without a strong reputation (since matching happens based on verified reviews in the platform)--it can happen on occasion which is why we have always cautioned against vendors without strong reputations on Hotel Tech Report from accepting matched leads (see: Tips Before Getting Started with Leads).
The first thing HTR's users are likely to do when matched vendors reach out is lookup the vendor's profiles on HTR and if they don't see a strong reputation they aren't likely to be interested in following up meaning its a bad experience for them, a bad experience for the vendor.
This is why we recently deployed an update so that now only vendors with strong reputations on Hotel Tech Report will be able to access matched leads.
What is considered a strong reputation?
You must have a minimum of 25 reviews. 25 is the golden number when it comes to consumer/buyer trust of profiles on reviews websites. Please remember that this is in place to protect buyers and help ensure that you are setup for success when HTR connects you with leads.
💡Need help collecting reviews? Learn more
Why can't vendors without a strong reputation connect with matched leads anymore?
The short answer is that it is a bad experience for users, and vendors without strong reputations on HTR are not likely to be successful with matched leads anyways making it a bad experience for vendors as well (both of which hurt the HTR brand so its a lose-lose-lose!).
Remember, matched leads did not ask to connect with your brand specifically the same way that direct leads do, but rather said that they are open to connecting with recommendations for providers in your category. Therefore while it is only a small percentage of matched leads that get matched with vendors with weak reputation, it does happen on occasion. The first thing HTR's hotelier users are likely to do when matched vendors reach out is lookup your profiles on HTR so:
- It is a bad experience for our users (hoteliers): Matched leads ask HTR for recommendations and opt in if they are willing to connect with HTR's recommended vendors based on the data in the platform. That said, the first thing most HTR users do when they are contacted by a potential match is check their profile. In cases where matches didn't have strong reputations we had some hoteliers reach out frustrated that they were contacted by a vendor with a poor (or no) reputation on HTR (understandably so)
- Vendors with bad reputations were getting frustrated: While we had hoteliers frustrated as mentioned in #1, we also had vendors who were contacting these leads frustrated that the leads didn't want to speak with them. We had to then explain that we advise against connecting with matched leads until their reputation was stronger and even so, many continued to connect with hoteliers and then they get frustrated the hotelier didn't want to talk to them.
- Negative brand impact to HTR: As much as we want to drive as many leads as possible to our community, ultimately trust with our users is our top priority so we decided that we couldn't take this risk anymore and had to block vendors without strong reputations from being able to access matches. While the system is automated and crowd sourced based on reviews, when users come to HTR to ask for recommendations if we connect them with vendors based on reputation who don't have strong reputations--we lose trust with buyers and it hurts the HTR brand.
✅ The solution: Make sure your product has at least 25 reviews to unlock matched leads and be able to connect with in market buyers looking for solutions in your category.