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
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)