What Neapolitan Pizzerias Can Teach Us about Online Reviews

I'm a pizza guy. And by that, I mean pizza is the best food on the earth. It's how we know God loves us.


There is no better pizza in the world than that made in Naples, Italy. It's where pizza as we know it began in the 1800s.


My wife and I just returned from a vacation to Naples. While we were there, we ate at the six highest rated pizzerias in the world.


All of them were extremely good. One, however, stood out above the rest: L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele (da Michele for short).


Da Michele has been making the same two pizzas (yes, they only make two) for over 100 years. They are exceedingly efficient (each pizza takes about 2-3 minutes from start to finish), friendly, and cheap. And the pizza is like nothing you've ever tasted.


The whole experience at da Michele is about as frictionless and pleasant as possible. They have mastered one thing and do it better than anyone else on the earth.


What we can learn from da Michele's online reviews?


So, what does any of this have to do with online reviews?


Well, as you can imagine, da Michele has online Google reviews -- last count, over 1100. They're overall rating: 4.3.


Yes, a 4.3 overall rating for the best, most efficient pizzeria in the world.


While the vast majority of the reviews were 5 stars, there were some 1 stars and 2 stars. Some people were simply not satisfied with the pizza or the line to get in. As I read these reviews, I thought they were completely misguided, the product of a culture that finds pleasure in nitpicking and cutting others down in order to feel important. But my opinion of their opinions doesn't matter. What matters is there were negative reviews, and some extremely negative reviews.


Moral of the story: You can be the best in the world at something, give it to people at a very fair price, and do it more efficiently than anyone else, and there will still be people who complain on the internet and give you extremely poor ratings.


Take Away


I think we have to accept that we won't be able to please everyone. No matter how well we do what we do, there will be those who take to the internet to complain about something, anything.


Don't worry about those people. You have to realize they are going to happen. Like Tony Robbins says: weeds grow automatically.


What you can do is cultivate your fans. Do everything you can to ensure they post online their positive feelings and experiences.


Create a system and make it easy for your fans to give you positive online reviews. Then, experiment with your system until you get a good flow of positive reviews, then tweak it some more. This will be one of the most important things do in today's business environment.

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