Marketing Tips If You Think Online Reviews Don’t Matter, You’re Delusional
…That’s right, I said it.
In 2018, business live and die according to their online reviews.
Prior to the advent of the internet, if you attempted to return a sweater you purchased at your local store within their allowable time frame and they refused to honor the refund policy, you really had no recourse and few options.
Sure, you might file a report with the “toothless tiger” otherwise known as the ‘BBB.’
Perhaps if you were really, really, crazy, you’d elect to picket in front of the store with a big sign proclaiming; “THIS STORE TRIED TO RIP ME OFF, DO NOT BUY HERE!!”
Let’s be honest though, you weren’t in any position to harm that establishment and you had no leverage. Essentially, you were screwed (pardon the uncouth expression, but I couldn’t think of a more definitive one).
Not so, in today’s digital age.
Nowadays, if there is even a perceived injustice on the part of a consumer, all that person needs to do, is go online and excoriate the establishment with a nasty review on any number of powerful and heavily trafficked reviews sites relevant to their business, and that public flogging will cause irreparable harm and financial damage.
This reality should scare the hell out of any business establishment with an online footprint and visibility.
The bottom line is, if your online reputation stinks, you’re in a whole lot of hot water.
Nowhere is this more apparent and critical than in the healthcare sector, where a nasty online review for a Skilled Nursing Facility, isn’t quite the same as a nasty online review for a nail salon.
What? You don’t see how there might be a difference?!
Here, let me show you:
Nasty Nail Salon Review posted to Yelp:
“OMG, they totally chipped my nail and I had to be embarrassed at my friend’s wedding!! Arrrrgh! I’ll never go there again!”
Nasty Skilled Nursing Facility Review posted to Yelp:
(THIS IS AN ACTUAL REVIEW) “My Dad was admitted to facility X for rehab, where he promptly contracted C Diff after just 4 days. After not being notified of his condition for several days, we finally heard about it when he was already on the way to the hospital from the facility in severe septic shock. When he was admitted to the hospital, the doctors were horrified that he could be re-admitted to the hospital from the facility in such condition after only 4 days. They called it “abuse” and “neglect.”
My Dad died at the hospital 2 days later from a combination of dehydration, sepsis and renal failure, all due to the neglect of this “nursing facility.”
IF YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR LOVED ONES AND DON’T WISH TO SEE THEM SUFFER AND DIE, DO NOT SEND THEM TO (FILL IN THE BLANK).
Now do you understand the difference in the optics of the two reviews above?
I THOUGHT SO.
Shh..I have a secret for you, but don’t tell anyone…
I too, used to think online reviews didn’t matter.
Then I transitioned from selling diamonds and jewelry, to providing healthcare to elderly, infirm and compromised patients in a skilled nursing setting.
I was taught by a mentor par excellence what it means to really care for people and to really care about (and take pride in) one’s reputation.
The first time our facility got blitzed with a nasty online review under my watch, it hurt me to the core of my being.
It felt like a nasty kick in the gullet and I never saw it coming. The review was completely undeserved and yet, it stung like hell.
It bothered me terribly that someone could lash out like that with total defamation, libel and slander cloaked in the guise of a legitimate “review.”
I recall feeling overwhelmed and powerless.
Then I decided to fight back by building love online and generating legitimate positive consumer reviews for the company I loved.
That’s what we did.
You could do it too.
There’s a science to it.
Wanna know more?