Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Car Hire Clanger: Read this story - it may apply to your business

A HelpHound staffer recently took a break in Spain. Like millions of others every year, they hired a car. So far, so very normal, so what can we learn from their experience? Well, let's work backwards from the email they received today...



...and?




...and?



Oh! Now we're getting somewhere. So what did - does - this business look like on Google?



And this...



By now you are probably asking some questions, 'Why did you rent from this horrendous outfit?' for instance. 'You are in review management, for goodness sake, don't you believe reviews?' 

The answers to those two - perfectly valid - questions are manifold, but we will try to simplify them...

1.  Pretty well all the car rental companies in this location look similarly horrendous when you read their reviews. None of them have engaged in any form of proactive review management. They are mostly stuck in the old CRM feedback loop - perversely giving a massive opportunity to the first car rental business that does engage!

2.  The business has about 300 negative reviews on Google and 75 on Trustpilot. Now we are not saying those customers did not have genuine cause to write those reviews, but businesses with massive put-through are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to review management. We estimate that this business has about 100 customers a day - that's at least 15,000 a year (allowing for the off-season) and they have 375 negative reviews in total. If all those reviews had been written in the last 12 months they would equate to less than .03% of their customers - three in a thousand. 

3.  The nature of the business: 90% of their customers arrive on only on day a week - Saturday ('change-over' day).

This does not mean to say there is no solution. That solution, as ever, is to engage. Ask customers for a review. Combine this with rigidly enforced service standards at obvious touch-points (pick up and drop off) and the business should start to look a whole lot better on Google.

The review management solution - because, make no mistake, looking as bad as this in search is deflecting significant business - is to be proactive. Use a moderated reviews solution (not the old-fashioned feedback one you have seen at the top of this article) to invite reviews, first to the business's own website and then to Google. 

The result: happy customers will begin to post reviews in numbers while unhappy customers will still have an effective channel for their views. But the business's score will go from where it is today...

...to...


...to...




...and maybe even ultimately (assuming it is a well-run customer-focussed business) to...


And then it will know the meaning of the words 'effective professional review management' and impact that has on a business's bottom line.





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