Internet Ratings Matter: How Many Stars do You Have?

By Donald Cooper

A recent survey shows that 70% of people look for Social Proof before doing business with a company. For millennials the number is 84%. So, what exactly is Social Proof? It’s simply the process of checking on the internet and social media for proof that your product, advertising and marketing claims are true. In other words, people trust what others say about you much more than what you say about yourself.

One of the most accessible and familiar forms of Social Proof are the reviews and star rating of your business on Google. The maximum number of stars is five. Any rating below four out of five is a killer. How many stars does your business get on Google? Have you ever looked? Have you read the reviews? How many stars do your competitors get? Have you done anything to correct the negative things that folks have said about you? Your target customers are paying attention to this stuff – perhaps you should too.

While doing some online research on the lawn care and snow removal industry recently, I came across a company named Five Star Landscaping and Snow Removal in Waterford, Michigan. A great name but on Yelp, they get only one star out of five and 21 scathing reviews. You can’t screw people around anymore. They’ll get back at you – and they’re more believable than you are.

To complicate matters, there’s another ‘Five Star Landscaping and Snow Removal’ company, just 30 miles away in New Haven, Michigan, owned by a different person, that gets 4.5 stars and mostly brilliant reviews. How two companies in the same line of work, just 30 miles apart, end up with the same name is a mystery to me. It makes no sense.

So, what specific things will you do or fix to deserve and get at least a 4.5-star rating and many glowing reviews from your customers on the internet and social media? When will you start this important project? And, who will do the work?

Here’s something else to think about:

Quote of the week: “We should all take what we do seriously. People are counting on us! We just shouldn’t take ourselves so seriously. We all need to lighten up. The world needs more silly. Less stupid but more silly!”

Quick Business Tip: In today’s hyper-competitive world, you have four clear competitive choices. Pick one:

  1. Offer exclusive or extraordinary products, services or experiences that ‘grab’ your target customers and make it not all about price.
  2. Make it all about price and then develop the business model and world-class operating efficiency required to win the ‘low-price’ war profitably.
  3. Offer quality products and / or services, be competitively priced (but not necessarily the cheapest) and then out-serve, out-market and out-hustle your competition.
  4. Be mediocre, struggle and fade away.

So, which of these four strategies will you choose?

That’s it for this week. Stay safe. Live brilliantly!

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