How To Gain & Maintain a 5-Star Online Reputation (PART 4)
TRANSCRIPT: So that takes us to step 3, right?
We gauged the buzz, we determined the voracity, now we’re on step 3. We need to repair or replace the issues, we need to find out what the issues are, and this is leadership, folks. Leadership can make all the difference and I want you to understand something. For those of you business owners out there, don’t take this personally. It’s essentially a lack of leadership that got you the bad reviews in the first place.
It really is. See, legitimate concerns have to be solved. We do have to solve legitimate concerns and it’s going to take leadership to do that but we have to do them for “realsies” this time, right? We can’t just hear the words from our managers, “Yeah, we fixed that” or “Yeah, we fixed that, boss. Don’t worry about it,” because covering up issues isn’t possible with today’s connected customer anymore.
In other words, and you can have this saying and you can say you made it up, fix yourself before you nix yourself. That’s what repair and replace is all about, that’s what this step is about. You need to repair, retool, replace or rehire to solve legitimate concerns. When I talk about rehiring, I mean firing people, okay? This means taking actual steps, actual action, actual steps. Now it sounds drastic but this is the most important step. For some businesses, a single bad manager can cost you everything.
Remember what 4 bad reviews can cost you. 4 negative reviews can cost you up to 70% of your potential prospects. It’s that important, and by the way, without this step, without repairing and replacing what’s going on, you’re just treading water at best.
No matter what you do online, no matter how many people you pay to post nice things about you, you cannot escape who you are offline. Again, there are too many consumers out there who have too many places to vent. You cannot control the conversation forever. Listen. Consumers can see through online BS. They absolutely can, so let’s take a look at a few examples. Should I repair or should I replace?
This Google user at this Chinese restaurant left a 2 star review. “Not worth the price. It was just okay. Have to pay for pop refills.” This is an easy one, isn’t it, right? Let me tell you a few things. Don’t be stupid or cheap. When we’re looking at repair replace, remember, one negative review can cost you 22% of your business. I know this Chinese food restaurant. They have a pop machine or a soda machine, depending on what part of the country you’re from, or Coke machine if you’re in Georgia. They have a Coke machine and so it’s not like they’re serving cans, they shouldn’t be charging for refills. They got a negative review because consumers want free refills in a restaurant, so this is an easy one. I can repair this. We’re going to give free refills.
Even if we have to raise the price from the $1.29 they were charging to $2.29 per soda, no one’s going to be mad about that but they are going to be mad if they have to pay for refills, so don’t be stupid, don’t be cheap, don’t misplace your loyalty, right? Don’t misplace your loyalty with some sort of manager for example.
Here’s this one. This is a one star review. “The absolute worst dealership you could possibly buy from. Everything about them was fraudulent, most of the cars have some type of issue, and their 30 day warranty is just for show. They will drag the time by giving excuses like the shop is closed today or come back tomorrow, it’s busy.” Folks, if this is a true review, if this is a true review about your business and you’re the owner, you care about this business and you don’t want these reviews, don’t misplace your loyalty. There is a manager at your business who needs to be fired. That’s what repair or replace comes down, and realize it’s the little things that matter. Realize that everything is connected. If somebody has a bad experience with X, it means that you’re bad at Y, right? If they have a bad experience in service, it means your sales team stinks.
In this case, this hotel review, this is crazy. I don’t know whether to repair or replace, but look at this. “This hotel is awful. We had 5 room all together for our family and the staff was rude and not helpful. The rooms were not clean, there were cockroaches in 2 of the rooms and also a dirty bloody bandage. The area is terrible as well with noise all through the night and we were unable to sleep. I would never recommend this hotel to anyone.
Folks, they can’t change their location, all right? Let’s all agree to that. They’re in a bad location, they’re going to have that, but certainly there are some things that they can repair, right? They can make sure the rooms are clean, they can make sure there’s not a dirty bloody bandage. They can hire an exterminator. They may have to fire a manager or two, but understand that all of these little things added up to where they got the worst review ever, right?
Everything’s connected when we look at all of these things. Here’s another one and this is a tougher one. You’re going to see these sometimes as the owner.
“I have 2 completely awful experiences with these people. Multiple employees made racist and sexist comments to me and when I told them what they said was offensive, they agreed that their comments were racist/sexist but that I shouldn’t be offended. Basically, they told me that I was the one who had the problem,” and it went on from there. Think about this. If this is your business, if people read this, it’s going to cost you more than 22% of your business. This is an easy one, okay? This is an easy one. This was happening in someone’s service drive at a car dealership. This proves everything’s connected. It’s going to hurt you on the sales side as well. I’m going to investigate this. Step 2, once I determined it’s true, step 3, I’m doing some firing.