A History of Trying to Grow Reviews
Something incredible is happening this year. We get customer reviews every single day. Over the current season we’ve grown our review count by more than 494%. This is even more incredible when you consider Elite Kingston started this spring season with just 36 reviews from the past 10 years of work. How could this be? As a company with a cult-like following from our clients and a retention rate well above 80%, how did we not collect more reviews? It just didn’t add up. This post will explain our method of how to grow reviews.
Increasing our review count is a task that our team has been working on for years but despite our efforts we could not crack the code. First, we tried giving discounts to clients. Then we tried follow-up calls. Then follow-up emails. There was even the time we tried linking it to invoice payments. But none of these tactics worked. It took a lot of effort from our staff to try to accommodate for reviews that we weren’t getting. We needed to find a new solution.
This is when the culture of trying new and unorthodox approaches that Elite is known for came to the rescue again. We had been looking at things all wrong. Instead of looking outward to request reviews we did a full 180 and began building a system that looked inward and rewarded our technicians for the great work they did to generate the reviews we held in such high regard. After all, it was the technicians that were being reviewed for their work and the same technicians who were building rapport and relationships with our customers.
How we Grow Reviews Now
Enter the “Tip Your Tech” program. Here’s a quick summary: for every review received, Elite pays out $10 to the technicians that completed the work.
Much like any good idea, there is still debate over who came up with it. In the heat of the moment everyone got so excited to flesh out the details that no one stood up to claim the stroke of genius as their own. And the idea and principles were simple. Give back to the technicians for doing amazing work and leverage the rule of reciprocity to engage customers to take the action of leaving a review. We do this by giving customers the opportunity to give back in a meaningful way to the window cleaning technicians that just helped them. By clicking a link and leaving a review, customers are able to tip the helpful technicians who just cleaned their windows $10.
We give customers the opportunity to present a $10 gift, and people like giving. This is especially true when you can give it at no cost to yourself. This is exactly where the magic in this transaction lies, it is the rare win-win-win for customer, technician and company. The customer gets to feel good about giving their technician a tip, the technician feels rewarded for their efforts which drives amazing customer service and the company receives an honest and thoughtful review to help others see the great work they are doing.
If a win-win-win scenario sounds too good to be true, hear me out and you will see how it works.
Simplifying the Review Process
Make the review process as simple as possible for everyone involved. Make it easy for the technicians asking for the review and make it easy for the clients. The less steps the better.
At Elite, we use a CRM called Vonigo. It’s the app our technicians use to look at their schedule and complete the jobs on their day. At the end of every job our technicians are trained to do a walk-around with the client. Once the walk-around has been completed and the client is happy with the work our technicians close the job in Vonigo. When the technicians close the job they also use Vonigo to send a text message directly to the client’s cell phone. They do this right as they leave the appointment so it’s still top of mind with the client.
This is the exact message we send:
“Hi [client name],
These are your Elite Window Cleaning Technicians. If you enjoyed the service today, it would mean a lot if you could leave a google review here , it takes less than a minute and Elite gives us a $10 tip on your behalf.
Thank you for choosing Elite and we hope to see you again!”
Finally, we ask our technicians to include a little custom message from themselves to add a final personalized touch. And that’s it. It’s really as simple as an automated text message through our CRM platform. The text feature costs about $50/month and it has already paid for itself in reviews.
Most importantly, it works really well. We’ve actually reduced the amount of time we spend trying to chase reviews, because we don’t spend time calling out to them – they contact us instead.
Reviews are Driven by People
We increased both the performance and efficiency of our review program by making the process simple and direct. The program works better AND it takes less effort. For anyone keeping track, that’s a win-win-win-win-win. It’s an infinite game, not a finite one.
The last factor, and the one that ties it all together, is training. This year, Elite invested more into training than any other year. We built a brand new training facility and ran a training program for all of our technicians in our off-season. We prepared ahead of time.
It also meant that we were able to work out all of the little details in our review program before we made it client-facing. Little details like parsing errors in automated messages. Other details, like making sure every technician is comfortable using Vonigo to send text messages.
Ironing out the wrinkles in our review process let us start the season with our right foot forward. It meant our entire team acted in synchronicity and with dazzling results.
The infinite game philosophy combined with a streamlined system, and pre-season training sessions has increased our reviews by over 180% in just 30 days. And that’s how to grow reviews. After seeing such success with this program we’re left wondering, what other areas of our business can we grow with the act of giving back? We think all of them.
For more about the infinite game of owning your own Elite Window Cleaning Franchise click here.
To learn about the success of Elite’s Back Office Support System click here.