Remember the good ole days?
The ones before the internet, mobile phones, and review sites? Like Yelp. And when a customer got upset about something, they brought it to your attention, and you or your manager dealt with it right there on the spot.
And if they walked out upset, they typically only told a few people. It didn’t have that much of an impact on our lives or our businesses and didn’t hurt your chances of attracting new customers to your business.
Fast forward to today, and BAM things are A LOT different, aren’t they? The power is for sure in the hands of your customers. Now, most of them don’t even say anything to you or your staff if they aren’t happy. They just walk out of your restaurant, auto repair shop, or retail store and tear you up online. On Google, TripAdvisor, Zomato, Facebook, and especially YELP!
And ever since the pandemic, things have gotten worse, not better. Now your customers are hypersensitive to everything inside your business.
I’m wearing one, why aren’t those other customers?
My server wasn’t wearing a mask, I’m reporting you!
No one is social distancing!
Why is your staff wearing masks? It makes me uncomfortable. Aren’t they safe?
I saw her play with her hair then grab my plate!
The table is dirty!
They didn’t sanitize my chair correctly!
These are just some of the reviews we manage for our clients. I’ll save the real juicy ones for later. But there is a definite trend to what we are seeing among customers posting reviews online since a year ago. There seems to be less of a middle ground meaning the 2-4 star reviews. They are either a 1- or 5-star review. The good ones are very good, and the bad ones are really nasty.
One point I want to make here is- I have been monitoring, managing, and marketing reviews for our clients for over 6 years, and something you have to be very careful about is making decisions in your business based on one or two nasty reviewers.
Avoid making complaint-driven decisions.
Yes, you should pay attention and know what people are saying about your business. Because in today’s world, you really don’t need a secret shopper. Your customers will let you know what they like and believe me what they don’t like about your business for the entire world to see.
That’s not what I mean. What I mean is, don’t make major decisions changing the way you do business based on a single negative online review. We look at trends over a period of time- keywords and phrases that are continually showing up in your reviews from your customers. Feedback is important but look at it in context and as a whole with other feedback from your staff as well.
I’ve seen too many business owners get way off track and very upset to the point they want to hunt the person down that left them a 1- star review on Yelp because they didn’t like their steak. Don’t be that person. It’ll give you high blood pressure and maybe a premature heart attack, and I don’t want that for you. I’m sure that 1- star review on Yelp isn’t representative of the majority of your customer base. Or you wouldn’t be in business.
So, what do you do about it?
Watch my short video this week for some proven techniques: