How To Get Customers To Give You Good Online Reviews

-: So Mark, I know I do this today, where before I hire a contractor, or even other service provider, I make sure I look up reviews on that person if I’m able to do so. Where should contractors focus on getting their name out there and having positive reviews? What’s the process in doing that? -: Well, my favorite, I’ll call it Reviews 101, is if I type your name into Google, on the right hand side, if you’ve set Google up correctly, a picture of your location, your web, there’s information Google’s gonna call out on the right hand column. And right there, it says Google Reviews. So my first choice would be to say, to encourage somebody, “would you go to Google Reviews and give us a review?” Because that’s, even before I’ve come to your website, now I can see oh, there’s 15 five star reviews here. You know? So that would be my first choice. -: And I think that’s free too, right? -: Yes.
-: Oh. -: That’d be my first place if I was trying to direct somebody. And then, it depends kind of on, I guess your community and your business. I mean, you can get a person to do it on Yelp, you can get them to do it on Facebook. It kinda depends on your community and what else you’re doing. If you’re strong on Facebook, then I would wanna do it on Facebook. And then I probably would also copy those, if somebody put a nice review, I would copy that and put it on my website. Many contractors have a pitch book that they’ll go in, when they’re doing in-home selling, and they’ll show about their company and examples, so I would have a page, of here are nice things people have said about us. So, repurposing things. -: There seems to be a lot of these home improvement lead generation sites out there, like Angie’s List and Thumbtack, and there’s reviews on there. And some are free and some are paid. I mean, I’ve heard pros and cons of those sites from at least our customers, our contractors. What do you think about those? -: You know, I think this is a, whenever I go to a contractor trade show, I’m amazed how many companies are exhibiting there, not selling products, but selling lead generation. To me, it’s a whole new area. It’s kinda still the wild west. And I think that I would cautiously keep an eye on them. I think you can do things without them. I don’t think it’s settled in about who’s going to, a lotta these companies aren’t gonna be in business a few years from now. Somebody will survive. I don’t know who that is. And you can step in whenever you need to. But I think you can do so many things yourself today. I first always wanna say, “What can I do myself without having to write a check?” Let’s get those done first. Okay, now spend some money if you still need more inquiries. -: If they get a negative review, what are some followup actions they should do? -: Well, one is to not freak out, not come unglued. Probably the more successful you are, the more that chances are that’s going to happen. I’m assuming you’re a good business and you did your best, and you can’t please everybody. And so, you could have a negative review. So, first thing is to just calmly, don’t overreact. Some people really think the world has come to an end, and do stupid things. Just calm down, think about it. Then contact the person. Ideally, you can do it by phone. But have a conversation with the person. And then, if the review is in a place where you can respond to it, then put your response. And not blaming them, but, a great place to see how this is done well is a website called TripAdvisor. And so, when you go look at hotels, good hotels, you will see where somebody has either a positive or a negative review. The hotel manager will respond to an, “I’m sorry you had a,” whatever, and he’ll have an explanation. Maybe, “I’m glad you pointed that out to us, “I didn’t realize we had been doing that.” Or, “I’m sorry that the heat wasn’t on,” or whatever the issue was. So, in fact, you know, I don’t know how most people are, but when I look at like TripAdvisor, if I only see five star reviews, I don’t trust it. Somebody had to have a bad occasion. And so it’s kind of like, everybody thinks they would love to have all five star reviews, but I’d like to have, every once in a while, somebody, it wasn’t exactly perfect. Think it provides credibility. -: I remember seeing those responses on TripAdvisor, that’s a great example. Is there anything the contractor can do before they even get the negative review in the first place? Like they may have a sense of, oh, they’re not happy. Like, client’s not happy. -: Many contractors are not, let’s say, they don’t take that extra people person step. So they come in, I did the job, I did a good job, you paid me, goodbye. Right? And they’re professionals, right? And in today’s world, the customer, many times, is used to, “Now, let me walk you through what we did. “Is everything satisfactory? “Did we clean up?” Whatever the issues are, that you walk through with them, give the customer a chance to point out something they’re not happy with, and even if they are happy, to leave a thing, “If there’s anything you’re unhappy with, “please contact me, here’s my card.” So often that doesn’t happen, and so the consumer doesn’t have the feeling that you care. And so they’re going to go there to be heard. -: Yeah, in our experience, doing, so taking that extra step really helps alleviate all that downstream stuff. -: If there is a problem, which sometimes there will be, they will first contact you before trying to get your attention by saying something negative online. -: Makes sense.

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