Creating a Review-Based Culture

It’s no secret that your online reputation plays a pivotal role in today’s customer journey. In fact, 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses before making a purchase decision.

Investing in solutions that streamline the customers ability to share their experiences online has become a top priority for many businesses. Whether you’re doing routine maintenance or a swap out, each completed job has the potential to become the review that influences your next customer’s decision. Every interaction employees have with a customer is changing their perception of your business and affecting the experience that they may share online when it’s all over.

HVAC owners everywhere are feeling the pressure to deliver exceptional service and get their customers sharing online. Getting good Google reviews doesn’t just fall to the owner or the marketing leader. In order to see the best results, companies need to build a review culture and establish expectations with their employees around delivering the best service possible and asking for a review.

Home services companies everywhere are adopting Podium to help them get reviews and are seeing fast results. Simplifying the way we communicate with customers goes a long way, but in order to maximize the potential of bringing in a positive review, companies need to create a culture built around 5-star service.

Your company can do it in 5 easy steps:

  1. Establish expectations.
  2. Set clear goals.
  3. Incentivize success.
  4. Share wins. Correct failures.
  5. Track results.

Podium Product Screenshot

01. Establish expectations.

You’ve heard the phrase “it takes a village.” The same is true for creating a 5-star review culture. At a glance, you may be thinking that reviews will just be affecting the day to day of those on the front lines. On the contrary, the expectation needs to be set that everyone has the ability to enhance service, processes, and communication. This optimism and excitement needs to come from the top down.

Your business is unique. There is absolutely no way that every company’s’ needs can be met with a cookie cutter solution. Interaction Management with Podium modernizes your business’s ability to win more leads, keep customers coming back, and do more as a team. But how you decide to use it is entirely up to you. It is essential for everyone to know what the review invite is, how to send it, best practices, and how it affects the bottom line.

Set up a meeting, schedule a conference call, or send out an announcement showing what exactly Podium is capable of doing. After your strategy call, give your technicians the assignment of using the platform. Send themselves a review invite and let them see exactly how it shows up. Offer a training, ask your Podium customer success manager about more webinars your techs can attend to learn more, if they’re interested. Demonstrate your confidence in the solution and your excitement to bring on a new service. Let them know that very soon they’ll be learning how to help modernize your business and create a 5-star culture.

PRO TIP: Ask your team “what is a 5-star culture to you?” Learn as a team what you can do to help bring the best service.

02. Set clear goals.

Get together with your team, figure out what your company values the most, and build out programs that show your employees that it is vital to bring in Google reviews that will tell your future customers that you consistently deliver a 5-star service. Regularly demonstrate the value you have in them. Incentives help, but the companies who see the most success set goals and regularly call out the actions that are most valuable.

When Carolina Comfort Air joined Podium in February 2017, their 4 locations averaged a 4.5 star rating on Google with 2.5 reviews a month. Two and a half years later, they are averaging a 4.7 rating and 30 reviews a month. Podium gave them the necessary tools, however, the culture they built around using those tools are what really propelled them to see success.

Carolina Comfort Air has expectations for employees to provide a 5-star service: just ask Aimee Sharrett, the Marketing Director there. Make sure that you offer clear, detailed goals and defined rewards. Otherwise you risk employees thinking the initiative isn’t important or worth the time. If you’re not sure what your employees get excited about the most—as in do they prefer recognition with the incentive—just ask them.

PRO TIP: Take some time to walk through Podium with your employees. Emphasize the expectations you have around your employees using each feature in the product. Ask questions and check for understanding.

Two men smiling at each other

03. Incentivize success.

72% of businesses believe that incentivizing employees has had a positive impact on the number of reviews collected. Travis Ringe from Proskill Services has even seen people walk into his office desiring to work there because of the incredible reputation, excellent compensation, and how easy it is to convert leads having the reputation that they do.

Only you will know what is best for your employees. While giving monetary bonuses based off of the amount of reviews works well for some companies, others have seen success by simply recognizing top performers and “gamifying” bringing in reviews while using Podium’s leaderboard functionality. Preferred Home Services brings in a dartboard each month and allows the top reps to play for a variety of rewards. For each review they bring in, they get a dart to throw. It’s fun, engaging, and adds a different element to the reward.

