Do your competitors have a better reputation than you?

This is the sort of stuff that used to keep me up at night. Especially post Covid when there is going to be a service revolution.

A better reputation could mean that they had more referrals from satisfied customers, thus ensuring both loyalty and growth.

They also could charge more for their product or service, as it is seen as premium in their respective sector, with testimonials to match.

The hospitality industry has been dealing with this for years and review sites are culturally ingrained into the business, so much so that it is now a Key Performance Indicator for managers.

However, this can apply to any industry. Your reputation is searchable online, and a footprint will be created if you like it or not.

Customer experience is important whatever your sector, so it is time to take it seriously.

There are many review sites and along with social media leave a footprint of your business. In some respect this can be very demotivating, and some comments can be seen as very unfair. However, it is how the customer feels and that must be acknowledged.

If it demotivates you, then it will demotivate the team. There are even review sites for companies that staff can leave feedback for. You cannot escape it.

When you look at the top 50 best employers in the UK on Glassdoor, Bella Italia (8th) has a better reputation than Facebook (10th), Majestic Wine (19th) has a better reputation than Waitrose (42nd). It may even be a surprise that both Greggs and Disney are 48th and 49th respectively.

These employee advocates also translate into customer advocates and create what Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles call ‘Raving Fans™’.

Raving Fans are the holy grail as they have experienced service so great that will happily tell everyone for free, just how much they love your company.

So where to start?

•First and foremost, you need a company vision that the board has bought into.

•Complete review of the whole operation. It is important to carry out some route cause analysis and use an  external company to do this without prejudice. It is often surprising what is found.

•Learn, Communicate, Change and Train. You need to be honest, understand the lessons and implement  the change. This will never work without buy in from the team.

•Have a customer experience strategy and forensically understand every aspect of the customer journey. It will be easier to pinpoint focus in the event of any service failures.

•Be there for the customer. Things go wrong but be publicly seen to put things right.

•Solicit feedback. Sometimes asking customers to review and then acting on issues raised.

•Do not be obsessed with competitors. You are striving to be the best you, not a second version of them.

•Review constantly. Service expectations are fluid, be agile so you can adjust if required.

These things can be difficult to implement if you are in a traditional sector that has never managed customer or employee experience before. If you do require any assistance, then please contact GJC Advisory who would be more than happy to discuss ways it can help you with your companies’ reputation.

Remember, you can’t change one negative review. However, you can hide it with 10 positive reviews. As long as you have been seen to try and put things right.


Written By: Scott Everest