FAQ With Chris: Chris Pitts Answers Some Of Your Most Frequently Asked Questions (Part One)

The world of search and SEO can be confusing, but if it’s all Greek to you, you’re not alone. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions answered by Account Manager, Chris Pitts. If you have questions you’d like Chris to answer in the next round, please leave them in the Comments section and we’ll do our best to get to all of them in time!Women-With-Question-Marks-Above-Her-Head

#1 How Do Rankings Work & What’s The Difference Between Organic & Maps?

There are three places on a Google Search Results page that are completely independent of one another where ranking comes into play.

The first section (at the top of the page and sometimes at the bottom as well) is Google AdWords. These are marked by a green “ad” symbol and are determined entirely through the AdWords PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising program. These spaces are not subject to the Google algorithm and instead depend on how much a company is bidding per click, as well as quality score (relevance of the content on the landing page to the search), and competition. You will not show up there if you aren’t in the AdWords PPC program.

The second place is Maps. Maps results are delivered to a searcher when they are searching for a business or service “with intent.” What “with intent” means is that Google has determined that the searcher is looking for a business near a physical location. If you expand the Maps results, it will take you to Google Maps, which shows a much larger bank of results within a given area.

The problem with Maps is that it is built for brick and mortar stores, not service businesses. Despite this, Google still shows Maps results for service searches, which muddies the water a bit. Because results are so tied to physical location, you will not show up in the Maps pack if you are not physically located near the area the searcher is physically searching from or near the central area the searcher has put into the search bar. All ‘near me’ queries are treated as a search for a brick and mortar location.

There has been a rich history of people spamming Maps by creating listings in places other than physical locations (i.e. P.O. Boxes and UPS Stores). This is against Google guidelines, but Google is spotty with how they treat spam, so while it’s risky to operate this way, we do see companies have success doing this from time to time. Of course, you risk losing your Google Maps listing altogether, which means losing all of your reviews as well, since they are housed within Google Maps. Not worth it in our opinion!

The third section is organic. Organic rank is determined mostly by the content, quality, and markup on the site itself. Several factors go into this determination, but some of the biggest ones are:

  • Site speed (page load time)
  • Relevance and readability of text content on the page (Google works because it delivers results that are relevant to the searcher. Text content is the only way for Google to determine this, outside of the coded information we send to them)
  • SEO Titles/Meta Descriptions (the titles and descriptions on the back end of the page that make up the snippet that shows in search results and gives Google an overview of the content on the page)
  • Relevant links to the page from high-quality sources

Each page of a site can be indexed separately, so you may see several pages from the same site come up for searches.

When you’re dealing with organic rank, specifically on a home page, you have to take into account NAP info (Name, Address & Phone Number), and potentially competing websites. If your business has more than one website (especially if each website has a different phone number or address associated with it), Google will get confused, and could drop your ranking on both sites. Keeping your NAP info consistent on all sources online helps keep your organic ranking up. Any place your NAP is incorrect or inconsistent can be seen by Google and lowers your site’s trust rating. After all, if there’s conflicting information, how can Google be confident that it’s presenting the correct information to the searcher? It can’t, so it will drop your organic ranking.

#2 What Does NAP Mean & Why Is It So Important To Be Consistent?

NAP info stands for Name, Address & Phone Number. When it comes to information Google is looking for from your business, these are the big three. Why? These are the three things that Google believes a searcher will be looking for most often. They want to know your name (for obvious reasons), they need your phone number for scheduling or questions about products/services, etc., and they need your address to actually get to you if you are a brick and mortar store. Google treats all businesses as if they were brick and mortar stores in most respects, so even if you are a service business, Google still views NAP information as very important.

Because Google indexes sites all over the web, it has access to almost every place your business is listed online, whether you know it’s listed there or not. If you have different phone numbers, addresses, or versions of your business name online, Google loses trust that the information presented is accurate.

