This past weekend, I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. While it didn't make me any smarter - like the TV ads say - it was a pleasant experience.
However, Holiday Inn is very smart.
On Tuesday, they sent me an e-mail. The subject line was "Thank You for Staying with Us!"
Inside, the e-mail stated that they hoped I enjoyed my stay and 'Thanks for choosing us!"
But there was also a Call-to-Action button asking me to write a review on my experience:
Now, if I had a really bad experience or a really, really good experience... I might have taken the time to go to their website and write a review. But, as I said, it was a pleasant experience. I wouldn't have thought any more about it.
Which means... no review for them. And people LOVE reviews. They love to read customer comments and see what the experience was like for others. And when they see positive reviews, they may decide to book a reservation.
How does this apply to remodelers, replacement contractors and other home pros?
Holiday Inn made it very easy for me to choose to write a review by sending me a link. When click on the "Write a Review" button, I'm taken to a page like this:
Because it's so easy, and convenient, I'm more likely to do it. I might say, "I loved the room and the decor. The free breakfast was great (but the eggs were kinda nasty). My girls loved the indoor pool!"
I click save and they've got a moderately positive review to post online.
I bring this up because online reviews of your business are very important. People believe in these reviews. And most are doing a lot of research on you and your company before they ever pick up the phone to call.
To get more of these reviews, you need to make it easy. If your business is listed on Angie's List, Yelp, Google+ for Business, or CitySearch... then it has a direct link. You should Copy & Paste that link and put it in an e-mail. After every great job you finish - send your customer an e-mail.
Thank them for choosing your business and ask them to write a review. Include the link to your review site so all they'll have to do it click -- and then provide you with glowing feedback! In fact, give them several links if you have more than 1 listing (because they may not be a member of Angie's List or Yelp) so you make sure you get that review.
With more reviews, you'll get more leads and more sales. And if there's a negative review out there, having more positive ones will drown out that one bad one.
To your success!