As our team is formalizing some niche segments with unique reputation issues, one of the unusual models of reputation is within businesses that have an inherent percentage of alienated consumers.
Casino reputations are one such example. Regardless of who visits the casino, a certain percentage of the consumer marketplace will always lose at the gambling table.
There are other business models like this:
- Limited seating concerts: if you have ever been “Johnny come lately” to performance, you have probably experienced at least one instance of feeling left out and alienated when the doors closed right in front of you. While many individuals simply walk away and try again another time, a small percentage of people turned away at the door lash-out and demand specialized attention. Even after jumping through a few extra business hoops and offering additional value, many businesses find angry prospects complaining online.
- High-risk financial funds: if you knew anyone with an investment portfolio through 2007 to 2010, there were probably a few times when you saw some numbers on your monthly statement you weren’t especially happy with. In times of stress and high-monetary value, many investment consumers take our the frustration against brands, analysts and investment firms for lack of performance.
- Premium vs economy models: (airlines are famous for this) – every consumer wants fair and equitable treatment, but some models of business have preset levels of service that the community at large doesn’t always agree with. The most common example is airlines who have 1st class, business, and economy levels of service. The perceived value of service vs the delivered level of service in these cases is often exaggerated and causes a high probability of online complaints.
An excerpt from our casino reputation page details some other issues:
Casino reputations are particularly interesting, as the entire model of many casino braands has transformed from games of risk into family event destinations. When it comes to where we choose to take risks, reputation has always been a key influencer for controlling where consumers spend hard-earned dollars.
As unique niche properties, Casinos have the basic challenge that a percentage of customers will loose at the table. This isn’t due to the lack of integrity by the casino, but the perception of gambling is that casinos need to provide honest and fair terms. If the perception of the digital consumer is influenced to indicate the casino or its executives are dishonest, the entire business model suffers painful revenue losses.
When businesses are operating in high-risk scenarios that require complex customer service and management structures, our team at SMR is immediately alerted to potential areas of business impacts that can occur in the online marketplace.
After reading this, give some thought to the actual business model and process structure. You should give special attention to your top ten percent and bottom ten percent of clients. In many instances, the bottom ten percent of your clients should detail the prospects that you didn’t service (either through choice, business model, or circumstance.)
When examining the top/bottom ten percent, create a simple bullet list of pros/cons for each segment and ask yourself these two questions:
- Does this pro/con get communicated online?
- What can we do to prevent a bad item from becoming more severe, or leverage a good component as a free exposure tool?