I wanted to write a quick blog on authenticity and integrity in business, and how quickly this can be undermined.
We often talk about building trust and credibility through marketing by being able to deliver exactly what we say we can. Recently, I encountered a real-life example of how this can be destroyed and in fact turn you off any potential future involvement with a company.
My mother (bless her heart) is currently purchasing a new house, stressful enough without having my father in tow. The sale was agreed and she engaged a local solicitor to complete the conveyancing. This should have been simple as there was no mortgage company involved and no chain, meaning this was a straightforward transaction. However, after nearly 3 months and constant chasing they were no further forward, their solicitor kept saying that he was waiting on the other party.
In the end, it turns out this was a lie and the solicitor in question had been chased on several occasions for completed forms and info by the other parties’ solicitor and was blatantly lying.
Now this isn’t the story lesson, albeit it does tell you to be wary of solicitors. Ironically when they were caught out and rightfully dumped by my mother she got a one-word response to her email complaint that just read “Noted” now that’s a lesson in customer services.
My mother was furious, and felt that this poor service and attitude should be noted somewhere and crawled the internet. (god hath no fury like my mother scorned). She found others online that had lost houses, due to delays with this same solicitor and decided to write a review on the consumer website Trustpilot whose state “We’re all about consumer reviews. Get the real inside story from shoppers like you. Read, write and share reviews on Trustpilot today”
She wrote a review and posted this online. Imagine her surprise when the following day her review had been removed! In fact, after further investigation, it turns out that many others who offered a fair review of their experience had also had bad but honest reviews removed.
This poses the real question; how can we trust Trustpilot when they seem to push one message but act in another way that completely discredits their business model and unique selling point?
All businesses must operate with integrity, and it is important that any credibility you build in your business is not underpinned by something you cannot deliver or believe in. You need to be honest about who you are, and what you do otherwise at some point (like TrustPilot) you will be found out and lose your credibility, customers, and in the worst scenario your business.
Whilst I cannot cast judgment on all review sites, it does make you think about using these methods to make a purchasing decision and hope that other businesses of this nature operate with more integrity.