Get the Phone Ringing: Why are reviews so important and how do you get them?

By Bill DeMent
Tuesday, November 1, 2022

A review is simply a customer reporting their experience with your company. Good or bad, a review serves to gauge how well your company performed a job.  A good review will build your reputation as a reliable service provider and persuade future customers to hire you.  A bad customer review will create doubt that you are able to provide quality work.

In years past, people would speak to their neighbor across the back fence to share news, recipes, and referrals for quality tradesmen. That world is now largely gone. The new “back fence” is online reviews. Everyone wants to hire someone that they know and trust.  A Positive review expresses a good experience that someone has had with your company and acts as a referral for new business

Good reviews are the fuel that keeps your business humming. They are your secret weapon. A steady flow of new leads is critical to filling your pipeline with new jobs.

Imagine your business as a large machine with a funnel attached at the top. The funnel is designed to capture and feed in as many new customer leads as possible for the machine to process.  At the bottom of the machine is the exhaust pipe where revenue and profit flow out.

If there are only a few leads falling into the funnel the machine will not have enough fuel to produce healthy results. Your machine will stutter and spit and eventually stall out. Your business will struggle to grow and reach its potential.

If you build and maintain a steady flow of leads, your machine will keep  humming along happily and producing healthy results.

Reviews are just one of multiple ways to fill your funnel. Other ways would fall into a couple of general categories. Organic Leads and Paid Leads.

#1 Organic Leads. These are typically free or very low cost. They would include customer reviews, social media leads, repeat customers, trade service partners, referral leads from friends or existing customers, or from business groups like BNI (Business Networking International), and the Chamber of Commerce.  Also, vehicle logos would be included here.

#2 Paid Leads. Even though these leads come with a price tag they are useful for jump starting your leads process and building momentum quickly until your business is generating sufficient traction with the Organic Leads. They are also helpful when your business hits a slow period to boost your lead flow. They would include Pay Per Click advertising with Google, Facebook ads, Home Advisor/ Angi, Thumbtack, local print advertising, sponsorship of sports teams, local school teams and programs. Also, sponsorship and participation in community events.

Asking for a review from a customer can feel awkward. However, if you have followed the HOLE IN THE WALL 3-Cs (Cover/Complete/Clean) and now have a satisfied homeowner, you have earned the right to ask them and they will be inclined to give you a positive review.

If you are not a natural at asking for reviews then I have good news. It can be learned. Practicing how to ask for a review will make the asking easier. The more you do it the easier it will become. Soon, it will become second nature to you and you will ask without even thinking!

An easy method to ask is when the project has been completed to the Hole in the Wall standard, and just before you clean up the work area and pull down the covering plastic, invite the homeowner to inspect the finished product.

Let them know that you are just wrapping up, ask them to have a look if they would like. This should be a WOW moment for them seeing the completed work, and the damage expertly repaired.

Once you have confirmed that they are satisfied, and everything is to standard, you may NOW ask for a review.

Always leave the customer with a tent card. The card will have information including your name, the date, and will provide multiple ways for them to leave a review.

Ask them how they found Hole in The Wall, listen to their answer.  Respond with something like”Great, as you know, we live in a review-based society, and reviews are crucial to getting the word out about our company. If you like what we did I would appreciate it if you would take a moment to leave us a positive review.”

Give them the tent card and explain their 1-year warranty, and the review link located at the bottom of the card. If the customer is not available when the repair is completed you can leave the card for them on a counter or table. You may still get a review from them. You never know!

If you have employees it is imperative that you make an effort to train and encourage them to solicit reviews as well. Consider offering your team incentives to create enthusiasm for getting positive reviews. For example: offer $25 for each review. This was so successful for us that we found it necessary to cap it at $100 per week per employee.  Although this may seem like an extravagant expense, it is essential, particularly when starting out. We consider this expense a vital piece of our marketing budget.

As an employer, you want to be creative with your reward program. Consider setting goals and providing additional incentives beyond the $25. For instance, have a competition for 1 month to see who can get the most positive reviews. Reward the winner with a $100 gift card, or a paid day off.

A consistent effort in building your reviews online will pay dividends well into the future, help keep your funnel full and keep the profits flowing in!