Google only works because the search results it presents are accurate and helpful to the searcher. If the searcher can’t trust the information Google is presenting, he or she will stop using Google — and Google doesn’t want that.

If Google is getting mixed signals from all over the web with different phone numbers, addresses, and variations of your business name, it will suppress your business in search results in order to prevent a potential searcher from getting the wrong information. This is critically important and is often overlooked by businesses. Many companies use tracking numbers to determine where business is coming from, but when these get online, it confuses Google. This is where many companies slip up.

Note: It’s a bit different if you’re a business with more than one location.

#3 Why Don’t I Show Up In Maps Anymore & How Can I Change That?

Google Maps is an ever-changing landscape. As Google changes its Maps algorithms, companies find ways to exploit it and spam the system. Every time this happens, it forces Google to re-examine the algorithms to try to combat these spammy tactics. This is the largest factor contributing to changes in Maps rankings — however, it is far from the only one…

Every day, more and more people are using their phones and tablets to search for businesses and services. As this shift happens, it changes how Google delivers results and what those results are. Fifteen years ago, people didn’t have the Internet on their phones, and tablets weren’t even a thing. All searches were being performed from desktops in the home or office, which meant that people had to put the location they were searching for directly in the search bar. As technology advanced and people were empowered to search on the go, the whole system changed. Now people are looking for things close to their physical location, which can be derived from a phone or tablet’s GPS location. They are also generally looking for something more immediate, and many times, they’re not willing to dig as far into the search results. This shift has caused Google to shift things a bit in terms of how they present Maps results.

The Maps views themselves zeroed in as the majority of the searches were deemed “on the go” and needing to be tailored to the physical location of the searcher. This change also eradicated the need to include location keywords in searches. Now, instead of searching for “coffee shop Nashville, TN,” (a search that would center around downtown Nashville), a searcher might search “coffee shop near me,” or even simply ask their voice assistant to “find a coffee shop nearby,” which centers the search around the searcher’s physical location. This means that every searcher will get a slightly different Maps result.

What does this all mean?

The big takeaways are that your physical location is key to showing up in Maps. If you’re not physically located near where most of your clients and customers are searching from, you may not show up in their personalized Maps results. The other important factor here (and the one you, as the business owner, can actually control) is reviews. Reviews are housed within Maps and are the most important factor in a potential customer choosing you over your visible competition. If you focus on getting good reviews and responding well to bad ones, you will stand out among anyone else that shows up in the same Maps space. It doesn’t matter if you are one, two, or three — if you have 100 more positive reviews than the other two, you’re likely to get the customer.

#4 How Do I Get Reviews?

Ask everyone for a review! Obviously if you have a visibly unhappy customer, you may not want to ask that person, but in that case, you should be doing things to correct the situation and leave them satisfied. Outside of those small instances, you should be asking everyone for a review. Explain how important reviews are to you as a business owner, and that you value feedback, both good and bad. You want to know how your people did and, because you have confidence in your company, you aren’t afraid for that feedback to be public.

Many people don’t think their opinion is important enough to take the time to leave a review, and many often don’t know how to leave you a review even if their opinion does matter. Familiarize yourself with the review process so that, if a customer asks you how to do it, you can tell them with confidence. Some other things you may want to try:

There are two big DON’Ts though:

  1. Don’t publicly incentivize reviews. This is strictly against Google guidelines, as they don’t believe incentivized feedback is legimiate. If a customer puts “thanks for the gift card” or something to that effect in the review, you risk losing all of your reviews and maybe your listing altogether.
  2. Don’t leave reviews for your own business. The only people who should be leaving you reviews are people who have actually used your services or visited your store. If you are a service business and you start getting reviews from family members several states away or get one from an account that is tied to your business, you could lose all of your reviews and your listing. It’s not worth it!

