Marketing

Protecting Your Online Reputation

In today’s competitive market, you must protect your online reputation to avoid losing business..if your local business is not online, it doesn’t exist.

Your prospective customers go online everyday to find out more about you and your business..what will they find…a bunch of people complaining…or a list of happy

clients thrilled about your service?

They are checking sites like Google Places to review experiences others have had with your business. Or sites like Yelp.com, MerchantCircle, or similar review sites to check your online ratings and reputation.

One single negative review, or a poor overall rating, is enough to drive people away for good. In today’s marketing, you cannot afford to lose potential clients because of poor ratings online. That’s where we can help.

Our sister marketing company, Go Pro Local, identifies your negative reviews and then works to restore your online business reputation.

Contact us today and protect your business. Click here for pricing.

Growing Your Business In Tough Times

Congratulations. If your business is still thriving through this economy – you have a lot to be proud of. A slow growing economy, over nice percent unemployment, the value of the dollar dropping, and political gridlock in our government is enough to take the wind right out of your sails. Just turning on the nightly news can make you not want to get out of bed in the morning – but don’t let it get you down. Remember, you’ve done something right to get this far, now it’s time to focus on how you can actually grow.

So you’ve reduced your labor force as much as possible, cut every unnecessary cost conceivable, and have even taken on a larger work load yourself. You can’t save profits by making your business run any tighter, so it’s time to make it grow. You’ll have to crawl out of your comfort shell to make it happen though.

Here are a few ideas, some old some new, that might help your business grow.

Network marketing – It’s the no cost way to advertise. Yes you’ll have to join a business group, get up early, talk to people you don’t know, but real business can come from this effort if you really get involved. You’ll also feel god because you will be helping other business’ as well.

The 2 for 1 plan – run a special in targeted areas or through your customer list offering a two for 1 deal – if scheduled on the same day, on the same street, you’ll give each customer half off their bill if they schedule a cleaning with one of their neighbors. It will actually be cost effective and could drive new business your way.

Seek supplier agreements – Talk to your suppliers about additional discounts if you commit all of your purchasing dollars to their company. They may be more receptive than you think. They’re working hard to keep the lights on as well. Don’t think it will work because they are already getting your business? Remind them of your loyalty, talk to them about your situation. Remember, keeping good customers through a little extra discount costs a lot less for them than replacing one they’ve lost.

Team up with a non-competing service – If you can find another ethical company that can understand the benefit in cross promoting each others services, pursue it. You’ll both increase your potential customer base without mailing one postcard. Make sure their business model matches your own for the best results.

Create a customer loyalty program – Don’t forget that it is much more expensive to get a new customer than to keep existing ones. Send out a letter or an e-mail (hopefully you are keeping a customer list) and let them know that their past business is remembered and appreciated. Offer a discount when they schedule your service next time. It will keep you on their minds and may spur some to give you a call sooner than they might have before.

Look for additional services – Keep your eyes open for other needs your customers may have that are not being fulfilled, it just may be something you can begin offering within your company.

Keep in mind, there are business’ that are growing even in this economy. You will have to get creative, try something new, and seek inexpensive ways of reaching those customers that are still out there and need your service. Most of all, stay mentally positive. As hard as it may be sometimes, our customers still respond favorably to energetic and confident individuals.

All the best.

Nelson Keimer

The Top 5 Mistakes Businesses Make

Many business owners spend a lot of time and money to create and on-line presence. Unfortunately, many build the wrong website, send the wrong message, and fail to attract customers. This report will uncover these fatal mistakes business make and how you can avoid them in your services business. Click Here to download full report in PDF

Do Customer Reviews Matter?

You bet they do. Not only do they matter from a customer conversion standpoint, but now Google has come out and said that they are factoring customer reviews into their ranking algorithm. Nothing’s worse than Googling your company name and having some scathing review about your business right there on page 1 for the whole world to see. Prospects will often times Google your company name before deciding to do business with your company…do you know what they’re finding?

