Who is Benjamin Franklin?Ben Franklin Plumbing in Lancaster, Pennsylvania joined ReviewBuzz in 2012. The Ben Franklin Franchise is one of the fastest growing in the United States. Their company ranked #130 on the 2011 Entrepreneur Franchise 500.
Specializing in plumbing repairs, maintenance, and installation jobs, their goal is to provide customers with prompt, friendly, dependable service for all plumbing needs.
Why they needed more online reviews The marketplace for plumbing and HVAC contractors has changed dramatically over the past decade. Gone are the days of getting business through Yellow Pages ads, direct mail postcards, refrigerator magnets. Shouting louder and more often than the other guys just doesn’t work anymore.
Enter the era of Internet posts, tweets, SEO, PPC, Yelp and online reviews.
Ben Franklin Plumbing understood that to compete in this noisy, transparent and crowded online marketplace they needed to get more online reviews from their customers. They understood that to do this they needed to make it super-easy for their customers to give them reviews online.
With all the review sites out there like Yelp!, BBB, Google, Facebook, YP.com, Superpages, etc. it can be difficult to ask for and get a review from a customer.
How did they get 567 Reviews?
“We struggled with how to get reviews on all these different places and then found ReviewBuzz and it turned out to be a great fit because we are able to just provide our customers one path to review us on whatever site was best for them. It’s a one-stop shop to ask for and get a review in multiple places” says Nate Minnich, Marketing Manager at Ben Franklin.
“It’s so easy to deal with a customer. There’s one website and basically you say, ‘Listen, go here, review us,’ and they take it from there. They get dropped into the ReviewBuzz portal and it has different avenues – Facebook and Google and all those key review sites.”
Focus on the Service Provider“It all starts with the technicians. Obviously, they’re the guys that are driving the business – handing out the cards for us and asking for reviews.”
Initially with Nate’s frontline personnel, there was ignorance about what public reviews mean to a consumer and to the success of the business.
Inspire & IncentNate needed to get them motivated and asking for reviews, so he turned to the ReviewBuzz gamification features to incent his technicians.
“As a consumer, we’re all very aware if our friend says, ‘Hey, you should buy this fishing rod. It’s really good,’ and what that means to us.”
“Yet some of the guys in our company – they don’t really use the computer, they don’t get online, they don’t do email – the whole deal – and so for them to understand the comparison between word of mouth, somebody saying, “Buy this,” and reading it online, I tried to establish that basis there.”
“What we do is we have a meeting every morning. During one of those meetings we relayed the ReviewBuzz concept. Then we really spent some time dialoguing about how to present using the whole training that ReviewBuzz has about, ‘Review me, not the company. This is for me, and my boss is going to see it. I really would appreciate it’. So we went over that and now they all have that on their iPads so they can review it at their leisure.”
What about negative reviews? “Most of our reviews are positive, which is something that we’re definitely happy about and pleased with, and yet for those that are not so happy, we now have the opportunity to respond in public.
As consumers ourselves, we know that companies are not perfect, products are not perfect. And so when I shop with Amazon, I look at the best reviews and I look at some of the worst reviews and I try to make a shopping decision based on that.
Consumers are pretty savvy these days that they can tell, “Hey, this is such a bad experience,” or ‘Whoa, these guys are really bad news for me,’ and they stay away.”
“Being able to respond in social media on reviews and wall posts and things like that gives our company the ability to make amends in a public way and say, ‘Hey, look, we dropped the ball here. We’re sorry. What can we do?’ Or it allows us to defend ourselves in a polite way to customers that are just out there to get a pound of flesh.
Beforehand, we wouldn’t have known where these people are posting or that type of stuff. ReviewBuzz helps us to keep an eye on that and allows us to respond accordingly so that the world in general can take a look and say, “Hey, even though this company might have not been a perfect 10 on this call or whatever, I see that they followed up and they handled them, and that’s good.”