Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Estate Agents: Winning with HelpHound - whichever way you choose to use Dialogue

We recently conducted a survey to find out exactly how our estate agent clients were using Dialogue, and there were two basic variations on a single theme. Here we look at them both so you can choose which is the right one for you.

1. Following the instructions on the tin: channeling all reviews through Dialogue. 

Advantages: It's the safety first option - and ensures that you won't get any nasty surprises. Every review will go through Resolution™, so you will have an opportunity to correct errors of fact and misconceptions. We always advise clients to start out this way, until they get a really good feel for how their customers react. 


Disadvantages: You may get less reviews to Google or Facebook, simply because there will always be a fall-off when clients are asked to copy their review. It's a trade off between security and volume.

HelpHound added value?
  • Being able to point out to potential clients that they are always able to write a review
  • Having independently verified reviews on your own site to drive enquiries
  • Having a star rating next to your listing in organic search
  • Resolution for all reviews to minimise the potential for unfair negatives to be posted to your site or to Google (or anywhere else on the web)

2. The multiple invitation: This involves asking the client to choose between posting via your Dialogue module or Google (and/or Facebook)


 Here's and example of the kind of email you might send; but you must a) reinforce the importance of reviews in all your dealings with your client beforehand and b) follow-up this email with a phone call - immediately. Simply firing off emails will not get the results you need. We usually advise clients to begin my including just their own website and Google, adding Facebook later.

Advantages: the potential to get a higher volume of reviews to Google (and/or Facebook) from a single invitation, simply because you are giving your client that option straight away. Customers who who don't have a G+ account (and don't want to open one) can post to Dialogue or Facebook. Clients who post to Dialogue will still be asked to post to Google. Client experience indicates that those reviewers who are less than satisfied will, in the majority of cases, post through Dialogue (see the 'Numbers' chart below). They welcome the implicit offer to resolve any issue privately.

Disadvantages: By definition, this route runs the risk that some customers will post a negative to Google that will be seen by prospective customers and devalue your score. You will always be able to appeal or respond, but Google's T&Cs usually mean that the review (unless you can prove it is malicious in intent) will stand.

HelpHound added value: 
  • Being able to point out to potential clients that they are always able to write a review
  • Having independently verified reviews on your own site to drive enquiries
  • Resolution for reviews to minimise the potential for unfair negatives to be posted to your site or to Google (or anywhere else)

Our advice:

Begin with option one. It is the 'safety first' option, and should always be use until you and your staff are completely familiar with the operation of Dialogue: you will be able to gauge client response, and get used to managing your responses, to both positive and negative reviews, before 'going public'.

      Case history - click on the image to enlarge

When you are confident - and you have the review culture firmly embedded with all your staff - you can move to option 2. Speak to us before you do, and remember that you can always revert to option one at any time.

Action needed:

Speak to us: Karen and her team will advise on the rewording of your invitation email - and make sure you are using the right links.

And remember: don't be afraid of inviting reviews - and, most important of all, following up with a phone call. One recent client started by being concerned about how his customers would react - a month later he rang us to say "The invitation is positively welcomed - the reaction has been 'You did/are doing a great job for us, it's the least we can do for you.'"

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