Google aggregates review data from many different review sites and displays them on your Google Places listing. Many clients are amazed at what past customers are saying about their business online. One of our recent clients had no idea about a scathing review of their company that stood out on the first page of Google. They remembered the customer but had no idea about the online the review. See it here: http://TinyUrl.com/ouch-thats-gonna-leave-a-mark

One of the challenges is getting your happy customers to go online and write a positive review about your company. A positive review is about the nicest thing a customer can give your company next to a referral. The challenge is that posting an online review is a multi-stepped process. Your customer has to find the review site, register, confirm their email address, figure out how to post the review, etc. In some cases, it’s a 17 step process that most people don’t complete even if they are happy. Sometimes it’s the customer that’s hell bent on ruining your reputation that will go to any length to get their review posted (or your competitor!).

How to get your customers to review your business Once you’ve created a profile for your business on these sites, you can send a link to your best customers asking them for a review.

First step – create an email template, so it is easy to send a nice follow up to your customers asking for a review. The template could look something like:

This is (your name) from (your business name.)

During our appointment I asked if you wouldn’t mind writing a review of our services.

Online reviews are becoming more and more valuable to businesses like ours. If you have nice things to say about us or your experience with our service, it would help us if you would take a few minutes and share your experiences on one of the online review sites listed below.

There are four different review sites where reviews can be posted for us. Here are direct links to our business in each of them:

Google Local: [hyperlink here]

Yahoo Local: [hyperlink here]

Citysearch: [hyperlink here]

Yelp: [hyperlink here]

Your review can be short and sweet – it should only take a few minutes. Thank you for your willingness to help us out!

Sincerely,

(your name)

The review sites you list should include direct links to your review page there. You can make the list into hyperlinks if you know how, or just include the link to your review page after the name of the review site. Sometimes these links are very long, so use a service like TinyURL to give you a shorter link like the examples above.

Ask your customers for their email address while you are at the job. A simple question at the end of the project like, “Do we have your email address? And would you be willing to write a short review for us?” is a good way to collect your customers email addresses if you don’t already have them.

Then follow up with your customers using your email template, and watch how a growing list of reviews helps your business attract new customers!

Create Demand For Your Services

Express the importance of booking early, due to your extremely busy schedule. Like a restaurant that is always busy, this method unconsciously communicates quality and success. Use this method religiously, and you just may find your customers fighting for your slots.

Hey Everyone,

I’d like to share an interesting conversation my wife and I had recently over our morning coffee. She is a personal trainer at a nearby gym and just happens to be their number one trainer throughout their facilities here in Arizona. One of her colleagues had asked how she is able to book clients months in advance while he is only able to schedule week to week.

My wife went on to explain that first and foremost, she values her time as well as the valuable time of her busy clients. Therefore, she makes it a point to recommend they work together to lock in appointment times on a three month schedule. This would insure against any future loss of open slot times to other clients. She started this process about two years ago and now she is so busy that she can’t take on any new clients. It’s the same type of reaction we have when we walk up to a restaurant on a Tuesday, where all of the tables are full and there is a six person line – the food must be good!

As I listened, I considered how we could capitalize on this type of planning in our industry. Whether the service is tile and grout cleaning or carpet — or both, you could utilize this strategy in your business to increase your sales for the new year. Remember, the most often overlooked or unrealized new business potential is the established relationships we already have with our customer base.

I recommend calling or e-mailing your existing customer base now to stress that you want to give your previous customers the first opportunity to schedule with your company before there aren’t any slots left. You will be making a contact that has perceived value to your customers by giving them the first opportunity to schedule with you. This strategy will also convey that your company is very busy and in high demand.. If you like, you can tie this into specials, but don’t make the call about the discount, instead make it about the relationship.

Lets review the benefits of this strategy:

  • Continual contact with customers
  • Offering value
  • Expressing gratitude for their business
  • Building perceived value of your service

The other lesson I hope you will take away from this recommendation is: Listen to your significant other…..It makes your life brighter!

Nelson Keimer Success doesn’t just happen by accident.

Modern Stone offers customers internet and design solutions

January 1st, 2008 is the official launch date of Modern Stones design services for the contractor. When Modern Stone brought its own design work in-house in 2007, it was mainly due to a cost savings advantage and higher level control. One project to help out a customer eventually turned into the concept of offering low cost design services to all of Modern Stones customers. With a deep understanding of the stone and tile industry, Modern Stone Technologies offers its clients much more than the traditional design firm can.