Update: Microsoft came out with a bonus for all those using their paid office 365 for business. It’s called Microsoft Listings and you can track your reviews (Google, Bing, Facebook, Yelp). They now offer a MailChimp alternative and a easy invoice solution along with their calendar scheduler.
2) Manually check each month.
My favorite way is to know about new reviews is just check manually. Using Google Calendar, I set up a monthly reminder. Just click that box “repeats” when making a monthly or bi-monthly event.
3) There are paid services that will alert you, but they are limited to which sites they check and $30+ a month. I’ll trade 5 minutes of my time to save $30, but hey I’m cheap.
P.S. If you have added your review/feedback funnel to your website, checking each site for reviews is a breeze. All you need to do is visit yourwebsite.com/reviews and in a few clicks you have all your review sites up.
Next it’s is all about responding to reviews so share this right now on your social media channels. We will see you next for review filtering in lesson 5!
Strategies for picking your other 2 sites to get reviews on:
A. Where your competitors have reviews – Just Google your competitors business name or check on their website.
B. When you Google generic things about your business what sites come up?
Search: “Home Security Portland OR”
These directory sites come up in this order (first few are most important): Yelp, Angie’s List, Home Advisor, SafeWise(Security Specific Directory), and Thumbtack.
In most cases there is at least 1 industry-specific website, like TripAdvisor, which shows on several searches. You / your business should be there!
Here is a fun graphic I made a while back if you would rather profile the customer before asking.
Bonus Tip: Bing favors and shows reviews from Yelp and Facebook right in their search engine.
P.S. Getting reviews on your website is also known as “getting testimonials”. They are not as important as reviews on 3rd party review sites such Google. Be sure to ask me (reply to this email) about review schema if you have a lot of testimonials on your own website. Done right those can also show in Google search results.
P.P.S. Next up is getting notified when you get a review, lesson 4.
P.S. I know you are going to love this course so much you are going to share, review and possibly become one of my monthly clients that work with me. Next up is all about where to get reviews, lesson 3.
I like to have experts come on the contractor podcast from time to time. This one with Luke Alley from Avalaunch is perfect for helping you know what to look for in an agency. Also his top recommendations for your business marketing online.
When Angie's List merged with Home Advisor the ability for mail in reviews was discontinued. If there ever becomes useful tools it will be mentioned here.
Contractors and service professionals need Angie's List reviews now more than ever. Angie's List recently opened up their site and you can get your reviews for free.
There is still a member gate to read reviews so don't think this cheapens the perception of these reviews. Just like Yelp, there is a core dedicated customer base that values these reviews and that super service award like gold.
3 Simple Ways to Get Reviews
Customers mail in a Comment Card for free
Angie's List will call your customers for free
Make it part of your ongoing review plan
Customers Mail in a Comment Card for Free
They have made it as easy as printing a "Review Card"... A.K.A. Comment Card. The customer just fills it out and mails it back with the pre-paid label. Customers don't event have to have an Angie's List account.
Pro-tip: Since this a PDF it is easy to input all your company information (required) before you print. Print it on a nice card stock and include a sticker to close the letter for mailing.
Why contractors don't do this is beyond me. If your customers are older this is a must way to get reviews.
They Will Call Your Customers for Free
If you have a list of past customers asking them all for a review at one time could get you in trouble. Not so with Angie's List "Fetch" program. Submit a list of your past customers and they will call all your customers that have an Angie's List account within 10 days to take reviews over the phone.
The only draw back to this method is only the customers with an account will get called. But hey, when has a company been willing to call your customers to help you get a review for free?
Make it Part of Your Ongoing Review Plan
You may be happy with your current flow of reviews but if you want to dominate you need a review plan. If you answer no to any of these questions go ahead and sign up for our free course on the secret to getting contractor reviews.
Do you have a plan to filter out bad reviews?
Do you know which sites Google wants you to have reviews on?
Do you know where your competitors have reviews?
Do you have a plan to reply to bad and good reviews?
Do you have an automated way to get notified of new reviews?
To avoid an empty graveyard effect, post regularly on your social media accounts. Using a company like emphatic.co may be the only way to automate social media intelligently. At 40 posts a month for $99, it is a good option.
Automate Your Newsletter
Keeping top of mind is powerful. There is a new company that makes it easy to do just that. Tidings will take your Facebook posts and turn them into a beautiful newsletter for just $39 $19 a month (Update: you can get just 1 email news letter a month for the lower price now).
Since these are intelligent human beings, you can outline things like about carpentry and home improvement. But more than that you can give them a list of local sites/businesses to post and engage with. It is slick and the first few posts are completely free to try.
Combine these two powerful tools and you have a powerful social and former client outreach program for less than $120 per month. I dare you to find any part time person or agency for that.
This shouldn't replace posting those great before and after shots. Rather, with a few of your own posts plus theirs, you have hit a gold mine of value.
Update: MailChimp has started to allow even free accounts to use automation. This means you can schedule out series of emails such as how to use that fancy new security system we installed for example. If you want to do email marketing yourself look at MailChimp.
As a service professional you do a lot of business from your car. So I was thinking, wouldn’t it be nice if somebody kept you up-to-date during your drive on the recent Google changes and what do you need to know? So that’s exactly what I’m gonna do today.
Getting Reviews – Pillar 4
Interesting enough, there has been a lot about reviews come up recently. One of the reasons it’s a big deal is because Google decided that you need only 1 review to be able to start having your star rating show up in search results. This applies to your Google Maps listing and other listings such as Yelp and Facebook.
Here is what it looks like.
This matters if you have very few reviews on those sites and you get one bad review. That can really impact the perception of your business. So now it’s even more important to get a few reviews everywhere and to get them more reliably.
Harvard has actually done a study and found that having to overly positive reviews also hurt your business. This hurts in returns or clients being unhappy. It truly is better to under promise and over deliver. I’m sure a motto that you know well.
My favorite free tool is Chatra.io and they do allow the tracking of events such as somebody interacting with you. I have found that if somebody can interact with you, they’re more likely to buy. It’s a very great tool to have and you can answer chats straight from your phone on the app.
I haven’t checked if Facebook’s free live chat can do that but that’s also great tool to look at.
Update: After this recording I decided to investigate live chat more. Turns out currently there is no way to track back to the source Facebook Live Chats. So I wrote this article comparing Facebook Live Chat WordPress plugins & Chatra.IO, “Should I Use Facebook Free Live Chat“.
For beginners this is a really great video from Matt Cutts who used to be with Google. He explains how the Google search engine works. It can be really insightful to understand all the different pieces that they’re looking at to make sure there’s a great experience online.
I’ll keep this post brief. There are experts out there that can help your reviews start showing up in Google results; both those in the paid results and those in google organic. One expert has been using getfivestars.com software for years and has helped his jewelry client so that Barbra Oliver Jewelry Reviews now shows in search results.