The when, why, and how of earning reviews!
At this point, one should have understood that the basics for earning reviews are fairly simple. But let’s just recap:
- Do good work.
- Ask for a review.
- Make the review steps simple.
Of course, there could be much more to this process. Simply asking for a review may not get you the results you want. In my experience the when, the why, the how, and the way that a review is asked for, all make a big difference.
When – Timing is everything
A well timed request can work wonders, and this is particularly important to consider for your review strategy. Time a review request right after a genuine customer smile, and try building up to that genuine customer smile by doing something that surprises them.
As an example, those dentist offices that just drugged up a root canal customer, the best time to ask for a review probably isn’t while they are falling asleep in the wheelchair as you wheel them out of the office. In this example, a follow up phone call to make sure the customer is doing well and has completely healed is a much better time to ask for a review.
Time the request so that it hits just at the right moment, and build up to that moment in a similar way that savvy movie star romantics build up to their marriage proposal – surprise them. Be genuine. Make them smile.
Not that every review must be as well orchestrated as a blockbuster movie, but review results are significantly better when the request is timed appropriately.
Why – Make it personal; put a face to the review
People in general are willing to help out other people. People are even more willing to help out those that they consider friends. In a similar vein, asking for a customer review really is about putting a face to the relationship and asking a favor – one to one – as a friend.
For pest control technicians this comes easy, as regular visits makes their faces more familiar to their customers. Good exterminators have a good relationship with their customers.
However this doesn’t just apply to face to face transactions. Even a phone rep can build rapport with a first time customer. The key to success is ensuring that the employee and the customer know the review is for the employee personally.
As an example, I think Verizon is a good company – but I don’t have a personal relationship with them. However, the guy that just set-up my wife’s hard-to-figure-out-email on her new smartphone, I owe him one, and I’d give him a review without any doubt. So try to put the review in the context of a relationship.
How – Other ways of requesting reviews
Even an online shopping cart site can cuddle reviews by building a relationship. We spent some time working on an online do-it-yourself pest control shop. We shocked a large number of customers by simply picking up the phone and calling them after they’d received their orders and had time to test them out. They were so surprised, and so very pleased that they all responded positively to my review request. Yes, online shopping carts can get reviews too.
If you are a struggling local business, and feel phone calls are too difficult and too costly, then an email can get you reviews as well. Of course, you will have to accept that a lower rating and fewer reviews will come from this channel, but emails do work really well when an individual preps it with a face to face, or telephone conversation. Emails by themselves are less effective, but when combined with face-to-face or telephone contact it’s still something worth considering.
On a final note, customer satisfaction scores, customer retention stats, and other bonuses are impacted by our technicians getting positive reviews. If our technician wins, our little pest control company wins – and our customers win because overall performance quality increases as our staff strive for better reviews of their services each and every day.