That One Bad Apple…

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The old saying that “one bad apple spoils the bunch” is a truism, and remains surprisingly relevant in the age of online reputation management.

Even if your business has consistently good service, people’s negative experiences – however rare – have a way of bubbling up on review websites. Just a handful of one-star reviews can drag your review score down into the muck of average. And it can take dozens of five-star reviews just to bring you back to where you started.

The key, then, is to head off these negative reviews before they happen.

Vendasta’s Reputation Intelligence product uses trending cloud technology to track which words are coming up most frequently in online reviews about your business. For example, in the case of restaurants, the trending cloud can track which menu items are generating the most positive reviews. If people are raving about your lamb burger in five-star reviews, you might want to put it on special. If your kitchen just can’t seem to pull off that lobster bisque everyone is complaining about, you might want to drop it from the menu before it racks up any more one-star reviews.

In rare cases, the names of individual employees come up in the trending cloud. And when they do, you’d better pay attention.

Recently, I was checking in on a luxury car dealership we work with. I was surprised to see two names appearing in the trending cloud. Let’s call them Jim and Randy.

Jim is the service manager, and people just love this guy. He is mentioned in eight reviews, all of which are four and five star. Customers raved about his kind manners, eagerness to please and his expansive knowledge.

Randy, a salesman, is another story altogether. In 10 reviews he is slammed for using high pressure tactics, and making customers feel uncomfortable or downright offended. If these customers could give Randy less than one star, they would.

When you think about it from a reputation standpoint, you’d need five Jims to make up for one Randy.

The fact is that when people write reviews, it’s usually a rant or a rave. Ordinary, humdrum experiences rarely motivate people to take the time to write a review. This is why you don’t find a lot of three-star reviews online.

If a product (or person) in your business is generating a lot of bad reviews, it’s likely time to do some damage control.

Just like that rotten apple, unless you get it out of the mix, it will spoil the bunch.


Nykea Marie Behiel

Nykea is the Director of Content at Vendasta, where she heads up our content marketing team and inbound marketing initiatives.