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Here’s a clever way to get GOOD Online Reviews…

By Brett Lloyd Abbott, MYM Austin Inc.

When I first got into this “marketing for pool builders” business nearly a decade ago, I knew that TESTIMONIALS would play a key role in helping homeowners choose you. We knew that “a testimonial with a photograph” would be more powerful than just a testimonial by itself. And that a VIDEO testimonial would be the most powerful of all. And the reason is obvious – a photograph (or video) of the homeowner will immediately improve the “believability” of the testimonial.

I mean let’s be honest – How much credence do you give to any unsubstantiated “plain text” testimonial that you see on any business owner’s website? If you’re like most people, the answer is “not very much.”

This is why “online reviews” are so powerful.

In fact, in a recent survey by ZenDesk, 88% of the shoppers said they were “influenced by an online customer service review when making a buying decision.”

Impact of Online ReviewsAnd in a survey conducted by consulting company Software Advice (a company that reviews and recommends field service software), 68% of the respondents said they find online reviews to be “extremely” or “very valuable” when evaluating residential service providers. And a whopping 86% of the respondents said they would PAY MORE for a residential service provider with higher ratings and reviews.

So I’m sure we can all agree that good online reviews are a very valuable thing. But what about that one “ugly” review from that wacko nut job who simply could not be satisfied? What can we do about that?

Well fortunately, most people who see 10 glowing testimonials and one unreasonable rant will tend to discount the comments from the lone complainer. But what if you don’t have 10 great reviews to overcome the lone complainer? Well, that’s where you’re going to get into trouble if you don’t take action.

Think of your Online Reviews as NITROGLYCERIN.
And that can be very GOOD, or very BAD.

That’s why I want to show you a clever way to get as many positive online reviews as possible – so that you can ameliorate the impact of that one “lone whacko complainer” who is messing up your online reputation.  It works like this:

First, you should be conducting an official “thank you” meeting with every new pool client, like I’ve been telling you since way back in 2009. After you’ve finished your “walk-through,” and you’re just about to leave, you say:

“Hey – can I ask you a question? If someone were to ask you what it was like for you to work with us, what would you tell them?”

If they rave and say great things about you, then say the following:

“Wow, I sure appreciate that. Tell me – if I were to send you an e-mail with a link to click, would you mind saying that online for us somewhere?”

Presuming they say “yes,” then as soon as you get back to your office or a computer, send them the following e-mail:

Suggested Email:

Dear <whomever>,

I’ve really enjoyed working with you, and I appreciate the kind things you said <the other day, whenever>. If you truly don’t mind saying those kind words online, I would certainly appreciate it. (Our marketing guy tells us that “online reviews” are apparently a pretty big deal.)

To help us out, just click any one or more of the following:

Yelp:<yourcompany> (click the “write a review” button at the top of the page)
Google:<yourcompany>. (click the pencil to write a review)
AngiesList: and search for “<yourcompany>”.

Thank you again. And please call me if you ever have any questions, or if I can be of any further help to you.
Best regards,
<your name>

Before I wrap up, let me CAUTION you about ANOTHER approach I’ve seen which I think is a BAD idea.  The concept is that you send an e-mail (or create a webpage) where you ask your clients to “Click here if you’re happy” and “Click here if you’re unhappy.”  In theory, it leads the happy people to your online review pages, and encourages the unhappy people to “call you.” But you’re putting nitroglycerin in easy reach of EVERYONE, including the crazy wacko nut jobs who just want to ruin you.  And that’s the LAST thing you want.

When it comes to on-line reviews, I suggest you take a little more time, and take a little more personal ownership, and manage it exactly as I’ve described above. TAKE CARE of that nitroglycerin!

To your success…

©2015 Brett Lloyd Abbott / MYM Austin, Inc. May not be used without permission.

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