The last thing I will say is, don’t be afraid of negative reviews. You can’t please everyone all the time — it’s just not realistic. A negative review with a well thought out, amicable response is worth 10 five star reviews. Many times a searcher will look at negative reviews first, so this is your chance to make a great first impression on a searcher. Don’t ever underestimate the power of a well-answered one star review!

And while this may sound counterintuitive, a few three or four star reviews mixed in with many more five star reviews boosts the overall credibility of the other five star reviews. They look more authentic and genuine because people trust that the reviews there were not incentivized in any way to create a “perfect” star rating.

#5 Do I Need To Respond To Both Positive & Negative Reviews? How Should I Respond?

Definitely respond to negative reviews. Every negative review that comes in should have a written response. My advice is to post it the day after it comes in, if possible. You don’t want to respond the second you see it, because oftentimes, when it’s that fresh, emotions are high. Let yourself calm down and revisit it the next day when you have a clear head.

Try to take the conversation offline — you never want to go tit for tat with a reviewer. A good response might look like this:

Hello, my name is __________ and I’m the business owner. I’m so sorry you had a bad experience. It is very important to us that we deliver a level of service that meets your expectations. Please give me a call on my direct line ***-***-**** at your earliest convenience and let me know what happened and what we can do to make it right.”

This takes the conversation offline and offers a well-reasoned, measured response for other people who may come behind and see the negative review.

Some other things to remember when responding to negative reviews:

  • DO admit when you’ve messed up. Everyone makes mistakes — don’t be afraid to admit that you messed up. Many customers love that admission, because it shows your commitment to the work you do and ensures them that, if they have a problem, you will work to make it right.
  • DON’T get angry online. Even if you know you’re right and the customer is being unreasonable, a third party looking at the conversation online won’t have that knowledge. When you go tit for tat with a reviewer online, it’s your word against the customer’s, and that usually doesn’t go in the business owner’s favor.
  • DON’T use the same response for every negative review. If you have a canned response, it shows a lack of empathy, and it could send the message that you get so many negative reviews, you had to standardize the process (which is never good).

As far as responding to good reviews, that’s up to you. It’s never a bad thing to do, but if you are doing your job of asking everyone for a review, you may find that this is a difficult thing to keep up with. Do what feels right for you and fits with your flow.

#6 Why Does A Business With Less Reviews Rank Higher Than Me On The Map?

Reviews, although important, are not the only factor or even the main factor in Maps ranking — location is. Maps is all about physical location. The closer a business is to a searcher, the more likely they are to be #1. The important thing to remember here is that Maps ranking, to some extent, doesn’t really matter. Don’t think of it as a first, second, and third place. If you’re being shown in those top three spots, all ground is essentially equal.

What sets you apart when you do show up in Maps is your reviews. The majority of people will not click on a business just because it’s listed first if the second and third business has 100 more five-star reviews. If you focus on getting good reviews, it doesn’t matter where you are in the Maps three pack.

#7 Does PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Really Work For Service Area Businesses?

Yes, IF it’s used correctly. I’m speaking on Google AdWords specifically here because it is by far the most popular option for PPC. Here are a few things you need to know:

AdWords works on a bidding system, so it’s very competition driven. Different keywords in different industries in different markets have wildly different costs-per-click. This can make the question of “Is it cost-effective?” very difficult to answer, without really digging into your specific business. That being said, when AdWords IS done correctly and the ads point to a quality page on a quality site, it can generate a lot of leads.

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen people make (even PPC management companies) is using location specific keywords, without actually defining the areas in which the ads are to show. In this situation, a company might use “chimney sweep Nashville” as their keywords, but because they didn’t confine the ad area to Nashville, the ad would show to people searching from all over the country. You’re guaranteed to get useless (and costly) clicks from way outside of your service area if you run a nationwide campaign as a service business, no matter how many location keywords you tag onto your search terms.

It’s also important to target your campaigns very intentionally. Running campaigns for every service you do but not bidding enough to get on the first page is useless. Instead, you’ll benefit more by picking a few services (maybe some that are seasonally appropriate) and making sure you’re bidding enough to be shown on the first page.

