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There’s no such thing as a ‘Bad’ online review

There’s no such thing as a ‘Bad’ online review

 

How to turn negative reviews, fake or real into extra sales and PR.

 

There’s a lot of talk about ‘bad’ online reviews, and the negative effect they can have on a Pub or Hotel business, and, indeed many acres of print have been devoted to legal routes and fighting them. But we work with Pub and Hotel Businesses across the UK and have developed a different response that works to:

  • Reduce stress and time
  • Improve your PR whether the review is ‘good’ or ‘bad’
  • Help turn any review into extra business

These ideas have been adopted by leading Pub and Hotel operators across the UK, including former BII licensees of the year … and, by the way, they work.

So, what’s the secret and what do we do about these ‘bad’ reviews?

There are 4 steps:

Step 1: Accept that the world has changed and the customer really is in charge

  • Social media and online review sites have empowered the customer like nothing before: this is a genuine revolution in consumer behaviour, not a fad
  • Don’t swim against the tide, you’ll be like King Canute …. Pointless and frustrating.
  • Example of success: you see them every day in the news: Ebay, AirBnB, Uber etc

Point 2: Genuinely put the desire to give a ‘Great Customer Experience’ at the heart of all you do

  • In this new world, you can ONLY be genuinely successful in the long term if you change the ‘business mantra’ from:
    • ‘We’re here to make money, and we also want to be nice to the customer’.
    • To: ‘We’re here to be loved by the customer, if we do this well the money will follow, not the other way round’
  • This ‘customer communication revolution’ genuinely affects EVERYTHING you do, so you need to filter all your systems and processes through these beliefs.
  • Example of success: The Monkton Inn: small village pub increased turnover from under £1000 per week to over £12000 per week by genuinely adopting these principles

Point 3: Put proactive feedback systems in place

  • Don’t wait for the review to appear on TripAdvisor: it’s too late!
  • If you don’t actively demonstrate to the customer that you really DO care and really DO want their feedback, they’ll assume (usually correctly) that you don’t.
  • You must put proactive feedback systems in place to help them tell you what you need to know (to get Point 2 right!) These will vary according to the business, but may well include:
    • Tokens and feedback boxes (these work like magic in a pub)
    • Active Twitter engagement (customer like this)
    • Telephone feedback
    • Facebook page for feedback and engagement
    • Online systems
  • Examples of success:
    • The Bull’s Head Repton (amazingly successful pub run by former BII licensees of the year): tokens and feedback boxes
    • Café Nero: SIMPLE online feedback system

Point 4: React strongly and positively to all public online reviews: there’s no such thing as a ‘bad’ online review

  • KEY point: you are NOT responding to the individual, you are demonstrating your personality to the world – this is FREE PR and marketing, pure and simple
  • Calm your ego: customers are NOT always right (but they ARE always the customer)!
  • Respond to ALL reviews: otherwise it looks like you don’t care (This is VERY important)
  • Customers are 3X more interested in your response than the review: they know that people can be awkward: what they’re interested in is what you’re like when you respond!
  • Negative reviews are read 5X more than positive reviews: responding to these properly is a HUGE opportunity.
  • Example of excellence: The Rockford Inn, Exmoor (check out their TA reviews and responses!)

And lastly: ‘bad’ reviews: well, these fall into 2 categories:

‘Valid’ and ‘False’

For ‘Valid’ reviews, take it on the chin, ask them to contact you offline, and state publicly what you aim to be great at and how brilliantly you would have handled this complaint if it had been made direct to you at the time: Free publicity for how great you are.

For ‘False’ reviews, treat them exactly the same,

  • ask them politely and kindly to contact you offline
  • state your commitment to great customer experiences (and all the steps that you’re taking every day to make this a genuine reality)
  • apologize for what needs apologizing for, and state what you DO do and DON’T do (eg: you don’t need to apologise for not having a fruit machine if you don’t do fruit machines!) … and why this is.
  • state what you would have done if they had brought this to your attention at the time
  • reiterate your commitment to feedback and wanting to get it right for the customer
  • if you can manage it, add a little humour throughout: the reader will pick it up, and after all, pubs and hotels are supposed to be fun places!

