USA Today recently reported that a British couple was booted from their room at the Golden Beach Hotel in Blackpool England, after the hotel’s manager accused them of writing a negative review on TripAdvisor.
But wait, there’s more.
The psychotic manager also called the police to have the couple escorted from the premises. (No charges were filed since the couple had not committed a crime.)
No, I’m not joking.
Let’s get right down to the heart of the problem: The manager failed to give up power and control over the situation (one of the Six Currencies that Buy Credibility). As a result, the Golden Beach Hotel lost what little credibility and reputation it enjoyed.
You and I both know that customers expect reputable companies to invest the time and energy to fix problems with their product or service. That said, the correct course of action would have been to repair the couple’s confidence in the hotel by going above and beyond what’s expected. Then, let go and allow nature to take its course. Perhaps the hotel’s generosity would have prompted the couple to remove the negative review or, even better, post a positive follow-up comment.
Making the manager’s blunder even more pathetic was the fact that he failed to appreciate the permanent nature of online social systems. Sweeping problems aside hoping they’ll go unnoticed is no longer possible.
Social media has become the consumers’ moral accounting system by which to judge the actions of companies.
We are witnessing the return of reputation to the days of small town living, where word gets around in a flash and where there’s no escaping your past; where the most effective way to reward good deeds and punish wrongdoings is to affect one’s reputation accordingly.
In other words, you must now reap what you sow.
Social media places a spotlight on your company’s reputation — your most valuable currency — whether you’re an active and willing participant or not. Safeguard and grow your company’s reputation and you will flourish. Squander your company’s reputation and you, along with the Golden Beach Hotel, will find yourself bankrupt of all credibility.