Another factor that influences both your cost-per-click and the user experience (which is tied directly to leads) is the relevance of the content on the landing page. If you’re running a chimney sweeping ad and you’re taking those who click to a gutter cleaning page, you will pay more per click than someone who is sending people to a page with content that’s relevant to the ad.

Also, consider that, if a user lands on your page after clicking the ad, but they can’t easily find a way to contact you, they’ll likely hit the “back” button, which means you’ve just lost money on a click. A common practice among some PPC management companies is to set up specific landing pages as stand alone sites that serve only as landing pages for AdWords campaigns. These will often have a tracking number associated with them, so you can track exactly how many calls come through that campaign.

The problem with this is that these pages, in many cases, will interfere with the organic ranking of your main site and the tracking numbers will be seen by Google as NAP inconsistency (if they are on the pages themselves). This does not mean, however, that all tracking numbers are bad. Using a tracking number in the ad itself is not picked up by Google’s algorithm and will not count as NAP inconsistency, so long as it remains ONLY in the AdWords system and does not find its way onto an indexed landing page.

Key Takeaway? AdWords is a powerful tool, and like any tool, it can be very helpful or very dangerous. Proper training and understanding is required to leverage AdWords effectively in your business.

Are You Being Smart & Intentional With Your Review Requests & Making The Most Of B2B Referrals?

Last fall, I finally took the plunge into adulthood and bought a house. It was, as expected, one of the most stressful events of my life, and left me regarding most of the people involved as unhelpful and rather incompetent. But the home inspector was a breath of fresh air. He was incredibly thorough and professional, and provided us with a complete inspection report bound in a branded binder. From start to finish, our experience with him was stress free and pleasant.

Even though we were incredibly pleased with his services, we were in the middle of a move and didn’t even think about writing him a review. But, being cognizant and thoughtful of his customers’ circumstances, he sent a succinct, polite, and effective review request email. Even though the service was over, this home inspection company continued to “Wow” me.

Here’s what the review request email said:  5-Star-Review

Hi Jessica,

At ______________ we are 100% committed to meeting the needs of our customers. In an effort to monitor and improve customer satisfaction, we would like to invite you to provide feedback on your experience with us.

We will ask you to respond to two quick questions that will take you less than 30 seconds to complete.

Click here to give us your feedback and claim a special coupon offer

P.S. If we happen to rate a 9 or 10 and you feel that we have proven ourselves worthy of being recommended to other homeowners or real estate professionals, there’s a place to do that.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Why This Is Great

What’s so great about this email?

At ***** we are 100% committed to meeting the needs of our customers. In an effort to monitor and improve customer satisfaction, we would like to invite you to provide feedback on your experience with us.

One, the company expressed their desire to better my experience and the experiences of future customers. They are asking for my feedback with the customer in mind.

We will ask you to respond to two quick questions that will take you less than 30 seconds to complete.

Two, they are recognizing that, as someone in the process of buying a home, I’ve got a lot on my plate. They know I’m likely to skip the review process because I simply don’t have the time, and eliminating that likelihood by letting me know just how little time it will actually take. 30 seconds. Who doesn’t have 30 seconds?

Click here to give us your feedback and claim a special coupon offer

Next, they’re reducing the chance that I’ll skip the review process even further, by letting me know there’s a special coupon involved. I assumed it was likely something I wouldn’t much care about (after all, what is a home inspector going to offer me?), but it still made me curious.

P.S. If we happen to rate a 9 or 10 and you feel that we have proven ourselves worthy of being recommended to other homeowners or real estate professionals, there’s a place to do that.

And finally, they’re encouraging me to share my positive experience on Yelp, Google+, or Facebook. They’re not encouraging everyone to do so – just those of us who feel that the company has provided the level of service we deserve and that other homeowners and real estate professionals deserve. The wording of this makes me think that if they haven’t lived up to my expectations, I need to let them know, not go plastering it all over the Internet – and if they have lived up to my expectations, I should help others like me out by sharing my experience.   