 

  • Example of excellence: Pizzeria Delfina SanFrancisco: search for their response to false reviews on Yelp: it’s hilarious and supercharged their business.

 

If you manage all the above well, you should also get MANY more positive reviews online – that’s GREAT: it’s free marketing to the people who are interested! Fantastic!

So: there’s no such thing as ‘bad’ reviews, and, by the way, there’s no such thing as ‘bad’ feedback: it’s how you respond to it that makes all the difference.

 

 

How can we measure success?

How can we measure success?

How can we measure success? Is this not the most important question in the universe?

After all, what gets measured gets done.

So, really the answer to this question lies in another question: what does ‘success’ mean to you?

If success just means ‘as much money as possible’, then the measure is easy … you just ruthlessly measure money (and be sure not to measure the number of people you upset as you trample all over them in this ruthless request for success).

Does this situation look somewhat familiar in some of the business activities all around us?

If, however, you want to think a little deeper, and perhaps have a slightly more mature attitude to success, you might consider that: ‘money is important, it helps me achieve what I want to in life, but I also need clear purpose and passion, and, besides, I’ll only ever be truly great at delivering what turns me on’.

So, in this case, a measure of progress and passion (and how others perceive this) will be your primary measure, followed by a measure of money, to make sure it’s also taking you in a positive direction (as a strictly secondary measure).

The first measure is a long term measure of deep success, that you will leave a lasting legacy with those around you on. The second measure is just a short term measure on beans … ‘do we have enough beans to keep doing what we’re truly great at?’

Please contact us at support@salesthroughservice.com for more information on lead and lag measures, and how to use measures effectively to generate true long term success at all levels.

success

There is no such thing as a bad online review

In previous blogs we have discussed the power of feedback, and how important it is to get it right, do it obsessively, and make sure that it is done in a way that your customer engages with you, before they have left you, so that you can not only build your reputation with them, but are also given an early warning of any bad feedback that is about to go on to the public domain.

So, if you get your feedback systems right, and your business is built around the four empowering and common sense principles of ‘great or poor’ customer experience (for more information on these four principles, please search online for “great or poor” or contact us), then, whatever feedback you get, you can turn it into a business advantage and long-term sales growth.

How is this?

If you get a great review, it’s not only tells you what you are doing right, but also tells the world to trust you and do business with you.  It also gives you an opportunity to turn this cut one customer into a raving fan who will recommend and refer you proactively if you help them do it and make it easy for them.

If you get a “just OK” review, it gives you the opportunity to react to it online and explain what you are doing to put things right, (so potential customers can see that you are a genuine business wanting to excel), and you can get back to this customer and turn them into a raving fan by reacting positively to their feedback and telling them what you’ve changed and giving them a special deal to re-engage with you.

If you get a poor review, it gives you an opportunity to tell the world the truth about your organisation.  Other people like reading poor reviews much more than they like reading great reviews, so you will have more opportunity for sales building PR from a poor review.

If the poor review is fair, it’s not only gives you the information you need to stop yourself going out of business (for which, on its own, you should sincerely thank the customer), it also gives you the opportunity to react to it constructively in the public domain, so everyone who reads the poor review will see how caring and willing to engage with customers, you are.

Customers can easily accept that you can make mistakes and things can go wrong, but customers will never forgive you for not caring and not reacting kindly and positively to problems: a poor review is a great opportunity to blow everyone’s socks off.

If the poor review isn’t fair, you must assume that it is probably fair in the eyes of the reviewer and you react in a very similar way to the above: tell the viewer (and all the other viewers worldwide) what you think may possibly have happened, and how you always seek to accept feedback to help you continually learn and grow.  An unfair feedback is an amazing opportunity to react positively and show the world how emotionally intelligent you are and how they should rush to be your customer.

 

Investors in Feedback will work with your organisation, not only to make sure your feedback systems are doing the vitally important jobs that are needed from them, but also to make sure that you know how to react to all feedback, good, bad or indifferent, in order to turn every review or online comment into a PR triumph and yet another reason for customers to flock to you time and time again.