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It only takes one person to trigger an avalanche of online brand destruction. Such an ‘avalanche’ can and inevitably does open the floodgates to exponential increases in the volume and circulation of negative commentary, mostly found on Social Media and Review websites.
SeaWorld experienced this first hand when Harry Styles of One Direction voiced his opinion surrounding the documentary ‘Blackfish’, and that his fans should “avoid SeaWorld if they like dolphins”.
During the months before Harry Styles made his mark, SeaWorld was receiving on average 500,000 mentions per month, of which approximately 50% were negative. Within 24 hours of Harry Styles urging his fans to boycott SeaWorld, the mentions where at over 2,500,000, of which approximately 90% contained negative sentiment.
The share price of SeaWorld has been in turmoil since Blackfish was aired, and then recirculated by CNN, but took further damage when the Harry Styles incident occurred.
While not every business will be shunned by the lead singer of a boyband or involve animal cruelty groups and scorching documentaries, the same concept applies throughout any industry or business type. Furthermore, online review sites are increasingly taking away traditional physical feedback systems, reducing the ability of firms to engage in service recovery protocols.
Ten years ago, Hotel GM’s might review an unsatisfactory feedback card, greet the customer and recover the service. Now, technology and websites such as Trip Advisor are the forum of choice for both positive and negative feedback, which is great if business are aware, however, most are not.
Service breakdowns are unavoidable, even with the most experienced operators and businesses. While at first, these experiences can be detrimental, they can also offer hidden opportunities to bring a customer closer to you. In some cases, the Service Recovery Paradox can work to your advantage, in that when service recovery is done well, the customer becomes even more satisfied than if there was no cause to complain in the first place.
So, how does this play with Trip Advisor, the internet, negative sentiment and reviews?
Well, it is now commonplace for negative reviews [truthful or not] to be published on Trip Advisor, without response or reply from business owners. Left untreated these reviews can fester, gain circulation, trigger an avalanche, open the floodgates and even ignite a Harry Styles scenario of your own.
While a large percentile of business owners see online reviews as being detrimental to their business, we see and encourage business owners to take advantage of these moments by engaging in adequate service recovery. We have found that in most cases, businesses who engage in online service recovery protocols stop the flow of negative reviews. Conversely, those businesses who do not apply service recovery protocols are often subject to the open floodgates effect.
The key to all of this is having the right systems in place to effectively monitor your brand mentions online. The internet is vast and isn’t just comprised of one site named Trip Advisor. If your business can’t afford a full time monitoring employee, there are plenty of solutions to be found in external service providers.
Published by Internet Removals, Gold Coast. More information contact Internet Removals on 1300 039 196.