So, I clicked.

Choose Your Questions Wisely

Once I clicked, I saw two questions, as promised. The two questions were simple, but obviously well thought out and designed to provide the company with feedback that could be used to set them apart and quickly highlight their strengths. The two questions were:

  1. Man-With-Question-Marks-Over-His-Head    Rate your experience (1-10)
  2.     Write what you liked about the company/your experience

Question number one is going to give a quick synopsis of how the customer felt about the service overall, and question number two is going to reveal two important things that can help improve service and boost business:

  1.     What is important to the customer.
  2.     What the company is doing well.

The home inspector showed respect for my time by choosing questions that would provide helpful feedback without making me feel like I’m completing a full-on survey or standardized test.

The Relevant Gift

After I finished providing feedback, I received another pleasant surprise: coupons for home services that I was likely to need during and after the move. I was offered special coupons and discount services through the home inspector’s affiliates. This included flooring services, POD storage specials, house painting specials (the only one I couldn’t use as the wife of a house painter), and more.

Now, as much as I love Starbucks and receiving Starbucks gift cards, these types of coupons really made me feel special. Why? I felt that the home inspector was truly considering my needs and thinking about what would most benefit me during this life stage. And of course, this also got me thinking about the many opportunities for service businesses out there…

Are you networking with other service businesses and using business-to-business referrals and specials to send business to each other and make your customers feel special? If you aren’t, consider the missed opportunities. Think about the life stages of your customers – think beyond the services you offer. Could you be a helping hand to customers while simultaneously giving those outside of your service sector business?  

As someone on the customer side of the fence, I can tell you I felt anything but sold to. In fact, I felt understood – like the home inspector truly cared about me and my situation. Are you as intentional with your review requests and B2B referrals? If not, give it some real thought! Your customers, your fellow service businesses, and your own business will thank you for it.

 

If you’re interested in making reviews easier for your team and your customers, check out the Spark Review Engine™!

Are You The 1 Star Or The 5 Star Chinese Restaurant Of Your Industry?

You’re in a new town for the night and you start to feel a little rumbly in your tumbly, so you pull out your smartphone and search for “Chinese food near me.” Three options pop up: the first has 4.5 stars and reviews saying things like “Best egg rolls of my life,” “The kung pao chicken kung fu kicked my butt,” and “Holy egg drop soup, y’all;” the second has a mediocre 3 stars and a comment that says “Works in a pinch, but not my favorite;” and the last has 1 star and comments that make you feel queasy. Without hesitation you choose the first option on the map because, not only is it within walking distance of your hotel, but it also apparently has some killer shrimp lo mein.Kung-Pao-Chicken-On-Plate

Now imagine you’re back at work and you get a notification of a negative review for your chimney sweeping business that says you left someone’s living room covered in soot and grime. Suddenly you’re the 1 star Chinese restaurant. No one wants to invite you into their home just so you can stomp around in dirty boots and leave soot on grandma’s favorite picture of little Bobby. Instead, try to be like the first restaurant: let your work inspire 5 stars and comments like “We’ll never call anyone but Joe’s HVAC ever again!” and “Such wonderful customer service, we recommend Pop’s Plumbing to all our friends!”

Why do reviews make such a big difference in a business’s success? Social proof. When people are unsure of what to do or how to react to a situation they take cues from their peers – in the online marketing world this means they’re checking out your reviews. Just like you trusted total strangers when it came time to choose your Chinese restaurant, your customers are trusting other internet strangers when it comes time to choose a service company.  

Ok, Reviews Matter, But Does It Really Matter How We Respond To Them?

