Who says that social media ratings are crucial to your company’s success? Everybody says so, but the truth is more nuanced than what “everybody” says.
Yes, social media ratings are powerful testimonials. And not only am I a big fan of those sites, as you read on you’ll see I’m also a big fan of sharing the names of great service providers.
When MANA moved from California to Illinois we needed to hire a moving company. The low bidder’s online reviews were pretty much summed up by one writer who concluded “I have never been given the runaround so much by a company in my life.” Game over. NorthStar Moving Corporation had great Yelp reviews so I signed up with them and got spectacular service.
When a family member needed to be able to summon help from a neck pendant 24/7/365, I checked Angie’s List and found very reassuring reviews for Lifenet Alert Systems LLC. Jacques Aboaf was very knowledgeable about his product and extremely compassionate when a family member’s illness weighed heavily upon us.
But I would never look at online reviews for an auto mechanic or a plumber.
Because when the dealer who sold my father his car told Dad that he needed new struts to cure the squeak in his car, we got a second opinion from Mike Hynes at Hynes Auto Service. Mike’s diagnosis? A dab of grease on two parts that were rubbing together. Mike’s price? “For a dab of grease? No charge.”
Because when family members’ sewers back up Bob Connelly at North Town Sewer Service comes immediately and even gave my father an unsolicited senior discount after Bob had already performed the work.
I have no interest in online reviews for auto mechanics or plumbers, because I have a trusted relationship with Mike and Bob — the kind of consultative relationship many customers have with manufacturers’ representatives they’ve known and relied upon for decades.
That’s how a manufacturers’ representative can be more powerful than 100 five-star Yelp reviews. When I have a few successful transactions with a provider, I have no interest in the opinions of 100 sincere strangers on Yelp, because IGAGFT (I’ve Got A Guy For That or I’ve Got A Gal For That).
That’s the power of manufacturers’ representatives who have earned a trusted consultative relationship with their customers — and why those customers are not interested the opinions of strangers, even 100 of them, because with a manufacturers’ representative IGAGFT.