How To Gain & Maintain a 5-Star Online Reputation (PART 2)
TRANSCRIPT: So let’s dive into it because you know what?
Because we don’t know what we don’t know, the first step we need to do is we need to gauge the buzz, we need to find out what’s happening, we need to figure out what people are saying about us, but let’s start by throwing away the cookie cutters, okay? Every industry is different and every industry is evolving. Every market is different and every market is evolving, and I’m talking about reviews here. Every business is different when it comes to online reviews and every business is evolving, so you have to gauge the buzz in your industry about your market and about you before you execute your own reputation management plan, so where should you start? Okay, let’s start to gauge the buzz where our customers are at, right? Where are they talking about us?
They’re talking about you on Google, right? We’re going to do reviews, we’re going to look at Google reviews, we’re going to do a Google search. They’re talking about you on Yelp. They’re talking about you on Facebook, they really are, and they are probably talking about you on some industry specific sites, like if you’re a car dealer, maybe they’re talking about you on DealerRater or Edmunds or cars.com, and if you’re a hotel they’re talking about you on TripAdvisor, right? These industry specific sites, if you don’t know what they are for your industry, they’re going to come up in your Google searches as you start to do your reviews and you start to gauge the buzz about your business.
Now some of you might be saying, “Well, Steve, we’re not on Facebook.” Yes, you are. You’re on Facebook. Some companies have avoided social media because they don’t want to leave themselves open to attack. If you sell to the public, if you care about your online reputation, understand this. You are being talked about on social media, you do have a Facebook page, you really do, so you need to take control of it, all right? This is a real Facebook page. This guy, whoever owns Northwest Plumbing Solutions probably doesn’t know that there’s a Facebook page out there, so if you haven’t already done this, and I hope you have, but this is really basic stuff here, where it says “Is this your business,” you need to claim your Facebook page by clicking “Is this your business?” It’s in the top right. You need to click that link.
You need to be part of the conversation. You need to drive perceptions of your business to the extent that it’s possible to do so. All right, now let’s gauge the buzz. Let’s look at what we might look like on Google. Let’s go ahead and do a clean cache Google search. That’s how we’re going to gauge the buzz. Now what do I mean by clean cache? I mean that you’re going to get rid of your history, your browsing history on Google and you’re going to search for your business the same way a customer would, like I looked up a pantry restaurant in Santa Fe. I typed just into Google, I started to type “Pantry restaurant.” It threw up the rest for me. Google figured out what consumers are looking for. This is how the typical consumer would find, this is exactly how the typical consumer would find the pantry restaurant, then we’re going to explore the results, we’re going to dive into them, right?
I need you to focus on the 3 types of results. The positive, the negative, and the mediocre, because in this stage right now, we’re gauging the buzz about our business. Now as we gauge the buzz about our business, you need to breathe, okay? Because you’re going to start to read negative stuff. You need to resist the desire to fix everything or to lash out right freaking now. Your gut got you here and your gut will not get you out of here, so let’s take a look at some online reviews and this is how we’re going to gauge our business. I’m reading this one and somebody in Moses Lake, Washington wrote about this restaurant. “Worst food ever,” and they had a lot of bad things to talk about. The orange chicken, rice, noodles, everything. They’re really mad. The owner of this restaurant might want to lash out at them and attack them. That’s not the way to do it, they need to take a breath.
How about this one? Let’s zoom in on this one. “Just got done looking at a car out at their dealership. Manager agreed to sell me the car for 13,500. Took me inside to fill out the credit application. As I was halfway through filling it out, the manager came back in and stopped me and told me the price he agreed to sell it for wasn’t going to work. What a joke of a dealership. Beware, they will try to change terms on you.” Think about this. If you’re the manager at that dealership, you probably don’t believe that’s completely true and your gut says, “This guy’s a liar. I’m going to tell him what’s really going on.” Relax. In this stage, we’re only gauging what people are saying about us, okay? Let’s look at a couple more.
This is one on Facebook, they got this dealership’s getting beat to death on Facebook. They have almost as many 1 star reviews as they have 5 star reviews. It’s time to read these things, it’s time to focus in on these things. “Worst restaurant in California.” How would like that title, “Worst restaurant in California?” You have to find out what people are saying about you. This one says, “Just horrible. If you like the food here, you should open a Long John Silver’s. I actually like Long John Silver’s, but hey, more than anything else though, as we start to gage the buzz, let’s focus in on the trends, okay? This is where your reviews on sites like Yelp will really help out. Yelp actually does a decent job of showing you your trends over time.
If we look at the one on the bottom left, that’s a restaurant that has great trends. They’re trending above 4 all the time. They had a little dip in July but look, they came back in August. I’m going to focus on their trends. If I own that restaurant, I’m going to find out what happened in July and I’m going to take a look at that and read the negative reviews in July. Now it looks like we already fixed the problems but I’m going to focus on the trend, but what about that car dealer? Look at that car dealer and then we’ll zoom out on it. That car dealer has 242 reviews on Yelp. Look at their trend in 2016. Their average rating, it’s above a 3, it’s 3 and a half of those 242 repairs, but if we look in 2016, they had been below 3 on their average Yelp rating 3 of the last 4 months. They have issues. They need to be proactive and get out ahead of those now before they bring their entire Yelp score down.
That’s why we’re gauging the buzz, that’s why we’re going to pay attention to the trends. Now it’s important to start to tally up the negatives. You need to group the negatives by department, by shift, by day of week, and ask yourself, “Are the issues isolated to just one department?” If I’m a car dealer, are my issues in service or sale? Is it just one person? A lot of times, and I’ve seen this with car dealers especially, and restaurants, you’ve got one waiter, you’ve got one service adviser, you’ve got one person who is really generating most of your negative reviews, so let’s group it by department. Let’s group it by shift, by day of week, by person if we can. Let’s also group these reviews by the negative, by issue type, right? Multiple consumers express the same issues with you and you’re going to need all this organized for the next 2 steps, so this is still step 1, we’re just gauging the buzz about you.