In this clip from a recent podcast with Zach from Liftify, he talks about some very key points when it comes to getting reviews from customers including when is the best time to ask, who is the best person on your team to ask for a review, contact data and the review process.

“Yeah, and I think I just wanna acknowledge first, like, it is hard for you to get reviews and if you feel hopeless that you just can’t get reviews and you know your buddy’s own home service companies and it feels like they get a lot of reviews, it is hard in restoration to do it. And so you’re not making that up. It is difficult, but I’ll encourage you, that’s not an excuse to not get them because you have the same benefits, right? That they’re gonna get.

You’ve just gotta acknowledge the things that are hard. So, A couple kind of key things that we see. I think in the restoration space, what we’ve seen is kind of, a primary challenge is in a lot of businesses, it doesn’t really matter when you ask if it’s relatively after the job, the customer’s already signed up to pay a certain amount. Say you put a new floors at your house, or you put in a patio or whatever. You already committed to that, right?

So, once you pay that final bill and stuff, it doesn’t really matter when you get that request. What we found in the restoration space is really the optimal time to get that review is after the job’s completed and say the home is stored, but before they get that bill before they see, “Oh wow, it was that much; that’s more than I was expecting; or, oh, my deductible is this; I actually have to pay out of pocket; I thought insurance is gonna cover all of that,” right?

And so it’s the nature of the work being in emergency services where they’re signing up for the help before they understand the cost. And if you can get that reviewed before they have to do the payment, and that maybe changes the experience, that’s a challenge. That is real in the business. I think the other thing that we see in this space is sometimes, and this isn’t necessarily specific to restoration, it just depends on the industry, but sometimes that person in the field might not be the best person to make the ask.

Either the right person isn’t there, they may not be the best person to deliver it. They’re the person to go in and they’re great at doing the work, but selling the customer on, “Hey, here’s how you can help my business. Please help me, whatever.” It’s just hard to get ’em to do that. It may not be in their skillset. We’re in other businesses and we are in the custom closets business and that designers working with them, they’re basically a salesperson. It’s a very natural thing for them to do, right? In some industries like restoration, I don’t think it’s very natural. And it’s very hard to get your frontline people to actually do that piece of it.

And there might not always be. The right moment to do that. And then I think a third thing is, and this may be more for like commercial work, but you may not always interact with the right person. You might be working on a building and you’ve got an office person signing off on it, but that’s not really the person you’d like a review from. And you don’t ask them or whatever.

And so, that can be a challenge as a whole. And then lastly, I think, not to be disparaging, but it’s true with a lot of the home services we work in restoration companies are worse at getting the contact information from the people that they want than any industry I’ve ever worked in. And the good news is this one’s in your control, okay?

The other ones that we could talk about how we address, but if you’re not capturing their mobile phone number, their email address, like those are basics for you to market your business going forward, not just for reviews, for anything and I think a lot of companies don’t do that very well. And they’re not doing a good job with that piece of it. So, those are some of the challenges that we see in the industry.

And so, kind of, to answered the other part of your question, Ben, on how do we address some of those things? The first thing on the data part, we coach all of our customers through a process of here’s what you need to start collecting right now, which is email, phone, get the right name. Don’t just call it building one, like who is the person you know on the other side of that, and that’s good for all your marketing.

And so we’ll coach you through how do you have really good contact data for your customers and we’ll show you how to do that. And then secondly, we’re gonna work with you on how to build a process or how to automate with your system, ideally on how we can ask before that invoice goes out in an ideal world.

So how do we get the review request to the customer, whether it’s via email and text, or some of the other strategies that you can trigger on your own, or we can automate it. We can talk through a game plan for your business, but how do we get that request to the customer at the optimal time? And then we make it really easy to respond.

And for a lot of businesses, if they just had good data and they got the request every time at the right moment before that invoice and they got it to ’em and it didn’t rely on their frontline teams to do it and it was really easy for the customer. Like, that’s the other part is it’s gotta be really easy for them. That’s kind of, unique in the restoration space, what we’re doing and why I think it’s working.

We’re getting the momentum that we are is, we look at every business and kind of build you a custom game plan. It seems it’s we have best practices that apply to most things, right? But we’re gonna give you a game plan and say, Ben, for your company, this is exactly what needs to happen. We’re gonna train your team up, or we’re gonna put in this process. It’s totally automated, depending on your system, and what that looks like. And we’re gonna run it and this is gonna work and we’re gonna make it better and better over time.

And that’s just really different value proposition than just saying, “Hey, company XYZ, just go buy another piece of software to email people.” Like, that’s not the solution, right? You need results. And so we’ve got the roadmap. We know exactly how to walk them through that and what it’s gonna take and what are the pitfalls there and we’ll navigate ’em through it so that they can succeed.”

Watch the full podcast episode here:

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Zach Garrett

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