How To Gain & Maintain a 5-Star Online Reputation (PART 10)
TRANSCRIPT: So we assessed, we found something negative about us, we need to address it, but we’re going to do it with specific guidelines. You need to write 2 sets of guidelines for your business, one for traditional online reviews.
Traditional online reviews are those reviews that are on traditional review sites. I put air quotes up for traditional because really, what’s traditional about the internet? The second set of guidelines is for what we call “Social media chatter.” Now, why 2 policies? Because the reviews you’re going to get on these 2 types of sites are different. One is there forever, the review site, right? The other’s likely fleeting. It’s probably not going to last very long. Social media chatter does not stay on top for very long. Now all new employees should sign off on these when they start, these review guidelines and understand how your company deals with online reviews and with social rants.
Now our social media chatter policy, we’re going to have that in place because we need to know if this is just some steam venting sniper, a typical troll, or if it’s something else, and sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. Look at these 2 reviews. These are both steam venting snipers. The one on the bottom, Victor Morales wrote, “BJ’s might be the worst restaurant I have ever been to in the Valley.” Victor got 3 likes on that, but a celebrity, Chris Wood wrote, “Shoutout to #RestorationHardware for their terrible customer service.” Is that the … Emoji or a touchdown? I don’t know what’s that. The point is if I’m Restoration Hardware, I’m going to respond to that one, okay?
For Victor Morales, that’s a steam venting sniper, that’s going to go away. I don’t know what response is going to be good there. If you want to write a response, that’s great. Be sure to stay humble or offer to take the matter offline via phone, email or even direct messaging, but don’t try to solve Victor Morales’s issue via Twitter because you’re going to get in a Twitter war. The same thing with Chris Wood, but do address to Chris Wood because he’s got followers, he’s got a lot of people liking and retweeting what he said. Let’s see if we can solve Chris Wood’s issue because frankly, and I’m sorry Victor, Chris is more important to me as a business owner.
We look at how we can tell the difference if it’s in social, if it’s steam venting sniper or a typical troll or something else, there are things that’s going to be completely something else, like I don’t know if you’ve been following Mylan Pharmaceuticals and the EpiPen but this was not a steam venting sniper, this is on Facebook. They had 48,500 people talking about the Mylan CEO, right? Then even Mark Cuban wrote, “Mylan CEO is digging a bigger hole saying no drug can ever lower their price and have the cut pass to consumers” while she was speaking on CNBC trying to get out ahead of this issue. This was something else. This was not a troll, this was not a steam venting sniper. This was a real PR nightmare for them and the only reason this has sort of gone away is not because she got out ahead of it on Facebook, not because she got out ahead of it by going on TV.
This really didn’t start going away until Mylan announced they’re going to do a generic EpiPen for half the price of the one that they have out there now, and now, unless you’re EpiPen user, you will not hear a lot about it. Wherever you decide to move with this, whatever you decide to do, when you’re going to talk to the customer, make sure that you show you understand and that the concerns are going to be addressed but keep a tally, because once social media snipers, probably not worth responding to like James Corley here. He keeps waiting for DirecTV to add @oann to their lineup. Great, James, that’s fantastic. If I’m DirecTV, I’m not responding to that but I am going to keep a tally of that, but if I am DirecTV, I am responding to Pappa Charlie’s Barbecue.
“Dear DirecTV, I called to cancel Sunday Ticket, you debit my account anyway, then I get told it will be a while before I get my money.” I’m going to respond to that one. The reason I’m going to respond to that, one is because Pappa Charlie’s has a few followers, 2100, and it’s a real issue, it’s something that I can solve, so I’m going to show that I understand, that their concerns are going to be addressed, I’m going to stay humble, I’m going to offer Pappa Charlie’s Barbecue to take it offline, phone, email or even direct message, and then I’m going to do what I can to solve it.
Now understand that social media storms are storms. This means they will pass. Don’t get excited if somebody writes something terrible about your business on social media. Don’t go trying to solve it right away. Think about celebrities or other brands that tweeted something inappropriate and got hammered on Twitter. Those that deleted the offending post and apologized and then shut up, saw the storm pass more quickly than those who tried to double down. This is a great example of that. Clorox did a tweet that people found insensitive. I’m stupid, I don’t see it’s insensitive but correct me.