Another example is doing a monthly raffle. At the end of the month, every review a rep has brought in gets them an entry into a raffle for a large prize. The possibilities are endless. Get with your team, see what they would like to see and create a program that gets them involved, and more importantly, pushes them to send more review invites.

PRO TIP: Get creative with competitions and rewards for reviews. Many companies offer bonuses on the number of reviews but this can be expensive and hard to maintain. If you ever need to stop that program, your techs will have no reason to continue collecting reviews.

04. Share wins. Correct failures.

The online reputation does a lot to your bottom line. Aside from bringing in more leads, this also assists greatly with recruiting and employee retention. “The brain works much better when a person is feeling positive. At those times, individuals tend to be more creative and better at solving problems.” Help people feel positive about their work. When they make a mistake, correct them and establish goals to get them back on track.

“A lot of guys come to work here because they know we are customer centric and they know that we have to maintain that reputation.” – Travis Ringe, Proskill Services

It’s important to publicly shout out wins. When an employee gets their name mentioned in positive review, share with the company and shout out the excellent service they provided. Set up regular meetings discussing wins and fails. Try company-wide shoutouts for those who consistently perform. Each team or location should be responsible for showing their technicians that reviews are important for their team by emphasizing the importance of reviews and identifying any negative patterns with technicians and quickly providing coaching where necessary.

At Hamstra Heating and Cooling, if you consistently perform, Mike LaChapelle, the owner, goes and works jobs with you. Carries your tools, helps you be more efficient, and gets to know the employee that much better. According to Forbes, this kind of recognition creates an environment that makes employees appreciate their boss. Creating this kind of environment helps your technicians provide a 5-star service and will surely reflect in utilization of Podium.

Companies with appreciative leaders bring the best out in their employees. Your employees best brings 5-star service. 5-star service creates good reputation and bring in more leads and a major impact on your bottom line. Investing time and money into awards and recognition assist in delivering excellent work. Podium helps employees gain a new drive to succeed which brings more success, more reviews, and more money.

PRO TIP: Not all technicians love public recognition. Get to know your employees and how they like to be recognized. Getting to know them will bring in an added personalization and help an employee feel appreciated.

marketing meeting in the works

05. Track results.

Many services you buy for your company take weeks to get set up, let alone get results. Creating a 5-star culture happens with just 5 simple steps and it’s up to you to put the groundwork in place and accomplish your goals. Podium makes it easy to track your results and attribute success.

Within Podium, you can track results every step of the way, starting with review invites sent all the way to its impact on your average star rating. Keep a close watch on the reviews coming in. Track the number of invites being sent and reviews coming in. Use the data and analytics Podium provides to identify problems and find solutions. Most companies see success with putting focus on the Leaderboard so technicians can also follow along.

Keeping track and being data-driven helps you with the four previous steps and will enable you to consistently perform and stay ahead of anything that will potentially impact reviews coming in for your company.

PRO TIP: Put the leader board in a public place for all employees to see. Refer to it often and consistently demonstrate the importance of continued focus on reviews.

Happy Employees. Happy Customers. Happy Company.

Employees who know they are getting rewarded for reviews are happy to leverage tools and processes that make it easier. Their jobs then go more smoothly and happy customers leave their review and refer their friends. This chain of events affects your bottom line and brings in more revenue.

“When we get a new customer we ask the question, ‘What made you decide to call us versus everybody else?’ and reviews is always the number one answer.” – Adam Flaherty

Creating a culture around reviews enables you to set expectations for employees, establish your business online with a good reputation, increase the success your employees see, win more leads and keep them coming back. The right tools go a long way, but the key to seeing success in your company can be found through five simple steps:

  1. Establish expectations.
  2. Set clear goals.
  3. Incentivize success.
  4. Share wins. Correct failures.
  5. Track results.

Any company can see these results and propel themselves to the top of their Google Local Services and Google My Business listings–in turn bringing in more leads, keeping more customers, and becoming the preferred business in your area.

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