James Hotten, Syngenta Business Manager, shares his quick-fire tips on how to easily build your business’s online reputation.

As part of our 2019 Rapid Solutions EduCon presentation, ‘Utilising Digital Innovation to Build Your Reputation’ we invited the audience to answer a simple yet very powerful question: ‘How frequently do you ask customers for online feedback and reviews?’

Over 27% of respondents claimed they never ask for online feedback and reviews and a staggering 43% said only sometimes. At the other end of the spectrum, only 15% of the respondents always ask their customers for online feedback.

Whilst not unexpected, these results are very concerning if they are representative of the ANZ pest management industry. Especially when you consider that over 92% of consumers now read online reviews. What’s more, research has shown that over 72% of consumers will take action only after reading a positive review.

Statistics such as these are everywhere, and let’s face it you don’t need to be told. Just stop for a moment and consider your own behaviour when searching and selecting products and services. Everything from choosing a local restaurant to a new ute and everything in between. In simple terms, if you’re not building online feedback and reviews day in and day out, your business will be left behind.

The great news is this is a relatively simple and cost- efficient thing to do.

Before you start asking your customers for reviews you need to make sure you’ve created places online for them to easily leave reviews. The two most popular platforms customers look to for online reviews are on Google and Facebook, and it’s never been easier or quicker to create a presence for your business on both these platforms.

Remember to follow all the steps and fill in as much relevant business information as possible, including contact details, hours of operation, services offered and some photos of your pest control business and your team. The more information you provide, the more your customers can learn about you, which will ultimately influence their buying decisions.

Once you’ve got your Google My Business listing and Facebook page set up and complete, it’s time to start encouraging your customers to leave reviews.

Here are some handy tips to make the process simpler and more effective for both you and your customers.

Just ask!

An obvious starting point, but something most of us forget to do (as evidenced by our audience survey). Be mindful to ensure you’re soliciting customer reviews at the right moment in their journey with your business to get optimal results. Usually your customer wants to see the e ects of a pest control treatment working over time, so it’s probably not a great idea to ask for a review immediately after a treatment.

Make the process as easy as possible

Satisfied customers are usually more than happy to leave positive reviews, but if the process of physically leaving the review is complicated and time-consuming, the odds are that they’ll give up pretty quickly. When asking your customers for a review, make sure to provide a direct link to both your Google business page as well as the reviews section of your business’s Facebook page.

You also need to make the process of asking for reviews easy for yourself, otherwise you may find it falls to the bottom of your to-do list. Create an email template for your review request so you can easily refer to it when it’s time to ask for reviews. Don’t forget to always edit your automated template to include personalised details about the particular job and customer.

Follow up

If your customer doesn’t give you a review within a certain amount of time, don’t be afraid to send a gentle reminder – just don’t be too pushy. And after a couple of reminders, it is probably best to leave it there. You don’t want to annoy them!

Syngenta has developed a handy ‘cheat sheet’ with more detailed tips and tricks on building your online reviews and feedback, and ultimately business reputation.

James Hotten, Business Manager, Syngenta

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