There were new emojis that came out. A bleach emoji wasn’t one of them so Clorox wrote, “New emojis are all right but where’s the bleach?” Then they made a bleach bottle out of emojis. People got upset about that. They said it was racist. I don’t want to get into it, I don’t know. The point is that’s not what Clorox meant. They deleted the tweet. They did the right thing. They deleted the tweet and then they came back and apologized.
“Wish we could bleach away our last tweet. Didn’t mean to offend it was meant to be all about the toilet, bathtub, wine emojis that could use a cleanup.” That’s what they did. They deleted the offending post, they apologized, and then they shut up about it. They didn’t go any further. Some “Experts,” and I’m going to put experts in quotes here because they’re not, they say to never delete your posts or tweets. Let me tell you something. They’re not real business people. They’re not real business owners with bills to pay, don’t listen to them. If you posted something stupid on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere else, don’t leave it up there. Delete it but delete with clarity, the way that Clorox did. They didn’t act like it never existed.
We got a quick question from Heather Dye. “Do you ever suggest separating departments on social forums where one is getting negative reviews and the one isn’t?” Yes, Heather. I think maybe you’re talking about like we have a Joe’s Ford Service Facebook account and a Joe’s Ford Sales Facebook account. I would say yes but realize, consumers, they blend it all together, okay? Think about Macy’s. Macy’s has online sales. Macy’s has stores, but as a consumer, Macy’s, you know what I think? I think there’s one Macy’s. In fact, I know when my wife has bought something from Macy’s online, she’s taking it back to the store to return. There’s only one Macy’s in our mind so there’s only going to be one Joe’s Ford in our mind.
If service is doing a bad job, you could try to separate it out for sales, but here’s what we need to ultimately do. We need to fix service or if it’s sales that’s the problem, we need to fix sales. We need to go back to that step 3 and we need to take leadership and we need to start firing a few people. I’m sorry but that’s the way that it is. There are a lot of great people out there who are in mediocre jobs who would be terrific at running your service department or your sales department or your customer service department or your whatever, and you’re holding on to these other people who are just killing your business and you can’t do it.
Heather, I hope I responded to your question, I hope I answered what you were looking for on that. All right. By the way, when I say “Social media storms” or “Storms” and you should let them pass, I’m not saying do nothing but I am saying that sometimes, you should do nothing, right? For example, Eric Chase on the bottom here, he says, “@Delta I don’t think calculating an 80 minute flight time as 2 hours 20 to cover 40 minutes sitting at the gate counts as on time.” How should Delta respond? They shouldn’t. That’s going to go away. Eric’s a little mad, he wants to change the whole airline industry. I get it. I want to change the airline industry every time I fly too. They just need to let that one go, but Missy, the one on top, “@Delta still waiting to get any sort of response from the complaint I filed 2 weeks ago. When can I expect an agent to contact me?”
This is one where we need to respond… Respond within an hour. Now, if you’re watching this, this was recorded in 2016. If you’re watching this in 2017, I’ll bet you that 57%, and by 2018, 100% are going to expect a response within an hour. This is where having written guidelines becomes critical. Now sometimes you can do a little more than just respond.
Back in January 2012, I like to fix the airlines just like the last guy does, I did a couple throw away tweets. I was sitting in the Delta Sky Club in Tampa and I wanted a cup of decaf. It was about 6 or 6:30 at night and I got told by the person working the bar there at Delta that it’s too late to make decaf. “We’re not going to make decaf, it’s too late.” Wow, so I tweeted, “Can’t get a cup of decaf in the Tampa Sky Club. @DeltaRep says it’s too late to make decafe, it’s #TheLittleThingsThatMatter.” A couple minutes later, because I hadn’t vented properly, I sent out another tweet. “A pot of decaf likely cost @Delta less than $2. I could order 10 gin and tonics and they wouldn’t blink. It’s #TheLittleThingsThatMatter.”
A couple of throw away tweets, right? I was done. I was better, sort of. I got on my plane in Tampa, flying to Atlanta. We’re waiting to take off, a woman walked up in a red coat, she said, “Are you Mr. Stauning?” I said, “Yes, I am.” She said, first words out of her mouth, “We were wrong not to make a fresh pot of decaf for you in the Sky Club this evening. Can you tell me who it was who told you this?” I was floored. I told her who had said that to me. She thanked me for being a loyal Delta customer and she handed me a $12 meal voucher for Atlanta, where I was headed. This was a big deal for just getting involved personally, taking 5 minutes out of her day and $12, Delta kept me as a loyal flyer for the next 2 years.