Monday 24 May 2021

HelpHound - adding even more value in 2021

We are very proud indeed of what we continue to achieve for our clients, so here's our pitch to those businesses yet to join:

And broken down, phrase by phrase:

1.  'Quantifiably better off':

Professional review management pays off in so many ways; with some of these - staff morale and the like - you will simply be relying on feedback, both verbal and written, but with core business drivers such as calls and clicks through Google and your own website you will be able to see and track accurate numbers and uplifts.

You will be able to measure exactly how many more clicks and calls you receive. How? By referring to your monthly Google My Business report in the weeks and months after you join. Here's a screenshot of a typical client's report taken within weeks of joining:

To be clear: this GMB report shows an uplift in calls and clicks through Google for the month in question. The numbers are great (most businesses would probably be happy with uplifts like this over a year, let alone a month), and I'm sure your business would be happy with them; the best ever Google My Business report a client has ever shown us reported month-on-month uplifts of 169% and 950% respectively!

What value would your business place on an uplift in enquiries such as this? And if your business already looks great on Google? Read points 3, 6 and 7 that follow below with special care.

2.   'More enquiries through Google':

See above. And a great score + great reviews = more calls and more clicks = more leads = more business.

And see point 6 below: 'Looking great in all types of Google search'. It is also crucial your business looks good compared with its competitors without flouting the law (see point 7.)

3.  'More enquiries through your own website':

It's the number one objective of most business owners when they brief their web designers...
  • 'generate more leads/enquiries/contacts'

It is also now a universally acknowledged truth that hosting independently verified reviews on your own website drives those enquiries (and reinforces all your other marketing). If in any doubt we suggest you speak to a HelpHound client - or, better still, try it for your own business (see the end of this article for a suggested trial). 

Just ask yourself 'How would our potential customers react to seeing independently verified reviews like those shown in this article on our website?' How could the response to that question be anything but 'positively'?

4.  'CRM enhanced':

Hosting a 'Write a review' button on your website has many CRM benefits: It allows all your stakeholders - customers, existing customers, past customers - to express their satisfaction with your service, publicly. It also gives those with an issue to resolve a non-confrontational way to contact you - in preference to simply resorting to posting a potentially damaging review direct to Google, for instance.

Built into HelpHound, unlike the major review sites (Yelp, Trustpilot, Feefo etc.), is moderation: every single review that flows through our mechanism to your website and then on to Google is read and checked for factual inaccuracies and statements likely to mislead future customers. If we find either, or in some instances both, we refer back to the reviewer and the business so they can be corrected. This is hugely popular with both reviewers and businesses under review; it also makes the ultimate reviews so much more reliable for readers: your future customers.

5.  'Staff morale boosted':

This kind of review - on Google:

And this* - on the business's own website:

Who doesn't like seeing comments such as this? Besides being enormously reassuring for prospective customers (in this case patients of a Harley Street GP client of ours) comments like this tell staff that their services are valued in a way few other mechanisms can. 

And: would you rather have this comment in a private email, or on Google and your own website?

*We are sometimes asked why we allow reviewers to identify themselves by a first name or nickname. The reviews by 'Debra' above serve to illustrate this: would you post a review of a medically, legally or financially sensitive nature using your full name? No, of course not. Bear in mind that both we and Google have the reviewer's email address, and are therefore - in the case of HelpHound - able to contact them if needs be.

6.  'Great in all types of Google search':

Look at this local search:

Probably the most commercially important search of all for many businesses is local search: when a potential customer is most likely to be influenced by the business's reviews, review score and 'stars in search'. 

The three businesses in the Google 3-pack all look good, with the same scores and credible amounts of reviews. 

We generally advise clients to aim to achieve at least 50 Google reviews as quickly as possible, with 100 as the next target; just think from the reader/potential customer's point-of view: under 10 reviews: meaningless; 11-20: written by their friends and staff; 21-50: how difficult can it be to find that many happy customers? 100+ now we're talking.

The score/'rating' (4.8), reviews/'votes' (204) and five gold stars under Winkworth's organic listing are taken directly from the business's own website and from the reviews hosted there, not from their Google reviews and scores.

Now, we cannot guarantee a business will come anywhere in a given Google search, but what we can tell you is that...
  • this client business had appeared as one of the three businesses (out of over twenty) in the Google three-pack for this location for over three years now
  • it has led the results in natural - also known as organic - search for thirty-one of the last thirty-six months (and has come second or third for the remainder)
  • it has been the only business with an attributed rating - the '4.9 - 212 votes' and accompanying stars, all derived from the reviews hosted on their own site for the overwhelming majority of that period

And this 'specific' search:

This is the kind of search performed by consumers when they need any information about a business. When they need to find the business's website or even its phone number. It is a great opportunity to impress and reinforce (and there's no coincidence that Google devotes so much of the search real estate to review and review scores; in this search alone reviews are highlighted by Google's use of gold stars no less than seven times).

Again: the 'Rating' (4.9) and the number of reviews (212) are pulled from the business's own reviews hosted on their own website - shown three times in this search, as distinct from their Google reviews (140) at the top of their Google knowledge panel on the right, most of which have also been reposted from the reviews written to their website. 

The 'Reviews from the web' link at centre right links directly through to the reviews hosted on the business's own website.

7.  'Compliant with the law':

It is illegal to selectively invite customers to write reviews. So businesses either flout the law and only invite customers who they know are most likely to write a 5* review or they shy away from inviting reviews altogether.

Those in the first category are inviting action by the CMA (and will lose business to competitors savvy enough to alert potential customers to their rule-breaking behaviour), those in the second are missing out on a fantastic marketing opportunity. HelpHound's independent moderation is the answer to both.

All a business needs to be instantly compliant is to have the 'Write a review' button you see at the top right above embedded in its website. The 'What is HelpHound' link at the bottom of this screenshot leads directly to a description of our relationship with the business under review. If you would like to see all of this in action just click here.

The next step

We urge you to spend just five minutes performing the two searches for the businesses referred to in this article...
  • Winkworth estate agents in Blackheath
  • The Harper Clinic in Harley Street you can see the impact HelpHound has had on the impression created for those businesses on both Google and their own websites.

Then, if you are reading this and your business is yet to benefit from HelpHound's services we then suggest that you call or email to arrange to speak to one of our highly experienced staff (you won't be speaking to anyone with less than ten years experience of review management and HelpHound's services).

Further reading:
  • Results - expanding on point 1
  • Compliance - all you need to know about this crucial subject
  • ABC of Reviews - index to all eleven chapters describing review management in detail.
  • Moderation - protecting your business from all kinds of inaccurate or misleading - even fake - reviews
  • Deflection - the unintended pitfalls and consequences of using a review site, as opposed to review management

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