Your reputation is the cheapest and most powerful lever you have to get more jobs.
92% of your customers read online reviews.
Google uses it as part of their ranking algorithm.
It's a major factor in determining if you get called or your competition.
When it comes to online marketing, most of the talk is about website conversions, getting on page one, or paying for leads. But ranking all over page one will do you no good if you have a weak or poor reputation. It can drag down all your marketing efforts by wasting conversion opportunities and sending your customers to your competitors.
Even if someone is referred to your business they will see your reputation. To get your phone number, most people will “Google you” and your ratings are displayed in your listing. Plus, studies have shown that over 43% of referrals deliberately seek out and read your reviews before calling you. If the reputation isn’t up to their standards, they will call someone else who does.
It’s a no-brainer. More 5 star reviews, more business.
Easier said than done.
The big challenge is getting people to take the time to leave reviews. Although 92% of people read reviews only 10% leave reviews. And that is if you ask them. Nicely, of course. And, don’t forget, you have to make it very, very easy.
To help with this, several review automation services have emerged in the past 5 years to help with monitoring and asking for reviews. This certainly has made a difference, however it didn’t solve the problem.
The fact is, you can have all of the best tools in the world for generating online reviews but still fail when it comes to consistently driving 5-star reviews.
There is hope. When working with restoration companies that have a great online reputation they have one thing in common. They focus on getting reviews every single day.
Here are the 3 key principles they use (and you should emulate) to get more reviews, get the positive recognition you deserve and become the clear “go to” leader in your marketplace.
Weave Online Reviews Into the Fabric of Your Culture
The companies that get the most reviews make it a written goal and make it a point of focus.
You know you need to train your techs to provide a world class customer experience, but if you never follow up with them or praise them for their efforts, they will lose focus.
Set aside 5 to 10 minutes each week to focus on your customer service and online review-getting process in your weekly team meetings. Track how many reviews that each tech receives, the ratings they get and share the results with the whole team.
It’s been said we get more of what we celebrate, so read some reviews out loud. People are very motivated by this form of public recognition, so invite someone to the front of the room and recognize them. (Don’t underestimate the effect it can have.) A contest with a bonus could be mixed in as well.
You should also have your tech share his or her insights and then spend a few minutes to discuss best practices.
Leverage Personal Communication to Increase Your Review Count
As mentioned earlier, there are many automation tools that can be integrated into your process. The key is to look at it as a way to supplement your efforts and not rely on automation as your only way of asking for reviews.
In short, add a “personal touch”.
Your technicians and staff members need to specifically have a conversation with customers about their satisfaction level and if they would be willing to leave a review.
Write a script and practice it with your staff. It should convey 3 main points.
Confirm the customer is happy with their service.
Let them know that they should expect a text and email requesting a review.
Mention that reviews get read aloud at meetings and it would mean a great deal to the whole team if they would take a minute to leave a 5 star review.
In addition, have a staff member call to check in with the customer after service is completed. Use this same framework to help reinforce this personal connection as it relates to reviews. They can also ask if they need help getting the review online and walk them through it on the phone. (Sometimes people are willing to leave a review but get confused by the tech.)
This more than anything else, helps drive online reviews.
Acknowledge and Respond to Every Review
Most companies don’t respond to reviews. And some only respond defensively or apologetically to negative reviews. Positive reviews are largely ignored. To fully leverage the power of your reviews you should write a response to all of them.
Imagine the warm effect this creates as your potential customers not only read reviews but see a personal response to each and every one. This attention to detail and personal touch can be the thing that compels them to call you.
And it’s very easy to do.
The first step is to have a monitoring system that notifies you of all reviews. Most of the online review systems today include this “alert” feature.
The next step is to have someone on your staff login to the review sites and reply. We have a series of pre scripted templates that can be used to cut and paste. All that is needed is a small tweak to personalize the message.
Everything counts when it comes to online reviews, so make a determination to implement my recommendations today.
If you follow these simple steps you will be on your way to becoming the number most reputable company in your local area.