Quick Review-Getting Tips for Your Business
At our national convention this year, one of the big messages throughout many of our sessions was the importance of online reviews. Not only do they tell potential customers how awesome you are, but they’re now one of the #1 looked-at sources of information on a businesses’ trustworthiness and level of service. They’re also a HUGE player in how your business can get found online.
Getting Reviews Can Be Simple!
At convention, we introduced several vendors that all offer services to help you get reviews that will improve your online presence. Of the lot, one of my favorites was Podium
, and I’ll explain why.
When it comes to getting online reviews, you need to either catch people in the emotional moment of satisfaction, or remind them of it. One of the best tactics I’ve seen to get reviews is doing it in the customer’s home directly after the cleaning is done and you’re performing the post-cleaning walk through.
In a nutshell, Podium offers an app on your phone that allows you to send a text message or email link to the customer right away. When the customer opens the link, Podium’s software scans the phone to look for active logins like Google and Facebook, giving them a seamless way to promote reviews on the site you want most. You also get a dashboard that tracks reviews and flags any negative responses that may require your attention.
It’s really a neat system that coordinates some of the key activities at key moments. And, since Podium is a PAP, they’re offering Chem-Dry franchisees a special discount on their services. Contact them at www.podium.com
and mention that you are with Chem-Dry and reap the benefits of this useful tool.
If you want to do a home-spun version, here’s a quick tip that you can use in your customers’ homes to get more reviews.
Create a Short URL
That’s right. A short URL allows you to share a specific webpage with a customer without taking a ton of space.
This makes it perfect for use in a text message, tweet, or even a Facebook message.
You can use any service you like whether it be Bit.ly, Ow.Ly, or Goo.gl to do it. But the principle is the same – it’s easy and it takes up less space.
I recommend Bit.ly because you can create a free account that allows you to make custom URL’s (that you can name), and also see tracking/analytics on the links as well.
Here’s what I mean:
Get Your Link
Do a quick Google search for your company by name. Go ahead. Open a new tab and do it now. Here’s one I did for one of my wife’s favorite restaurants:
You might have to scroll down a bit, but you’ll see on the right hand side of your screen a “Write a Review” button.
When you click on that button, a new URL will appear in the address bar up at the top of your screen.
Highlight it, and copy it (Ctrl+C).
Now, open up a new tab in your browser and go to one of those URL shortening tools I mentioned earlier. I’ll show you Bit.ly.
Make it Short
Now that you’re on Bit.ly (I recommend creating a free account. It only takes a minute.), click the “Create Bitlink” button.
Now you’ll paste the long URL from your Google “Write a Review” button. It will look something like this:
The link will automatically shorten to something looking like this:
Now, you can be done here if you like. That link is yours and you can track it easily.
Or you can take it one step further – Customizing it so it appears more official to your customer.
Highlight everything after the “bit.ly/” and start typing something short, but custom. Your business name, for instance. If you plan on doing this for other sites like Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, or others, you may want to add some sort of letter or number code to the end so you can keep track of it.
In this case, I added “Goog” to the end to let me know this is the Google link.
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Now that you have these incredibly useful links, you can use them to invite customers for reviews. It’s easy.
As you’re wrapping up your work and getting ready to reload your equipment, you approach your customer (who’s probably been on their phone a considerable amount of the time you were there) and say:
“Hey, Mr./Mrs. Brown, could I send you a quick text message with a link to leave us a review?”
Since you most likely already have their phone number from when you booked the appointment, I’d bet 8-9 times out of 10, they’ll agree. Simply type in the number, paste the link with a message like “Find us on Google here: ______________.”
I’ve seen a dozen or so cases where this has resulted in a 5-star review by the time you’re driving away. The biggest reason this works, is because you’re doing it NOW versus in a follow-up e-mail or phone call (not that you shouldn’t do those).
You can be strategic about which links you send to your customers.
If you notice that Mrs. Brown is using an Android device, there’s a good chance that she has a Google account, so you may want to send her the Google link. There’s a lower chance of success for Google if she’s on an iPhone.
You can also ask if they have a preference. Say something like “Would Google, Facebook or Yelp work best for you?” A regular Yelp-er will opt for that because it helps their standings.
Your business needs reviews. It’s a key strategy to winning online business and gaining the trust of your customers before they ever pick up a phone.
- These vendors and methods are just tools. You only get value out as you use them.
- Near the end of every interaction you have with your customers, invite them to rate their experience by leaving a review.
- Whether you hire a vendor or do it yourself, the bottom line is to DO IT.