Operators Struggling With Social Media Shaming

Jim Luff
Posted on June 12, 2019
Don't let your reputation on social media go "SPLAT!" (Flickr.com photo by Blogtrepreneur)

Don't let your reputation on social media go "SPLAT!" (Flickr.com photo by Blogtrepreneur)

There is no doubt the Internet has created a place to shame merchants of all types. However, this industry tends to be dragged to the public whipping post more than others. This includes clients airing your dirty laundry on social media sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor.com, Google, and literally tons of other corners in cyberspace.

It isn’t just the clients who are slamming operators. Former employees are taking to review sites like GlassDoor and Indeed to air the internal dirt on many companies. Look at these sites and put in the names of some of the biggest players in the industry and you will see how they shamefully treat their employees.

Operators who farm orders out to affiliates and don’t pay for that work in a timely manner can find themselves in the ultimate shaming Facebook group, Deadbeat Affiliate Limo Companies. Some big names appear in this space and sometimes it is shocking to see who doesn’t pay their bills. Once they appear in this group, payments tend to get flowing. It also can force operators to reveal hands they may not have wanted to share.

A well-known and respected NLA board member was recently pulled through the mud over slow payments. But there are extenuating circumstances delaying payments, but any excuse offered will come off sounding like lip service and excuses when there is a valid reason for the delay.

The biggest bashers of the industry come from the customers who use transportation services. They usually stem from what I like to call Limo Rides Gone Bad. In many cases, one small incident snowballs into a huge shaming. Perhaps your chauffeur was late to the pick-up. After 29 years in this business, I can tell you a late arrival can quickly escalate into the following complaints: The vehicle was dirty, the chauffeur was rude, the air conditioner wasn’t cold, the bottled water was warm, and on and on. If the vehicle would have arrived on time, there would be no complaint at all.

I also believe since the industry consists mostly of small operators who have never worked for a large corporation specializing in hospitality, the decisions they make don’t reflect the type of service and treatment a Marriott or Hilton might provide.

When the checkout time of a hotel is 11 a.m. and I don’t leave my room until 11:30 a.m., I have never been charged an extra day. However, I have been charged an entire hour of service by a small limo company for going 10 minutes over. This is the type of petty decision that scar the industry and invite shaming.

Operators sit in glass houses these days. A public shaming can be right around the corner from your clients, peers, or employees if you fail to do the right thing. Act accordingly and believe every action you take, decision you make, and job you perform has the potential to become either a shaming moment — or a raving “five-star” compliment.

Related Topics: affiliate networks, bill paying, client feedback, customer service, Facebook, Jim Luff, LCT blog, money, networking, operations, social media

Jim Luff Contributing Editor
Comments ( 1 )
  • Debbie Havlik

     | about 3 months ago

    This really makes you stop and think, sometimes people need to be reminded there is a human behind the business and none of us is perfect. Social media unfortunately allows people to confront without responsibility!

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