Everybody wants to have a squeaky clean reputation, and nobody likes a bad review out there for the world to see. As much as we all would dearly love a perfect online reputation without one bad review, yes, you CAN have too much of a good thing.
Now, you might think that perhaps I have way too much time on my hands because I like to do google searches for cleaners in random cities, just to see what comes up. But there IS method to my madness, I learn a lot about how Google’s search system works, and I learn a lot about reviews and reputation systems and how they work too. Well, also, don’t forget, I offer reputation management services too (disclosure).
Recently, one of my random searches brought up a cleaner with a VERY interesting search result. There was the usual link to his web site, and his Google My Business page came up. There was also a link to a review web site, and this review website was showing hundreds and hundreds of reviews. But what was so interesting was the LACK of reviews on other review web sites such as Yelp, Google Reviews, even Yellow Page reviews.
Let me sum up….
o Drycleaning Review site: 300 plus glowing reviews
o Yelp review web site: 3 reviews of which 2 are filtered and not recommended
o Google Reviews: None
o Yellow Pages (YP.com): No Reviews
Does this look a little fishy to you?
There are companies out there offering online reputation management services that offer review systems that can solicit and filter out bad reviews, effectively stacking the deck so you look absolutely perfectly amazing. Hey, it is your prerogative if you only want to hear good news. But, like I asked, doesn’t it look a little fishy that the other review web sites have little or no reviews? You can rest assured any potential customer that is researching drycleaners that they might want to patronize IS going to come across the same data I did, and red flags are going to come up.
Look, nobody is perfect. Mistakes happen. Customers and potential customers are not seeking perfection. And when a customer or potential customer comes across a really skewed online reputation like the cleaner I found, you bet they are going to be wondering if perhaps there might be some effort to game the system going on.
Fake news is all the rage these days. People are VERY skeptical about what appears to be too good to be true. Trying to stack the deck and come across as perfect can bite you in the butt and end up costing one business because people will assume it’s too good to be true and go elsewhere.
We, as cleaners, tend to think that customers are looking for the perfect cleaner, and thus, that is exactly the online reputation we try to create. But, the reality is, most customers want assurances that when something DOES go wrong, you’ll do the right thing and make the customer happy.
Let’s take a look at another industry and see if perhaps we can learn something from it. Let’s use the automobile industry and the cars they make. Most car manufacturers make a car that will in all likelihood break down, that’s why many car dealerships have a mechanical bay to fix cars that do break down. Car manufacturers also don’t make or sell a car that will never crash, and again, there are autobody shops to fix crashed cars. The warranties offered on cars are to not only alleviate fears that the investment a customer makes buying a car won’t be lost to break downs and expensive repairs, but those same warranties give a customer confidence that their car will be restored to working condition when it DOES break down at little or no cost. See what the automobile industry is doing? They are not trying to make the perfect car that does not crash or breakdown, they are assuring the customer that when their car does go for wonkies, it will be fixed!
So, it really doesn’t help you to have all these glowing reviews that my clothes came back spot free, or didn’t smell of cleaning fluids, or my whites are so bright I have to wear shades……I’m really sorry, but this is what ALL cleaners should be doing.
I rarely see a review where something went wrong and the customer says: my cleaner went above and beyond to get my (insert garment here) replaced, repaired, or made it right for me. I’ve been a cleaner, I know we make mistakes, and it’s really vital that we cleaners start to let the world see that we do stand up for our mistakes. We need the occasional blemish so that we can demonstrate to the world just how we DO go out of our way to keep our customers happy. These steps will go a long way towards restoring our entire industry’s reputation with the customers we serve.