Posted by Rich Harshaw on January 6, 2017.
Like 92% of the population, I read online reviews about something before I consider buying it.
This especially goes for big-ticket items like remodels, vacations, and vehicles.
So when I wanted to take my wife to a Cancun resort last year, I went to TripAdvisor to scope the online reviews of the different establishments.
When I plan vacations like this, I only consider resorts with at least an 80% (four out of five stars) rating. I’m spending a big chunk of change, and I want my money’s worth.
So I found a beach-side resort that ticked all the boxes I wanted: fun stuff to do, exotic location, all-inclusive, and the necessary rating I require (it had four stars with over 2,000 reviews).
I booked the resort two months in advance and went on my merry way.
Flash-Forward Two Months…
We arrive at the lush tropical resort, ready to relax and have fun.
But turns out that, within those two months in which I booked the trip and when we arrived, the resort began a MAJOR construction project.
In the words of Homer Simpson… D’OH!
Instead of being greeted by the soothing sounds of ocean waves crashing onto the beach, we were met with the obnoxious, ear-splitting cacophony of jackhammers crunching into concrete.
Instead of breathing in the salty sea air, I sucked up two lungful’s worth of construction dust every time I inhaled.
Instead of opening the window shades in my room to experience the beautiful tropical view, I had a construction worker’s butt crack staring back at me.
By the end of the trip, I looked something like this:
If I had looked at the resort’s reviews within those two months, I would have seen a ton of new reviews complaining about the construction. And I would have canceled and booked a different resort. But I didn’t.
Oh, well. Live and learn.
Here’s what YOU can learn from my excruciating excursion.
Like the vacation industry, home improvement is a fluid business. CURRENT reviews are critical.
When I looked at the resort’s TripAdvisor page yesterday, the reviews painted an entirely different picture from when I booked it over a year ago.
Sure, some people are still giving it good reviews (they must have been far, far away from the construction site). But many of them now mention the STILL ongoing construction as a turn-off.
This leads me to a few questions for you…
Are there any companies you compete against that were good last year… or the year before… that are now terrible? And would their reviews tell that story?
Odds are, you do.
And trust me when I say people ALWAYS put more stock into current reviews than old ones.
If prospects see that a contractor has negative recent reviews, they’re going to look for someone else—period. Those shiny five-star reviews from one or two years ago won’t help.
But if you have a bunch of great reviews consistently pouring in, it can work wonders for your business.
That’s where ORM comes in.
With ORM, the good reviews pour in fast and furious… while helping to prevent any negative ones from being posted for all the World Wide Web to see.
Find out more on our ORM webpage. (Also, make sure you use our free Online Review Scanner for an instant snapshot of your online reputation across multiple review websites.)
P.S. Okay, our Cancun trip wasn’t ALL bad. Besides the resort construction, it was actually pretty great. We visited the Mayan ruins in the ancient city of Coba and did a cenote tour of the local underground caves and lakes. I don’t have the pictures on my computer, but here are a few photos I found online of the Coba ruins we saw:
Posted by Rich Harshaw on December 16, 2016.
Imagine you just completed a project for a client.
They compliment you on your work and tell you how great you are.
Now, what’s your reaction?
Probably to acknowledge the compliment and say “thank you,” right?
It would be rude not to.
So why don’t you respond to your clients who leave you good reviews on the internet?
Not only is it polite, but it’s also a great way to squeeze some extra mileage out of your online reviews.
Basically every major review website—Yelp, Facebook, Google Reviews, etc.—gives you the ability to respond to your customers’ reviews.
Regrettably, most companies use this feature only to respond to bad reviews.
Don’t get me wrong.
Responding to negative reviews is very important (more on that in a second). But responding to positive reviews also provides massive benefits.
- It shows you have a real person at your company keeping up with the feedback you’re getting (which shows you care).
- Inserting a keyword (service you provide + the city) into your response can help your SEO.
- Your responses are indexed by Google, thus helping you land higher in search results.
My good buddies at Service Champions respond to practically all of their positive reviews. In fact, the owner responds himself.
Take a look…
As you can see, your response doesn’t have to be long or involved. An acknowledgement of the review along with a “thank you” works well.
If you’re swamped, you could even have someone at your company write your responses for you and quickly review them before your employee posts them.
The process is oh-so easy… and oh-so beneficial.
But what about responding to negative reviews? Does that help?
You bet your backside it does.
Studies show that 95% of unsatisfied customers will return to a business that resolves the issue quickly and efficiently.
Let me use Service Champions as an example again.
As I’ve told you before, they convert practically all of their one-star reviews into five-star reviews on Yelp by jumping on the problem AS SOON AS the review is posted.
They usually start this process by calling the customer the same or next day that customer posts the review. The company also responds to the review on Yelp itself.
(It’s optimal to both call and respond to the review, as you want to reach the customer as quickly as you can.)
Plus, responding to a negative review directly on the website mitigates some of the damage that review can cause. It shows prospects you go above and beyond with your customer service by being willing to fix issues and make people happy.
Here’s an example. It’s a response to a customer who left a three-star review because their credit card was accidentally charged a month after they canceled their membership with the company:
People will look at Service Champions’ response and say, “Okay, they goofed, owned up to it, and want to make it right. How refreshing. They seem like a great company.”
Bottom Line: Whether you’re responding to negative or positive reviews, a few words go a LONG way.
P.S. In my next post I’ll show you a simple little picture someone took with a smartphone that sold for $40,000… and show you exactly how to do the same.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on October 27, 2016.
