Where Are My Towing Reviews?
Where Are My Towing Reviews?
3 Tips to Increasing Online Customer Reviews
You’ve probably been there. Your towing company has been operating like a well-oiled machine. Customers seem happy. Business is growing. But the online reviews just aren’t populating. You’ve done months of hard work but have gotten only two Facebook reviews, one on Google, and nothing to show for on Yelp.
At this point, it might be tempting to focus solely on your customer service effort and put review generating on the back-burner. It’ll come around eventually, right? Well, sort of. But not without some concerted and dedicated effort. And it’s important to remember just how instrumental online reviews are for thriving in a highly competitive, local towing market. A 2017 review of local consumer behavior shows that 97% of consumers read online reviews for local business and 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendation.
The good news in all of this is that given enough effort, time, and patience, your review counts will increase, and your towing business will be all the better for it. Below is a quick 1-2-3 on increasing review counts.
It may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. The simplest and most effective way to get a happy customer to leave a positive review is to simply ask. A quarterback can’t complain about his receivers not catching touchdown passes when he only ever hands the football to the running back. As much as we’d like to hope that reviews will just appear, it unfortunately doesn’t happen that way. Fortunately, studies show 68% of consumers left a local business review when asked. The statistics may vary regarding to the towing industry, but we can still gather that our chances of garnering an online review skyrocket when we do a simple ask.
(Note: I’ll be writing in a couple weeks on the who, what, when and how of asking for reviews, so stay tuned for a deeper breakdown of “the ask.”)
2. Ask Often
Asking a satisfied customer for a review is not a one-and-done operation. That same quarterback can’t be upset that his receivers combined for one TD catch when he only threw the ball three times. Heck, that’s a pretty good percentage! You’re not going to land reviews on 100% of your asks; it will likely take several requests for one successful review.
Below is a quick snapshot of the reviews campaign from one of our existing clients. Take into account that our reviews technology can automatically send a review request via mobile phone to the customer very soon after the towing event is complete, so the initial ask it taken care of for them.
That last percentage holds pretty true across the board, with new reviews accumulating at about 6% of total reviews requested. Put more simply, that’s about 20 requests for one new review.
3. Ask Again
Following up on a review request takes a bit more effort but can pay huge dividends in review generating. But, we recognize that contacting a customer via cell phone is far more personal than an e-mail, so this final step is more of a fine line to walk. Below is how we recommend responding when the initial request is through an e-mail versus a text message.
E-mail: one follow up two days after the first request. This will naturally only be an option if the customer left you with their e-mail instead of a phone number.
Text Message: no follow up. People feel way more interrupted with a text message than with an e-mail when it comes to a business contacting them. This is where you more importantly have to rely on the “Ask Often” principle. Keep in mind the 20:1 request-to-successful-review ratio.
This isn’t to say there are no other options for following up on review requests. One of our clients has taken a particularly unique (and highly effective) approach to the follow up. Every Wednesday, the owner of the company will take a stack of cash call customer transactions and give them all a call. He’ll ask, “How was your service? How could we have done better?” and most importantly, “We appreciate the business.” Not only does this build a good reputation for his company, but it gives him insight to how the business is operating without being in the truck.
The follow up can be a powerful tool.
Go. Take Action.
I mentioned at the start that given enough effort, time, and patience, your review counts will increase. That last bit about patience might be the most difficult part. We understandably want to see some good return on our reviews efforts, and we will, if we can prioritize reviews and give it the time that it needs. So get out there and get some quality reviews!
If you’re looking for some extra help in growing your online reviews, check out our Reputable Reviews program. We believe proactive online reputation management is a cornerstone business strategy for local service businesses. We also understand that few tow company owners have time to create an internal process for requesting reviews or to train dispatchers, so let us take care of the hard work for you.