Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The really probing questions answered

The question that lurks unspoken behind almost all the following questions is "Does our business really need Dialogue?" After you have read these answers we hope you won't need to return to that question again.
  • How will our customers react to Dialogue? Very positively indeed, because its obvious that it's there for them; to make their experience of your business better. We have never had a single complaint about Dialogue from one of our clients' customers - ever. Think of the last time you had a mediocre experience with a business, possibly a business that you would ideally have used again, wouldn't you have relished a mechanism like Dialogue?
  • Customers should complain direct to us:  A fair enough comment, but in the real world people are increasingly conditioned to online communication (Google and the review sites). Your customers will, in the main, use the avenue that makes it easiest for them; and you should want some control over that avenue. We had the example of a London 5* deluxe hotel that protested that all their guests were checked out 'in-room' where they were asked if there was any tiny little thing that the hotel could have done better during their stay; we then showed them their TripAdvisor listing where over one in seven of their guests had posted a negative review
  • Why does Dialogue have to be on our website? Because you want more business and one of Dialogue's key functions is to drive business through your website. There are very few businesses who don't always need this - if you think you fall into that category then we would respectfully direct you to the next question
  • Will it work if it's not on our website? Some businesses don't want new customers (they simply don't have the spare capacity) but they do need to retain their existing customers, for them Dialogue can work 'blind' (without being shown on their website) 
  • Can we get something similar elsewhere for less? Currently HelpHound is the only business providing this service; there will doubtless be imitators in the near future, but we aim to retain our clients by maintaining the lead we have already established and continuing to provide a great service that delivers. Don't confuse review management with reputation management

  • What is the difference between review management and reputation management? It could fill a small book, but the basic difference is that review management is all about promoting the positive and reputation management is about suppressing the negative (which often means flooding the web with selective positives). With effective review management the negatives will be brought to you in private so you won't ever need reputation management
  • Why do we need to ask our customers to post to Google? Everyone who looks up your business online is shown Google reviews (if you have them). They are also shown your competitors reviews; you simply need to look good by comparison
  • Then why not ask our customers to post direct to Google? For two very important reasons, first you need those reviews on your own website (to drive new business and provide early warning of customer dissatisfaction) and second, you cannot be 100% sure you will be inviting happy customers to post to Google unless you select who you invite and any selection means filtering which erodes that credibility which is so essential in driving new business.
  • Early warning of customer dissatisfaction? One of the first responses received by a recent estate agent client (a landlord) said 'Many thanks for inviting me to write this review, I was thinking of changing agents..."
  • What will happen if we delay introducing Dialogue? You'll save our fee! But, seriously, you risk losing new and existing customers and falling behind your competitors online
  • Not many people look at our website - is Dialogue relevant then? If one person looks at your website and is influenced to contact you by Dialogue and then becomes a customer, Dialogue's done its job. If, like an estate agent we spoke to recently you haven't checked you analytics recently (they said "We're the only people who look at our website, the analytics, when they checked them showed 3000 visits a month).
  • We already survey our customers, do we need Dialogue as well? Dialogue is all about driving new business and retaining existing customers; of course, the feedback it generates can be hugely useful (and may make Dialogue look like a customer survey tool) but it is secondary to Dialogue's primary role in directly driving revenue to your bottom line.
  • We already have a company reporting what our customers say about us on the web, do we need Dialogue as well? It is essential to know what's being said about your business on the web, but we would argue that it's even more important as a business to give you customers a channel that they will actively use in preference to other review sites so they say what they think (especially if it's sometimes not entirely complimentary) to you before they say it on the web.
  • Why is it important to have Dialogue (as opposed to something of our own) on our website? Dialogue enables your prospective customers to read verified reviews. These have credibility - the essential ingredient that drives prospective customers to make contact, whether by picking up the phone or enquiring through your website
And now for the 'big daddy of them all...

  • How do we know Dialogue will make our business money? It is easy to quantify whether or not Dialogue is working for you as long a your staff are focused on understanding your sources of business. All our clients alert their staff to ask this question at first contact. It's also one of the reasons that our own client retention and satisfaction rates are so high. The answer may be subtly different for each type of business (for hotels: the effect on their rankings and scores, for estate agencies: the minimising of online complaints form tenants, and so on) but the overarching promise we make to all our clients is that Dialogue will impact on their bottom lines.

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