No one can be perfect all the time, and sometimes a customer’s experience isn’t stellar – be it from a customer service mishap or a miscommunication. If they leave a review (which is way more likely if they’ve had a bad experience than a good one), it’s imperative that you leave a positive reply. Before you start furiously typing away about your side of the story, do the following:

  • Stop and calm down. When you own a service business a negative review can feel like a personal attack, but don’t let it agitate you. While every negative review needs a response, they don’t all need a response the minute you see them.
  • Ask yourself how you can turn this into a positive experience for your bummed out customer. Sometimes all it takes is a thoughtful response saying that you understand their concerns and it won’t happen again. Other times it might need an offer of goodwill: meet them halfway on a high-cost estimate that they don’t feel comfortable with; offer to pay a cleaner to fix the carpet your tech dropped his tools on; offer to talk to them personally to discuss their side of the story, sometimes people just need to know they are heard.
  • Send the review to your Spark Marketer account manager if you need help with a response. Let us know your side of the story and what you’re willing to do to accommodate the unhappy customer.

Look at every negative review as a second and third chance to get a 5 star review. Not only will the initial customer that you respond to hopefully be satisfied by your help in resolving an unpleasant situation, but potential customers viewing the review and response in the future will have the opportunity to see how much you care about each and every customer’s experience.  

So How Can You Get More Reviews?

Each time a technician leaves a job he should be asking the customer if they’re willing to leave a review of their experience. Don’t pressure your customers, but make it clear that their reviews absolutely have an impact on your business and that they can personally make a difference. Google and other search engines use reviews as a ranking factor and they can greatly improve map visibility. So ask! You’d be surprised how many people are more than willing to help you out when you phrase a review request right! There are also tools you can use to facilitate the review asking process. 

Have you ever gotten a negative review that you weren’t sure how to respond to? Or have you ever gone above and beyond the call of duty to make sure your customer’s negative experience got a happy ending? Tell us about it!

Standing Out In A World Full Of Average Competitors

Everyone has competition – even Google. But the amount of time and space you make for your competitors in your mind and life can be all the difference between healthy competition and unhealthy competition. Do you find yourself feeling victimized because your competitors are getting some of the business you deserve? Are you preoccupied with what they’re doing instead of with what you’re doing? Here are some tips to help you stop obsessing over your competition and keep your focus where it belongs: on your business and the services you offer.
Golden-Egg-Stand-Out-From-Crowd

Highlight The Things You Do Differently

In the service world, the things that make you a better choice than your competitors are not always apparent to potential customers. Perhaps you put down drop cloths and completely protect the home during the service, or require all of your employees to undergo extensive training and certification to ensure better, more thorough, more ethical services. Well, if it’s not on your website and the customer hasn’t done business with you before, how will they know?

You know why you’re the better choice – make sure they do as well! Highlight the things that set you apart on all of your marketing materials – from your website and brochures to your trucks and social media accounts. You don’t have to harp on it or put down your competitors, just make sure the things you do differently are laid out clearly for those searching for your services.

Educate Your Customers On Why You Do Things Differently

You’ve invested time and resources into training and educating yourself and your team, but your inexperienced, uneducated competitors are still getting service calls that should be yours because they offer cheaper prices. Don’t let it make you angry and defensive. Your customers and potential customers may simply not know the importance of certification and training or understand why you charge higher prices or do things the way you do. Take the time to educate your customers and potential customers and explain why you do things differently and why it matters. Most people will be willing to spend more if they know they’re getting better service from certified professionals.
Customer-Reviews

Ask Your Customers For Reviews & Referrals

Another way to stand out from your competition is to let your customers speak for you. More and more people are reading online reviews before choosing a service business to work with (BrightLocal says 88% of people), and word-of-mouth referrals are still #1. But for the most part, you’ll need to ask customers to review you and spread the word.

If the thought of that makes you uncomfortable, come up with a script and make it part of your service call process. Practice asking satisfied customers at the close of service, and emphasize how much you rely on and appreciate referrals and reviews. Sending “Thank You” cards with a message asking for reviews and referrals after the fact can help as well. But by far the easiest, least awkward, and most effective way to get more reviews is The Spark Review Engine™. Check it out!

