Over the years we have collected many glowing reviews. And on our website homepage I have posted 13 of them with a thumbnail picture next to each one. These reviews are one of the first things potential customers see when they visit our site. I have also copied and pasted a review at the top of some of our other pages. Many times this has helped us nail down jobs from first time callers.
So this review came in yesterday in an e-mail from a lady Rose has been working with, I deleted the name of the city she lives in for obvious reasons. The last sentence says it all. Treat your customers right and you will get their business.
"Here in xxxxxxxx, we only have 2 options for upholstery work. One man only does chairs due to a bad back. I've used the other a couple of times with disappointing results. They also kept my furniture for months and when I called to see what was going on it took a full week for them to get back to me because they didn't want to admit they hadn't started on it. And that was just for a very small chair.
I asked around and no one had any recommendations for me so I did my own research. I've actually corresponded with you before, about a year and half ago maybe, about a couch and loveseat I wanted to have recovered. I got really busy and had to table that project for awhile but I would still like to have that work done at some point. This little loveseat came into my possession after my mother-in-law died and I just cannot live with that 90's floral fabric any longer than I have to!
I will go ahead and order the extra fabric. I would like to get on the schedule to bring the piece in but if you prefer I call you to do that I would be glad to.
Thanks so much for all of your help. It's refreshing to deal with a business that has great customer service."
I have very mixed feeling about reviews. You can't authentic the genuine ones from friends helping out a service or competitors leaving bad words for another service. I used to look at reviews but have stopped when My buddy Jose printed business cards that said 15% off the next job if you leave me a good review on angies list.
If a guy has overwhelming bad reviews =- true no one will use him but when the reviews are mixed you really can't tell what your getting.
Smart shoppers will visit your work shop - call BBB - ask for references - Dun + Bradstreet, banking - suppliers etc.
Last week we checked Yelp for a restaurant - it had 3 stars - we went and it was terrible -
I agree with Steve,
I have known there were false reviews for many years. But the icing on the cake was a product I bought online and a year later it died so I wanted to get another one. In the process I got an email asking if I wanted it for free. Of course I did. The girl said all you have to do is give us a good review on eBay and it will be free. I think it was eBay not sure f it was there or amazon. But you get the idea.
Today just for the heck of it I went on Yelp and typed in Furniture repair in my County of Westchester. Not one guy locally that I know came up. The services were all 20 - 40 miles away - including Connecticut, Jersey, and Long Island. It makes me think that they won't list you and/or review you unless you're registered or maybe pay to have your add in front when a search is done. Sight Reviews are a cryptic way of finding a good service.; And when you get a bad review there's nothing you can do to get it erased even when the customer is untruthful
I get several emails each month from prospects thru Yelp. I think I have the business listed there but didn't pay anything to them. Yes I just looked. I just have business information there and have received 49 RFQs so far. I don't know how many turned into paying customers but I do get inquiries.
Our online reviews are our bread and butter. Our sales are 70 % internet based, 20 % rally and 10 % walk in. We seem to have a mix when it comes to how sales arrive at our door step ( Google, campground literature, etc. ). Our commercial/residential awning division is all generated off Facebook or Google. Our RV business is all generated off reviews on various RV internet forums.
Once a month I have my Op's manager go through all of the RV forums and find mentions of our company. I track our reviews real close because it is the engine behind our sales. One good review can generate thousands of dollars for us from other RV'ers. Combine that with other good reviews and it generates hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of a year. I can honestly say we have had one bad review over the years.
Unlike Amazon & E-Bay all of our reviews on RV forums are from known customers. I look through the reviews and see the customer names and know they are solid reviews. We do have an E-Bay store and are getting ready to launch an Amazon store for our manufactured products company. That will be interesting.
We live and die by reviews and all of the mentions we get from the RV forums drives our sales. Here are a couple forum reviews:
" StoneVos by reputation, experience, and just the nicest people in the world. Chris and Ingrid truly help us all "
" I have bought replacement fabric for all our toppers from Stone Vos. I highly recommend the high-quality acrylic fabric that they provide! They will last a lot longer than any vinyl fabric out there! They were able to provide an exact color match for the original fabric that came on the MH in 2002! I installed them myself. Chris can probably provide an installation video for you, or point you to one on YouTube. "
" Installed my second Stone Vos one today and the first yesterday. Two more to go. I ordered the Coachguard fabric for my Girard slide toppers. Still have 6 more to go. "
If you look at the fabric name Coachguard that is the acrylic fabric name we trademarked and branded strictly for our company.
