by Mike Montano
By now, you already know your online reputation is your most valuable marketing asset.
And you know if you don’t have great reviews on sites like Google, Facebook, and BBB, you’re basically giving away money to your competitors.
But I have a secret to tell you.
The most important ingredient to having a stellar online reputation comes from your people.
They are the ones on the front lines connecting with customers, handling issues, generating sales and creating long-term loyalty to your brand.
It’s the connection between the service professional and the customer that generates a glowing 5-star review on Google… or a dreaded 1-star review that can seriously damage your business.
It’s time for service companies to face this fact: Without remarkable people, your company will not get remarkable reviews on sites like Google, Facebook, and BBB.
Your people power your reviews, your revenue and your business. It’s that simple.
We all like to be recognized.
When we do a job exceptionally well, it validates our work to have someone we respect acknowledge our efforts. When we receive that validation, it motivates us to do even better the next time.
In the service industry, a little recognition of your team can go a long way in getting tons of positive reviews online.
When someone is recognized for a job well done, they walk a little taller that day. Their chins lift up, their chests puff out, and they take pride in their work. And when they take pride in their work, that translates into better experiences for your customers.
And those better experiences result in better reviews, which results in more customers, and more revenue.
When someone goes unrecognized for their hard work, however, it deflates their sails. Their shoulders sag, their face falls, and they lose motivation to do a good job.
In their minds, no one notices their work anyway, so why should they care if a customer has a bad experience with them?
Motivation, or lack thereof, is what can get your company glowing 5-star reviews that attract hordes of new customers wanting to work with you…or 1-star reviews that tear your company apart in painful, public detail for potential customers to see.
Business owners can, and should, do more to reward, recognize and motivate their people.
A recent survey from Globoforce showed that 78% of workers would be more motivated to perform better at their job if they were recognized and appreciated for their efforts.
78% is a big number that can’t be ignored. It shows me that many workers in America go to work every day feeling underappreciated for the work they do. And in turn, they don’t give their best efforts at their jobs.
Which is poison for any business in the service industry. Because when your people don’t give their best effort every single day, your customers feel it.
And in this climate of social media and immediate consumer feedback, it’s only too easy for those customers to go online to share their feelings with the world.
Reward and recognize your people every day and you’ll get more great reviews, more business — and more happy employees who stay with you longer.
To get the best people on your team, you not only have to be the best company, but potential employees need proof that you’re the best company before they decide to even consider working for you.
Everyone in the home service industry knows that finding highly-skilled, highly-trained employees is a needle in haystack type deal. And the truly great service technicians have plenty of job options to choose from.
Imagine two very different companies are looking to recruit a new HVAC technician. The first company is Me Company.
Me Company doesn’t understand how important it is to have happy, motivated employees.
The owner is king and his employees are his disgruntled, underappreciated, disinterested subjects. They’re expected to come to work, put their head down, get the the job done, and just be grateful for a paycheck.
A quick Google search of Me Company shows online reviews filled with terms like “extremely bad experience”, “rude management”, and “I would rather eat my own hand than hire these people again”.
The second company, We Company, understands the value of reward and recognition.
Their employees are still expected to come to work and do a remarkable job, but they receive consistent and ongoing praise for the good work they do.
It’s not surprising that a Google search for We Company results in some pretty amazing reviews. Phrases like “Service was excellent and my tech went above and beyond”, “Great customer service and phenomenal workers” and “I was so darn happy I’m writing this review!! We Company is awesome! ” appear on major review sites.
Given the two options, which company would you choose to work for?
If you want the best online reviews and the best people to help grow your business, you need to put your people first – and consistently recognize and reward them for being remarkable.
Without happy and motivated people, you won’t get good reviews and you won’t look good online.
And when you don’t look good online, new customers (and new employees) don’t call you. They call your competitors.
It’s time to make your people your priority.
It’s not rocket science, but it is absolutely vital to the success of your company.