I recently read an article in the Boston Globe that talked about how diners are dishing up reviews left and right on matters related to service, quality and the total experience at restaurants and hotels across the globe. These reviews are having a profound impact or revenues. I can personally attest the impact these reviews have on buying decisions. While planning our summer trip to Europe this year, we quickly dismissed countless accommodations because of poor reviews posted by recent travelers. While at the same time, we gladly spent more Euros for places that received consistently good reviews.
We live in a world where information is available 24/7. Everyone’s opinion matters! If you are in business, you can’t afford to be complacent. Yet many organizations are resting on what used to be their good reputations.
I recently spoke with an owner of a small chain of boutique hotels and restaurants. He described his frustration of receiving negative reviews for one of his properties on TripAdvisor.com. Actually he was angry with himself. You see, he decided to keep his poorly performing general manager in place because high season was just about to end. He later shared with me that in retrospect this was a huge mistake. The reviewers were correct when they commented about the decline in quality at this establishment. The property was being poorly managed and as a result, the employees were de-motivated. Service levels plummeted and disappointed guests used their fingers to alert other travelers of the conditions at this destination resort. The reviews will remain on TripAdvisor.com until the end of time, even though this manager has now been replaced and the owner is working hard to regain the trust of travelers.
I ask you to consider the following:
How many people do you have on staff that you know should no longer be with you? One is too many. Take action and replace this person, even if you have to do his or her job until a suitable replacement is found.
What are you going to do to re-engage your workforce so they re-engage with your customers? Please don’t tell me you are thinking about rolling out a program in December when funds are available again. Come December, you may no longer have a reputation to manage.
Is the economy the real reason you are struggling or are you using it as an excuse? It’s tough out there right now. However, there are companies that are doing well in spite of the economy. What else are you prepared to do in order to succeed?
Remember, your reputation is on the line and is out there for everyone to see. Everyday you have an opportunity to manage your image. Got to run, I now have to Tweet about poor service I received earlier today!
Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Human Resource Solutions
Author of the forthcoming book, Suddenly in Charge! Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around (Nicholas Brealey, January 2011)
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