This gives us a double wammy as our name Stone Vos gets branded as well as our fabric. There are literally hundreds of these reviews all over the RV forums and they all drives sales. So if an RV'er searches the RV forums for Coachguard or Stone Vos they find us. In essence we are driving sales off reviews based on our company name and fabric name.
Unfortunately business web pages like yelp, google and Houzz are a necessary evil. When a potential customer does a google search for upholsterers in my area google logarithms search these pages for relevant information and then decides where to rank my website.
For instance when I do a search for upholsterers in High Springs Fl. here is what comes up,
1. Ladd Upholstery Designs - #1 in the box at the top of the page
2. Yelp - My yelp Business Page.
3. Yelp again - Their list of upholsterers. I'm first.
4. Angie's List - I'm # 8
5. Florida Boy Customs - He does auto upholstery
6. Ladd Upholstery Designs - My website home page.
And down at the bottom at # 10 is our business page on Houzz
None of these sites have negative reviews aimed at my business.
The deal with adding reviews to your webpage is you are in total control. All of my posted reviews came from e-mails sent to our business address. I get to pick and choose which ones to add to the list.
Most of our estimate requests generated from E-mails arrive from our web page. Very few if any come from Yelp. But it is crucial to have an account with all these business pages like yelp because google holds them in such high esteem when their logarithms are doing their thing.
It's good to maximize all the on line - no cost methods to get your name out there. Kody and Mojo - you guys have really learned the ropes of internet advertising. I've only had a web site and my company listed for the last 2 years. I can say without even trying to increase exposure the on line presence has been beneficial and helped out a good deal when things were slow a year ago. It also allows folks to read about your services and the web site gives them a relaxed feeling about who they are calling.
2 years ago the insurance Co was assigning a claim to me - the claimant asked the Ins Co. what's his web site - I didn't have one and they believed I wasn't a real restoration Co since I had no web site. It all worked out and they liked the things I did but it made me think what I needed going forward and formed the web site and on line presence with the help of SCORE -
I still advertise in the Church bulletin and a small local school paper. The costs are about $ 900.00 per year. Older clients call from the paper adds - the younger folks see my name in the paper than go on line to look over the web site. So far no reviews and thank goodness no bad ones.
Quote from: SteveA on July 17, 2019, 12:50:53 am
the younger folks see my name in the paper than go on line to look over the web site. So far no reviews and thank goodness no bad ones.
I don't understand. My website doesn't have anyplace that anybody can leave a review, good or bad. The business pages like yelp do and I can see that as a potential problem. I've seen your work and cannot conceive how a anybody could complain. I'm sure you, like us, handle the rare complaint as a top priority. The only problem I can see is a troll or perhaps competition leaving a false review. That would be a big problem. I've been to enough business pages to know when a business has 5 good reviews and one bad review to ignore the bad one.
We have no reviews on yelp
We have one review on google
A couple on facebook
And 4 or 5 on Houzz. On Houzz I also created several pages within my business page, one page is called reviews that I've posted reviews we've collected over the years.
So far all our reviews have been positive.
You do the best you can. When customers said they were glad to have used me I asked them to write a letter for a folder I kept. I haven't asked in a long time - over ten years. Businesses aren't bullet proof from a rogue review and who knows how to get these reviews withdrawn - who do you call ? You may not even get an alert that someone left a negative review. With all the risk I still think it's better to be on line than not. I just don't rely on it as much as I do word of mouth. Since the web site I have not been slow - cheers to you guys for recommending SCORE to me.
Since we are all old timers we can look back and remember what it was like before the internet. Marketing centered around local ad's, the yellow pages and word of mouth.
Today consumers are all geared towards doing research on products and services via the internet and using a host of different methods. Today businesses have to reach as many of these sites as possible and they have to maintain a web presence. I have lost track of the number of potential customers that I talked to who all said " I will check out your website ".
Despite being in this game for many years I am still astounded how readily available information is to the consumer via the internet.
It depends on the customer - those with items very very important to them - perhaps
"reputation/demonstrated performance" would be very important.
But, the penny pinchers or understand money (cost) more (at least to them),
Anyway, I think the point of "price" prevails above most other points.
That seems to be the first and perhaps the only question they present.
I don't necessarily feel the most potential is with these type of customers. (sometimes wrong though).
Oh well the work bench is usually full with stuff waiting is the good news.
But, a good marketing overview of what you are doing is important also.