Yesterday, I read a story about some teenagers in Washington state jumping off a tall bridge that runs across the Columbia River.
Judging by the pictures, I’d say it’s a good 50 feet from the bridge to the water.
The news article says, “Officials soon learned the kids were just trying to cool off by jumping into the water.”
Yeah… I don’t buy it.
As a father of six kids between the ages of 11 and 23, let me tell you the real reason these teens were risking serious injury and cold-water shock…
They were trying to look cool, not cool off.
I guarantee this is what happened: One of the teens thought it would be awesome to cannonball off the bridge.
The rest of them, wanting to fit in and keep their “cool kid” cards, followed suit.
I mean, let’s be real.
If they wanted to cool off in the water, they could have—you know—walked into it directly from the shore.
Instead, they dove into it from five basketball hoops high.
Now, if you’re thinking, “Man, teenagers are dumb,” know two things:
- You’re right.
- While YOU aren’t dumb, you’re guilty of the teenagers’ same “follow the leader” behavior.
Simply put, not much holds more power and influence over a person’s decisions than social proof.
You might not jump off a bridge because your friends are doing it, but you—like all seven billion humans on this planet—base many of your decisions on what others are doing.
Social proof is why we wear certain clothes, drive certain cars, and eat at certain restaurants. If we see enough people partaking in something, we want a piece of that pie, too.
That’s just the way that gray lump of matter between our eyes is hardwired.
This is why good online reviews—and lots of them—are required for you to attain true success as a contractor.
Don’t believe me? Consider this…
New research shows 90% of people now read online reviews before contacting a contractor.
Out of those folks, 86% (!!!) of them are influenced by a single negative review.
I’m no math whiz, but that means virtually every person who considers contacting you looks at your online reviews first.
And of those people, virtually every person is going to think twice about contacting you if you have a bad online review.
Simply put, people don’t want to waste their money and feel like chumps. That’s why a bad review of your company will make a larger impression on them than a good one. It’s Psychology 101.
Do you know the best way to stop the effects of bad reviews?
A) Having an avalanche of great reviews to offset the few negative ones.
B) Not have any negative reviews, period.
MYM Online Reputation Management (ORM) can help you achieve both.
Our Online Reputation Management solution contains a sophisticated customer-review funnel that generates a wealth of positive reviews for your company.
On top of that, it can also intercept negative reviews before they get posted for the world to see.
This gives you the opportunity to resolve the unsatisfied customer’s issue, potentially preventing them from leaving bad online feedback about you.
MYM ORM also monitors 170+ review websites. This includes the “big boys” like Yelp, Google, and Facebook, as well as local review websites of your choosing.
You’ll be alerted anytime your customers leave online reviews about you—good or bad. You’ll no longer have to fear if there’s a hidden bad review somewhere out there that’s hurting your reputation.
Go ahead, take the plunge into ORM with your fellow contractors.
The water’s fine.
P.S. How much do you think 750 glowing online reviews would increase your sales? And how the heck do you even get 750 online reviews? I’ll let you know tomorrow.
One-star online reviews are the worst.
Even when they’re unwarranted, they drag down your reputation, make you appear untrustworthy, and can cost you a ton of business.
That’s why I’m going to tell you about a brilliant tactic one of our clients use to turn one-star reviews into five-star reviews… within 60 minutes of the review being posted.
This is a method you can immediately start implementing in your own business, so be sure you read this entire email.
The client is Service Champions, an HVAC company in Orange County, CA. When I talk about monopolizing your marketplace, Service Champions is literally doing it:
- Revenue over $30 million per year
- Almost 200 employees
- Over 100 service trucks
- Tens of thousands of customers
On top of that, they maintain an astonishingly high 4.5 out of 5 rating on Yelp with almost 600 reviews.
As of this writing, Service Champions has 582 reviews and a 4.5 rating on Yelp.
Now, most companies would be happy with satisfying literally 99.9% of their customers. Not so with Service Champions. They give each and every one-star review from Yelp the Code Red treatment.
The company fastidiously monitors their Yelp reviews. When a one-star review comes in, an email immediately notifies marketing director Katey Becker. Within 30 seconds, she contacts owner Leland Smith, who drops WHATEVER he’s doing to troubleshoot the complaint.
In minutes, Katey and Leland have a conference call with the involved employees to discuss the situation. They don’t try to “build a case” to prove the customer is wrong or that the employees screwed up; they just want everyone’s perspective on what happened.
Within an hour of the one-star review being posted, Leland personally calls the customer to discuss why they were unsatisfied. He intently listens to their complaint and asks them what they need to see happen to make them happy. It doesn’t matter what it is—he’ll do ANYTHING.
One customer was mad because he was paying $12,000 for a new HVAC system and received a quote from a different company after the fact for $6,000. Leland told the customer to pay whatever he thought was fair. The customer paid $6,000.
Another customer was so impressed by the act of Leland calling that he changed his one-star review to a five-star review on the spot.
To further foster their “five-star” culture, Service Champions has a company meeting with all employees to recognize who got the highest reviews for the previous month. The company reads the five-star reviews out loud, brags about the technicians involved, and pays them a cash bonus.
Because of their methods, Service Champions converts about 80% of one-star reviews to five-star reviews. The 20% they can’t convert are typically people who won’t return the company’s repeated phone calls.
Look, you may not be able to sacrifice $6K for a five-star review or give employee bonuses like Service Champions. But that’s okay. If you follow the general blueprint above, you can also turn one-star reviews to five-star reviews.
When a one-star review comes your way, talk to the employees involved. Call the customer to discuss why they’re unhappy and what you can do to make it right.
You’ll often find an angry customer is so floored you took the time to call that they quickly turn into your next gushing groupie.
Trust me, maintaining a good online reputation is vital to your business. Studies have shown that just a one-star rating increase on review websites like Yelp can increase business by 5% to 9%.
That’s a lot of extra cash you could be bringing in for a small amount of effort. So get to it!
P.S. Want to know how much money your online reviews are leaving on the table? Let us perform a free, no-strings in-depth audit of your online reputation. We’ll show you EXACTLY what you need to do to beef up your review scores to start making more money.
We’re offering this service to MYM email subscribers until 6/31/16. After that, it pulls a Jimmy Hoffa and vanishes forever. Email us to get started.