Google, Yelp, Zillow, Amazon, Facebook, TripAdvisor, the Yellow Pages, the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List and Foursquare all have one thing in common: They provide users or shoppers the ability to give and receive reviews. They are portals that help consumers decide whether or not to use someone’s services based on others’ experiences.
It is my opinion that your online reputation can either be the best or worst thing for your business. Reviews give consumers the ability to choose to engage or not engage based on what others say. The scary thing about this concept is that most of our clients don’t leave reviews, so even if the majority of your reviews are great, there are many more clients who are happy with your services, but aren’t sharing their thoughts. If the majority of your reviews are poor, you have a big problem, because there are probably many other clients who didn’t have a five-star experience.
When you’re considering asking your clients to go online and give reviews, I would challenge you to ask this question first: “Are we providing each client with the experience they should have to want to leave us a five-star review?” If not, determine what needs to change to make that happen.
Creating amazing client experiences may not be as hard as you think. As a buyer or seller, what are the minimum expectations you would have when working with an agent?
- Clear, ongoing communication (clients should never have to call or text to see “what’s up”)
- Access to expertise and real answers to hard questions
- Advice throughout the negotiation process
- On-time and professional qualifying and closing process
Once you have established the minimum level of acceptable service, if you want to create five-star experiences, simply add to this list. Here are a few things our coaching clients do to make these experiences a reality:
- Customized client communication platforms (clients can log in and see status)
- Welcome gifts
- Assistance hooking up utilities
- Cleaning and home staging options and advice
- Customized “thank you” for your business experiences
- Client appreciation events
- Photos of before and after the transaction
- Change of address labels for their sphere or database
- Moving help or recommendations
- Closing folder with all of their important information for tax purposes
- Toys or games to keep the kids busy when at the office or touring homes
- Information sheets with what they like and don’t like about the homes they are seeing
- Hotline assistance so someone answers their calls live and follows up when they have a question or need help
There are so many things we can do to raise the bar and set ourselves apart. The bottom line is that you have to choose the things that are consistent with who you are and what you value. Always do the right thing and be compliant—and good luck with your next hundred five-star reviews!
Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems (385-282-7112), an international speaking, consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and building successful power agents and teams. Contact him at Verl@WorkmanSuccessSystems.com. For more information, please visit www.WorkmanSuccess.com.