Personalize Your Brand On Social Media

Thanks to social media, customers can get to know you and your company well before they pick up the phone. Are you using social media effectively? You know the great guys and gals that make up your company – let those searching for your services get to know them as well. If you’re doing it right, potential customers will see who you are and why you’re different, and they’ll want to call you.

Stop worrying about your competition. Focus on what you do right and never stop providing quality, customer-oriented service. With time and consistent effort, you’ll come out on top.

What You Can Do To Make Your Slower Season Your Most Productive One To Date

The Dreaded Off-Season: The time when everything slows down. It arrives every year, and you’ve come to expect it. You can’t stop it from coming any more than the Grinch could stop Christmas from coming to Whoville, right? But what if you were prepared for it this year? What if you decided to take action and make the most of it? What if you stopped thinking of it as a slower season and started thinking of it as a different season? What could be different for your business?

Young-Man-Waiting-For-Phone-CallInstead of throwing up your hands because the phones aren’t ringing and there’s nothing you can do about it, dive into some of the things you can do something about. You know all of those things you’ve been meaning to do, but never seem to have time for during the busy season? Now you’ve got the time – so get focused and get to work!

Make SOPs & Delegate

As the business owner, there’s nothing you don’t have your hands in. You may have time now, but during the busy season, you’re swamped. Now’s the time to help your future self out. Think about the things you’d like to get off of your plate and create SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) for these tasks. SOPs will allow you to explain how to perform these tasks to your standards, once and for all, so you can pass these duties on to other members of your team. Once you’ve written these out, think about which team members you can delegate the tasks to. Since business is slower than usual, you’ll be able to spend more time going over the SOPs, answering any questions, and training your staff to take over some of these tasks.

Train & Educate

Is there something your team could improve upon? Why not spend some time during the off-season investing in your team, training them, and helping them perfect their craft and add to their arsenal of skills? Even if you don’t have the resources to take your employees to an industry convention or bring an educator to your business, your team can still be learning. Is one of your techs a master at upselling? Ask him if he’d be willing to spend some time sharing his methods, thought-processes, and techniques. Does one of your techs excel at a specific technical service? Let him share his expertise and train the rest of the team. Ultimately, you’ll have a better, more well-rounded team that delivers better services as a result.

Solicit Customer Reviews

Now that you’ve got some time on your hands, why not contact customers you served in the last 6 months and ask them to write an online review for your business? Explaining how vital word-of-mouth referrals and online reviews are for your business will remind your customers just how important they are. It will also put you back at the forefront of their minds, and may even rack up some business for you. Cha-ching!

Psst. It’s still best to ask for reviews right when the job is finished and The Spark Review Engine™ makes it easy. Find out more here.

Review Customer Feedback

Speaking of reviews, have you gone back through your negative reviews and customer feedback from last busy season? Were there any customer complaints or issues that kept popping up? Use this time to look at weak points in your service and company and think on how you can improve. This will help prevent some of that negative feedback from following you into the next season.

Make Changes For Increased Productivity

Do you remember hearing your techs complain about warehouse setup and organization or flaws in procedures when getting ready for the day last busy season? Why not rethink things? Ask your techs how you can improve your space and procedures to make the start of the day easier and more productive – then make those changes. It may take some time and careful thought, but if it makes things run seamlessly, even on your busiest days, it’s well worth it!

The Time Is Now

Remember, what you do when business slows down is just as essential to your business’ success as what you do during the busy season. Stay focused and make the most of this time – you’ll be glad you did!

Even if your business is seasonal, you really don’t have to have a “slow” season. If you’re networking, reaching out to clients, and working on client retention, you can enjoy steady business, year-round. To learn more about client retention tools and how we can help, give us a call at 855-646-3538!