Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Customer Testimonials and the Internet

We came across a video on Google news this week called the Boston Fence Guide. It is a blog and video on how one customer decided on which fence company to pick. It has some wonderful insight on what his thought process was. What his concerns were, what were the pluses and minuses and how he eventually picked Reliable Fence.

In fact it is such a strong endorsement of Reliable I called up the customer to make sure this was not some sort of infomercial. He swears it is not, he just wanted share is good experience about Reliable fence.

Here's the press release with the video:

One could not ask for a better endorsement on the Internet, except possibly for my doubts that it was too good. (how do you tell a satisfied customer to tone it down?). He said he started out with and put a huge amount of faith in Angie's List . Peer to peer information is so easy with the Internet; it is how many customers start their search. There's a rating tab in Yahoo local where customers can write a short review on their experiences, also.

The was also the other side of the coin when a customer had a dispute with Loews he made his dispute very public http://consumerist.com/5044163/customer-battles-lowes-online-over-3500-fence-wins.

The point is you never know who is coming through the door or on the other end of the phone. I ask Mike at Reliable Fence if he was aware of the video, or if he was expecting something like this, he said no, he didn't ask for it but certainly didn't discourage it.

So the question is how do you get people to write a good review for you? I suppose the simplest answer would be, "ask them".

When you have a customer you know is thrilled, just simply ask them if they would mind writing you up in Angie's list, or do a quick review on Yahoo. You could, as a policy, call after the job is done to make sure you have a satisfied customer. I know when I get those calls it makes me feel good about the choice I made. And even if I was not 100% satisfied, I felt I was heard. People would be much less likely to write a bad review if they felt you care about their issues.

What do you do to solicit reviews? Do you do follow up calls? Do you send out a survey? How do you deal with an non satisfied customer? Let us know.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Urban Coyotes - Opportunity

One thing I was taught about advertising and marketing a long time ago is; know what keeps people awake at night. A mentor of mine once described the best advertising is "Know what keeps people awake at 2:00am, and that what you appeal to".

Well, there were a couple stories (I only included one, they're pretty much all the same) this week about pets being attacked by urban coyotes. Coyotes appear be getting bolder and more aggressive towards cats and dogs.

Americans own approximately 73 million dogs, 90 million cats, people love their pets, and they do worry about them. Is this a marketing opportunity? You bet it is, not only for new potential customers, but think of your existing clients. Can you go back and offer a coyote fence check-up? Maybe sell a higher fence? Maybe sell slats to keep their dogs out of site. Maybe it's time for a new fence? It's a great way to talk to people about what you do best. Not only can you sell a fence to keep dogs in, but now you can sell a fence to keep coyotes out.

We had a comment posted a while ago from a homeowner who worked with a contractor to build a dog fortress. People love their dogs and cats, and are willing to spend a lot of money on them. Keeping them safe from coyotes seems like it's a new opportunity. Obviously this is another selling point against invisible fencing too.

Has anyone been asked about how to keep coyotes out? How to protect dogs? I can keep going on this thread if you want to learn more. Let me know.