A few months ago, my 11-year-old son Luke wanted to buy a Desert Eagle Full Auto Airsoft Pistol on eBay.
My response: “Um… no.”
But Luke really, really wanted it.
So when I put my size-12 loafer down, he didn’t back off.
Instead, he came at me with a binder’s-worth of review information about the gun and the seller.
He showed me the gun had a four-and-a-half-star rating out of five. He showed me the seller had 3,119 reviews and 99.7% positive feedback. He showed me the seller also had 1,541 positive reviews in the past 12 months.
So even good ol’ wide-eyed Luke knows that online reviews are a hugely persuasive form of social proof.
He might not have thought of it in that exact way (he’s a middle schooler, not a marketer), but he has figured out that people can be swayed into doing or buying something if enough other people do.
And this is why 11-year-old Luke understands marketing better than most contractors.
Sure, contractors think reviews are important… but many underestimate just how important.
Like I said a few posts ago, Social Proof is essential and new research shows 90% of people read online reviews before deciding to call a contractor.
Yes… 90 percent!
Oh, don’t look so surprised.
The good news: If you already have a bunch of great online reviews, you have nothing to worry about.
The bad news: If you don’t have a bunch of great online reviews, you’re leaving a depressingly large sum of money on the table.
Fortunately for you, we can fix that.
We’ve been providing Online Reputation Management (ORM) for just a few months, but it’s already proving to be a godsend for our clients who need to beef up their online reputations.
Case in point…
In just one month, our ORM has generated our client Jacob’s Ladder, 10 new five-star online reviews across Google, Facebook, BBB, and Yelp.
At this pace, the company could have 120+ stellar online reviews within the year.
Like I said yesterday, it goes to show that building up a lot of great reviews is not hard, but it does take a lot of time and effort. To do it yourself, you’d have to dedicate a full-time employee to it, and it would cost you thousands of dollars a month.
Consider the eBay seller I mentioned earlier. It’s taken her 15 years to accumulate those 3,119 reviews. That works out to about 208 reviews per year.
If you’re an eBay user, you know that people on there give out reviews like candy. So if it’s taken this woman this long to collect that many reviews on eBay, you can expect it will take you years to attain even one-third that amount on sites like Yelp, Google, and Facebook.
That’s why you need to get started RIGHT NOW if you want to build an ironclad online reputation. The longer you wait, the more rave reviews you lose out on.
Because here’s the thing…
Your customers want to let the world know how great you are. But they have 789 things going on in their lives, so they forget to.
MYM ORM sends your customers through a sophisticated review funnel that gets them to take action and provide online feedback on the review websites of your choosing.
So stop shooting yourself in the foot with an airsoft pistol. Every remodeling project that goes by that you’re not utilizing ORM is another wasted opportunity for a great online review.
Mosey on over to MYM’s official ORM webpage for more details.
Until next time,
P.S. So, did Luke’s tactic of showing me mounds of social proof persuade me to let him bid on the airsoft gun? Actually yeah, it did—under the condition that I would heavily supervise his use. He was outbid in the last few seconds, though, so he didn’t end up getting it. Oh, darn….
Posted by Rich Harshaw on October 27, 2016.
Essentially, social proof boils down to this:
The more popular something is, the more that people want a piece of it.
So, answer this question…
Do you think 750 glowing customer reviews would make a difference in your sales?
Let me jump in and answer for you…
Heck yeah, 750 glowing customer reviews will make a difference in your sales!
It’s a proven fact that good online customer reviews boost sales for businesses. Give it a Google if you need confirmation.
The question is, how do you get 750 awesome reviews? How do you even get 75 awesome reviews?
It’s simple—MYM’s Online Reputation Management (ORM).
ORM is the process and systemization of getting, managing, and reporting on reviews across the entire internet.
Our ORM contains a highly effective funnel that leads more of your customers to write reviews about you. You generate a constant stream of positive online reviews on the websites of your choosing.
Assume our ORM generates you to two to three new positive online reviews per week. That’s…
- 10 to 12 a month
- 120 to 150 a year
- 240 to 400 in two years
- 600 to 750 in five years
As you can see, good reviews take time to build up. But these numbers are easily attainable as long as you start RIGHT NOW!
And even if you get even half as many, it will still have a profound impact on your sales. Three hundred excellent reviews will turn A LOT of on-the-fence prospects into enthusiastic cash-in-hand customers.
Now, let me throw some more math at you to demonstrate how ridiculously lucrative our ORM is…
- Our six-month and one-year ORM agreements are $599 per month. That works out to $7,188 per year.
- Studies show just a one-star increase on sites like Yelp boost your sales 5% to 9%.
- So if you’re a $2MM per year company, ORM can put at least an extra $100,000 to $180,000 a year in your pocket simply by increasing your ratings on review websites.
- That’s a yearly ROI of 1,291.21% to 2,404.17%!
And these are conservative estimates.
Imagine the boost in sales you’ll receive once your positive online reviews start climbing into the 400s… the 500s… the 600s… the 700s… and beyond.
Once you reach those numbers, homeowners will automatically see you as THE remodeling authority in your area. They’ll see all of their fellow homeowners having great experiences with your company, and they’ll line up around the block for the chance to do business with you.
After all, 750 people can’t be wrong.
Visit our ORM page to find out more about what it can do for you.
P.S. Even my 11-year-old understands the pulling power of positive reviews. Next email, I’ll tell you how he tried to sucker me into buying him an airsoft gun off eBay because the seller and the gun had great reviews.
Kids, I tell ya….