Should you be using review getting software or does your standard manual process work OK? And what are the pros and cons of the software?
In this video? I'm going to go through that and give you a recommendation at the end to suit specific circumstances in your business.
I'm Hendrik Vos from LeadFuse, a digital agency for home services businesses.
OK, so let's get on and have a look at this.
The Pros and Cons Of The Manual Review Getting Process
The manual process has pros and cons like every other other process.
The pros basically are that it's simple. You just basically send your customer a link at the end of the service exchange and the customer clicks on the link and can leave the review.
And it's free. It just takes you some time to do and you have to remember to do it, obviously, as you get through your business. But that's basically it.
The cons. There are a lot of cons around it and the net result of the cons - top line - you get fewer reviews from the review requests that you make.
- So if you ask for 100 reviews and you do it manually, you might get three to five.
- If you use software, it's easier for the customer to do and therefore you get a lot more, and that's important in certain circumstances.
Now, so a manual process is hard for customers to do. So let's say you send the customer a link to your Google Business profile. The customer has an Apple phone with iOS 14, and they don't have a Google account.
So what do they do? They click on it (the link). Google wants them to open an account to get started. It just doesn't happen - they fall in a hole. Quite often that happens. And because you only send them one link, there's no alternative.
It's a manual process, so you have to remember to do it. And it's no automation in the follow up.
So if you send out 10 review requests in a day from customers and you have to then go and remember to check for 10 reviews at the end of one or two or three days to see whether the customer's actually done it if you want to follow it up.
If you don't want to follow it up, that's fine. But you know that following up is a critical part of this process.
There's also a bunch of customers who actually are quite happy to give you feedback to your business, but don't want to get their name out there on the web and don't want to be part of the whole online review process. So they'll give you feedback and it'll go into your internal pot, and you can use that for for lots of purposes, which I'll come to later on.
But in reality, you won't get those if you do that in a manual link sending process because there's only one place for it to go - on the Google Business listing probably.
You have a little bit of control over where you get reviews to go, you send them a link and they go to that link that you give them, but you don't give them alternatives and you can't give them three or four links because it creates confusion.
There's no no alerts. So if you get a negative review or the reviews aren't very good, you have to go looking for them. And those customers who aren't happy don't necessarily always go on the Google Business profile. They might go on to Facebook, they might go on Product Review, they might go on to True Local.
You don't know that and you don't have a process, but understanding when the new review is placed there.
And the process isn't consistent. So as I said, the net result of it is that you end up with a suboptimal number of reviews from the process you use for sending out reviews to customers.
The Pros and Cons Of Review Getting Software
On the review software side;
It's a lot simpler and there's a standardised process. You enter the customer's name, you enter their email address and probably their mobile number, and then it goes off and does whatever it needs to do in terms of the settings that you put into the software in the first place.
You can use SMS and/or email, and that works well because people open all their SMSs and also they are more likely to link to them these days.
The follow up is automated and that's important. So if somebody doesn't leave a review, the system follows up in a predetermined way one, two or three follow-ups.
If somebody gives you an internal review but doesn't go and leave a review on Google, the system can follow up and again, in a pre-determined way, with messages to ask them to go online and leave that same review.
It also collects internal reviews. People just want to give you some feedback but don't want to go online. You get those reviews in the bucket and you can use them on your website, and you can use them to market your business reputation to prospective customers.
You can easily direct them to a number of review sites. So quite often you send them to Google Business, Facebook and perhaps True Local, and they can choose which ever one works. And it's a lot easier for customers to do because they get the link that goes straight to the right place. They open it and off it goes.
It makes it much easier to market your reputation on your website because you can stream the reviews on a particular page and also on a widget that floats around on the website.
And you can market those individual reviews and the good reviews on Facebook and on Google Business and other local places. And it makes it easy to do that.
So it's a much, much more effective process.
There are downsides. It's cost, it's a bit more costly. And but I'd argue that that cost is not the issue. You need to get a lot of reviews because a lot of reviews help you a lot in all of your marketing and are the base case, but just about every online marketing situation.
And they can be a bit inflexible. If you've had a great discussion with somebody and you want to send them a review request, then the standard messages go, and it might not be perfect for the discussion you had with them.
When It's Best To Use Review Getting Software
Having said that, the best place to use software, the best times and situations to use software are these.
Firstly, if your business is new and you need to get a fast lump of reviews, you want to make sure that for every 10 jobs you get, you get as many reviews as possible and you need to give that as much chance as you can.
Sending review requests once and doing nothing else won't get you there. You might get one or two out of 10. Using software you can get up to six out of 10. So you just build up the rump of your reviews much more quickly.
You also need to use it when all of your reviews are on Google because there's a law of diminishing returns. If you've got 100 reviews and Google and nothing on Facebook or nothing on True Local or nothing on Yelp, then you want to start getting some over there as well. It helps you all over the place to do that.
So you can start asking for reviews in different places.
It also helps you when you want to easily market your reviews on your website and also on social media. So, for example, people who visited your website, you might want to remarket to them with your reviews so that they see that you are a great company, that you deliver great service and it will encourage them to become a customer of yours.
You also want to use it when your business has several crews or several locations. So that way you can reward the crews or the locations that deliver great service because you can actually measure it by crew or by location. And you can reward them for doing the right thing, and you can work with the people who aren't doing as good a piece of work for your business to get them right.
And then the last reason for doing it is that if your business needs to standardise a process that you know it's all over the place, some people ask, some people don't. You can't measure it or anything like that. Or that you've got somebody full time sitting there or spending hours a week sending out review requests, checking to see who's done it. Following up with all of those.
So those situations where we need more reviews, you need to diversify your reviews. You want to market your reviews. You want to segment reviews. And you want to standardize or reduce the costs. Are all good cases for using software when you when you want to get reviews.
So if you want to find out more about that, contact me. Just start at Leadfuse.com.au and we can go from there.
So you can see there that manually getting reviews works. But there are lots of pros on the software that that make it beneficial and worth paying for, even if it's only to start with. And and then you go back to the manual process in the long run, but I recommend that, you go with that approach.
I hope that's been useful in helping you make a decision about whether you going to go manually or use software to gather reviews for your business. Thanks.