Do you make getting your clients and customers to leave you review a part of your sales and marketing strategy?
Do you have incentives for your employees to get clients to leave those reviews?
If not, you should consider it. In an increasingly online and search engine optimization-driven world, user reviews are a critical component to your sales process. After all, how else do users choose you over a competitor?
But let’s take a look at the stats behind this thinking. According to a 2018 poll from research firm BrightLocal, nearly 8 in 10 Americans say that positive reviews make them head straight to a business’s website.
Furthermore the same study found that users read and average of 10 reviews – 10! – before feeling like they trust a local business, and 40 percent of people say the look specifically for reviews written in the past two weeks (up from 18 percent the previous year).
In other words, there’s there’s real benefit to having both a lot of reviews and having them posted frequently.
That leaves the question: How do you get more customers to fill out reviews of your business? One key way is to incentivize your staff to get the customer to do it!
Here are six ideas for helping train your staff to gather those A+ reviews.
1. Give workers a flat bonus for each review
Nothing helps spur your employees to action like simply giving them money. Paying employees for each review they get submitted is a great way to make sure that they follow through with getting customer feedback.
It also has the side benefit of making sure they’ve stay focused on making sure the customer has a positive experience! A bad review, after all doesn’t help anybody.
The question then becomes how much is a positive review worth to you?
Some studies have shown business can raise their prices as much as 11 percent for each star rating increase without losing business, but the numbers are squishier in contractor space.
Try to find a rate that works for you. Some business pick a $5-$20 bonus for each positive review written. It’s a small gesture, but it adds up!
2. Give a revenue percentage bonus for each five-star review
This is a more complicated way to compensate employees for impressive reviews, but it also does more to solve the question of review value.
Basically, think of positive reviews the way football players receive performance incentives.
Each job has a potential percentage commission on revenue and a sterling review is one of the many performance incentives a worker can receive. How much that is worth is up to you.
3. Create a leaderboard with top prizes
Another approach some companies takes is to create a leaderboard for folks who get the most reviews, get the highest number of top-rated reviews, et cetera.
Then, at the end of a month, prizes are awarded to the top three competitors. Something like a $300 prize for first place, $200 for second, and $100 for first. VISA gift cards are a popular option for these prizes.
There are pros and cons to this approach.
On the one hand, it could be dispiriting for employees who get some great reviews but never enough to make it into the top tier and thereby leave empty handed.
On the other hand, a bigger prize increases competition to get those top reviews and might make people fight harder to get them and raise their standards of excellence.
You can also mitigate the same people getting the prize every month by limiting repeat winners in consecutive months, spreading the incentive around.
4. Vary prizes from month to month
If you got a leaderboard route, you can have fun with varying the prizes from month to month. Some months it could be a cash gift card, but other months it could be a fancy dinner.
Some companies even give away big ticket prizes like LCD TVs, hotel stays, and vacation vouchers to top prize-winners. The sky’s the limit, but the idea is to keep it fun for everyone.
5. Make it a contest
Another option for getting group participation in getting those positive reviews is to create a sweepstakes-style contest.
In this scenario, every four- or five-star review counts as a single “contest entry.” The more of these reviews one of your workers gets, the more entries they get into your monthly drawing.
Call it a Carnival style approach. Whoever gets more reviews essentially gets more “raffle tickets” for whatever that month’s particular prize is.
This is another way to encourage people to get those reviews – with their names mentioned (it’s the only way to make this format work) – while also ensuring that prizes are spread around and no one employee is left behind.
6. Tie great reviews to yearly bonuses
But contest, per-review incentives or getting your employees to compete with one another might not be your cup of tea. Perhaps you’re looking for a longer-term strategy.
In that case, some companies look at the employee’s entire year when considering how their reviews – in both volume and quality – should affect their compensation. Then, this becomes part of their year-end bonus calculation.
(Alternately, you could decide to do this evaluation quarterly or bi-annually.)
What’s good about this approach is it shifts the focus from short-terms gains to a birds-eye view of an employee’s clients and performance over the year, helping to paper over slumps and ensure that overall consistency is the focus.
A variation on this approach is a more punitive one, where the expectation is high reviews and bonus compensation decreases as negative ones impact their review.
But to make this fair, there needs to be a couple of “passes” on negative reviews since … well, we’re all human and sometimes intractable clients happen.
What would you do?
Those are just a few ideas. Are you thinking of or have implemented a rewards system for your employees who generate reviews?
What kinds of incentives have worked or not worked? How much value do you think a good reviews adds to your contracting business? We’ve love to hear from you!