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Instantaneous Critics Part 1

Identifying, Managing and Resolving Your Online and In-house Reputation

THUMBS UP THUMBS DOWN IMG HOSPITALITY BLOG100. Back in the day this was the average number of people word-of-mouth networking would reach. A customer would tell 7 friends, who would share the story with another 7 friends, and exponentially a 100 potential customers would hear about the experience.

2,400,000,000. This is the amount of people online (as of 6/1/13) who have to the potential to hear your customer’s broadcasted message. Today if a customer has a positive or negative experience in your organization, they can communicate an instantaneous and powerful message via social media that will reach numbers that will cause your head to spin! TripAdvisor alone sees over 260 million unique visitors to their site each month. That’s a lot of people checking out reviews about your brand.

So what is going on? Why should you be concerned? People are having conversations about your brand regardless if you are listening. Social media is generated by consumers through blogs, message boards, product review sites, YouTube videos, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and the list is ever evolving. Customers routinely use these sites to post great and not-so-great comments about your brand.

If you are doing most everything right in terms of customer service, social media will be an asset to you. If you are not, it could be damaging to your reputation. Today, the customer is finicky and fickle. They want what they want and they will complain when they don’t get it, or have a perception they have been wronged. The current economical environment creates certain demands from customers that most of us haven’t seen before. Today you have options to engage in a conversation with your customer to learn from their experience, and it’s the resolution of the customer’s concern that can truly make a difference for your business.

When a customer is parting with their hard earned money, they expect great service, value and a positive experience. When these elements do not work in balance, or parts are missing, the customer will not hesitate to complain to their “virtual friends”.

Part 2 of this blog shares a customer service interaction between CompuUSA and a blogger, and you will be interested in reading how the exchange wasn’t exactly handled correctly.

Jan M. Smith is the Founder and Principal of Inland Management Group, a Human Resource Consultancy located in Temecula, specializing in the Hospitality and Service industry. You can contact Jan at (951) 302-6483, www.inlandmgtgroup.com, email at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at Temecula_HR, and become a Fan on Facebook