Thursday 7 May 2015

Just how much is a single review worth?

We often ask our clients this question and we get a variety of responses, but no-one says 'Nothing'. Just last week an estate agent surprised us a little by saying £1000. When we said 'Really - one thousand pounds?' he said 'If I can get my business from nowhere on Google to a 4.5+ rating and, in so doing, look great against my competitors, that has to be worth at least £5000.'

Put like that, we had to agree. Now we examine the process by which this is achieved. Let's remind ourselves how Dialogue works...
  • An email is sent asking the client to write a review on your own website*
  • That email is followed up - within minutes - with a phone call. The sole purpose of that call is to stress to your client just how much you value their opinion
  • The client writes a review on your website
  • An email is sent, automatically, asking your client to copy their review to Google
  • The client copies their review to Google
So far, so very good. But - and this is a VERY BIG BUT - you need to invest some time and effort as well. Not a thousand pounds worth, you'll be glad to hear, but a minute or two on the phone.

This is how it goes (and if you stray from this process the results you get will suffer):
  1. Warn clients at every opportunity during your relationship that you will be asking for a review and just how important it is that they write one, to you and to Google
  2. Email clients asking for the review - one at a time
  3. Phone straight away, within five minutes
  4. Re-stress just how important both reviews are
  5. Phone back if the reviews are not written within 24 hours
That is all, but any short cuts and response rates will drop dramatically, both to your own website and to Google.

The key is to get inside the mind of your client: understand what will motivate them to write the review (you - and only you - know exactly what you did so well for them, and they may need a gentle reminder!) and they'll do it. Try and do it all by email and, unfortunately, yours will join that endless pile of 'emails I must get round to answering (but never do)' in your clients' in-boxes.

Advice for managers

The most successful businesses make review harvest a part of every member of staff's role. Staff are trained to:
  • Mention the fact that a review will be requested at point-of-sale: 'So we can be sure our high standards are maintained we ask all our clients to write a review when our job is complete.'
  • Recognise opportunities to invite the review: for example, when a client pays a compliment to the business, in person, by email or over the phone: 'Thank you so much for saying that, may I ask you to repeat it in your review?' 
  • Follow up the request by phone - this is key to getting the review to Google
If you are in a high value/low volume business (e.g. financial services, estate agency, legal) you may also consider rewarding staff for getting reviews. It focuses the mind wonderfully and it means your objectives are achieved in a timescale set by you (to repeat the title of this article: 'Just how much is a single review worth?').

HelpHound client services

Remember that Karen Hutchings and her team are here to help and guide. Just a call or an email away you will find years of experience and professional knowledge.

*Please don't underestimate the value of this review (the one posted to your own website); with hundreds of visitors to the average estate agents' website every month, those reviews produce results like these.  

And never succumb to the temptation to short-cut the process by asking them to post straight to Google; that way lies significant potential for disaster (more on that here).

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