Qualified Remodeler Magazine

JAN 2019

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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Reputation in the Balance By Patrick O'Toole UBER, THE RIDESHARING company, has a reviews mechanism embedded in its process. The minute you arrive at your destination and exit your car, a message pops up asking for a review of the driver. There's also a spot to report other positive attributes at the click of a button—"good conversation," "entertain- ing," "good navigator." Lastly, there's a place to leave a comment and send a tip. Most Uber users take this step seriously. AƁer all, the driver gets the same message to rate you, the passenger. And nobody wants to see their rating suffer. It could mean po- tentially missing out on future rides when demand is high. This is reputation management taken to the next level. But we've all experienced sim- ilar prompts for other goods and services. We get them from retailers. We get them from the oil-change center. We get them from restaurants. And people are increasingly expecting to get them from remodelers and home improvement professionals. Today, there are dozens of reputable online management reputation companies from which to pick. The reasons for hiring them are clear: You can either be proac- tive and take control of your online ratings and reviews, or you can cast yourself to the whims of past customers or worse—people who have never worked with you, but who are nonetheless posting a negative review. Companies such as Broadly, Podium, Grade.us and ReviewTrackers offer a host of services, but the main service is to follow up with clients as soon as your company completes a job and to send out invitations for reviews. If a client says yes to having a good experience, then they will be prompted to quantify the number of stars, comments, etc. From there, the good reviews get posted to a number of partner sites like Angie's List, Yelp, City Search and others, says online marketing expert Todd Bairstow, a founder of Keyword Connects. "The first question is: Did you have a good experience with ABC contractor?" Bairstow explains. "And it's worded very specifically like that. And if the answer is 'yes,' then up pops the stars, the categories and 'leave a comment.' And if the answer is 'no' they say, 'We're sorry. Can you tell us the nature of your complaint?' They send negative ex- periences back to the home improvement company to deal with, but it doesn't see the light of day in the search engines." Bairstow points out that your clients are still free to go to an online site and post a negative review about your business, but you've got many other positive reviews to balance them out. In general, the impact of reviews on a company is limited, Bairstow notes, because the vast majority of home Podium | podium.com Podium is a not only a reputation-management software to post positive reviews. They are also set up to handle all of your interac- tions with your clients, from text messages to emails. These mes- sages come to your control panel directly from the rating location. Every message comes to one inbox where you can answer questions directly. There is a full-reporting platform with reports on key words that your customers are using to describe your business. In addition, Podium offers a chat service that can be added to your website in order to provide quicker responses to potential customers. TECHNOLOGY 18 JANUARY 2019 QR QUALIFIEDREMODELER.COM

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