Like a constellation of praise, the little stars that represent restaurant and hotel ratings tell us we’re looking at something special. We do the same in business, from dry cleaners to daycare, choosing companies because their reputation for value spells excellent service.
But in these super-charged, 24/7 information-overload times, more often it’s the personal experience rather than the professional review that tells us what’s worth our money. I was recently planning a birthday dinner for a friend, talking to a colleague over coffee about her new restaurant, when a young man at the next table leaned over and said, “Don’t go there! The food is overcooked or too cold. The staff ignores you and it’s way overpriced.”
Amused, I thanked him and figured he’d had a bad experience, as a high-end restaurant couldn’t be that bad. But it was. Even worse, the manager was unsympathetic when I mentioned the problems. Multiply my experience, and the young man’s, by dozens of others, all with Twitter and Facebook friends, and you know how far our no-star ratings could spread. Kudos from your professional colleagues are great, but have you checked with your customers to see if they rate your service as five-star value?
How do you ensure that your customers think your product or service is top-notch?