Ever watch someone under 30 book a hotel room? They fire up the internet and go to a site like expedia.com or hotels.com and do a search of the city they are traveling to. Then they narrow their choices to a handful of hotels that fit their budget. Then the fun really starts. People who have spent the last decade on the internet know how to get the most out of it. No 25 year old is going to trust that 4-star rating that Expedia gave your hotel. They don’t believe that your hotel was ‘hotel of the year’ for the last five years as stated on your website. They are going to see what actual people (well, internet people anyway) have to say.
Their decision to stay at your hotel starts with a quick review of your website. Does it have a pool? Check. Steakhouse? Got it. Gym? Ok. They take your hotel into consideration. But is it better than the hotel down the street that has similar rates?
A quick Google search will tell them what they need to know. They read the reviews on tripadvisor.com. Maybe they check out yelp.com or read your Yahoo Travel ratings. Oh, Mary from Iowa says your staff is rude and your food is lousy. Three people say that your hotel lost their reservations and two people say that they were overcharged during their stay.
You just lost a reservation.