The Power of Your Employees: The Secret to Great Reviews and A Great Company

By Mike Montano

By now, you already know your online reputation is one of your most valuable marketing assets. And you know if you don’t have great reviews on sites like Google, Facebook, and BBB, you’re basically giving away potential customers to your competitors who do have great reviews. But I have a secret to tell you: The most important ingredient to having a stellar online reputation comes from your people. They are the ones on the front lines connecting with customers, handling issues, generating sales, and creating long-term loyalty to your brand. It’s the connection between the service professional and the customer that generates a glowing 5-star review on Google…or a dreaded 1-star review that can seriously damage your business. It’s time for service companies to face this fact: Without remarkable people, your company will not get remarkable reviews on sites like Google, Facebook, and BBB. Your people power your reviews, your revenue, and your business. It’s that simple.

Motivate Your Team

We all like to be recognized. When we do a job exceptionally well, it validates our work to have someone we respect acknowledge our efforts. When we receive that validation, it motivates us to do even better the next time. In the service industry, a little recognition of your team can go a long way in getting tons of positive reviews online. When someone is recognized for a job well done, they walk a little taller that day. Their chins lift up, their chests puff out, and they take pride in their work. And when they take pride in their work, that translates into better experiences for your customers. And those better experiences result in better reviews, which result in more customers, and more revenue.

When someone goes unrecognized for their hard work, however, it deflates their sails. Their shoulders sag, their face falls, and they lose motivation to do a good job. In their minds, no one notices their work anyway, so why should they care if a customer has a bad experience with them?

Motivation, or lack thereof, is what can get your company glowing 5-star reviews that attract hordes of new customers wanting to work with you…or 1-star reviews that tear your company apart in painful, public detail for potential customers to see.

 

Ouch

Business owners can, and should, do more to reward, recognize, and motivate their people. A recent survey from Globoforce showed that 78% of workers would be more motivated to perform better at their job if they were recognized and appreciated for their efforts. 78% is a big number that can’t be ignored. It shows me that many workers in America go to work every day feeling underappreciated for the work they do. And in turn, they don’t give their best efforts at their jobs. This is poison for any business in the service industry, because when your people don’t give their best effort every single day, your customers feel it. And in this climate of social media and immediate consumer feedback, it’s only too easy for those customers to go online to share their feelings with the world. Reward and recognize your people every day and you’ll get more great reviews, more business, and happy employees who will stay with you longer.

 

Getting and Keeping the Right People

To get the best people on your team, you not only have to be the best company, but potential employees need proof that you are before they decide to even consider working for you. Everyone in the home service industry knows that finding highly-skilled, highly-trained employees is a needle in haystack type deal. And the truly great service technicians have plenty of job options to choose from.

Imagine two very different companies are looking to recruit a new HVAC technician. The first company is Me Company. Me Company doesn’t understand how important it is to have happy, motivated employees. The owner is king and his employees are his disgruntled, underappreciated, disinterested subjects. They’re expected to come to work, put their head down, get the job done, and just be grateful for a paycheck. A quick Google search of Me Company shows online reviews filled with terms like “extremely bad experience”, “rude management”, and “I would rather eat my own hand than hire these people again”.

The second company, We Company, understands the value of reward and recognition. Their employees are still expected to come to work and do a remarkable job, but they receive consistent and ongoing praise for the good work they do.

It’s not surprising that a Google search for We Company results in some pretty amazing reviews. Phrases like “Service was excellent and my tech went above and beyond”, “Great customer service and phenomenal workers”, and “I was so darn happy I’m writing this review!! We Company is awesome! ” appear on major review sites.

Given the two options, which company would you choose to work for?

 

Empower Your People to Turbocharge Your Company

If you want the best online reviews and the best people to help grow your business, you need to put your people first – and consistently recognize and reward them for being remarkable. Without happy and motivated people, you won’t get good reviews and you won’t look good online. And when you don’t look good online, new customers (and new employees) don’t call you. They call your competitors. It’s time to make your people your priority. It’s not rocket science, but it is absolutely vital to the success of your company.

 

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These group of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area!

Service Nation, Inc. Receives the Prestigious Aggie 100 Award

Aggie 100 honors the 100 fastest growing Aggie-owned or Aggie-led businesses in the world.

The 14th annual Aggie 100 named and awarded Service Nation, Inc. as the 54th fastest growing company in 2018. Service Nation President Matt Michel and Controller Kyle Scott were recognized at the ceremony and Kyle accepted the award on behalf of Service Nation.

Mays Business School’s McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship created the Aggie 100 to identify and celebrate the success of Aggie alumnus as well as educate and inspire current students. Companies must be nominated and be in business for over five years, with verifiable revenues of $250,000 or more. “It is an honor to be recognized by the Aggie 100 for our achievements and business growth,” said President of Service Nation and Texas A&M Alum, Matt Michel. “Our mission at Service Nation has always been to inspire and support the entrepreneurial spirit of residential contractors who aim to better their businesses through our training, education, and mentorship programs.”

Service Nation, Inc. was founded in 2002 to share knowledge and help contractors improve their sales, marketing, operations, and profitability. Today, Service Nation has over 5,000 members across the United States, Canada, and Australia. “Service Nation has changed my life,” said Chris Hunter, Service Nation member. “Before I joined Service Nation, I didn’t really understand what I was doing from a business sense. I knew how to repair HVAC units but not how to run a profitable business. The people, tools, and resources Service Nation offers have allowed me to build the business I have always dreamed of.”

“What an honor to share a room with such incredible caliber of business leaders and people in general,” said Kyle Scott, Controller for Service Nation. “When they flashed total revenues of over $5 billion represented, wow, I mean whoop! Great to be back in Aggieland! Big thanks to Matt for giving me the opportunity to experience it and represent the company.”

About Service Nation:
Service Nation, Inc., is the world’s largest private contractor group, dedicated to providing residential service contractors with an affordable means to drive new business and generate higher sales.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Kiley Widmann at 469.293.8842 or email at: Kiley.Widmann@ServiceRoundtable.com.

 

Am I A Bad Parent?

By Danielle Putnam

A friend of mine is about to open her first restaurant. Well, not really. She’s a long way from being ready to open the doors. But the framing for the kitchen and bar area has been set. Now, for all of you entrepreneurs out there, I’m sure you can agree with me…that’s progress, right?

So earlier this week, before the sheetrock was mounted, she texted a group of friends and asked us to come write words of blessings on the frame boards. Naturally, on a Monday night after a long day in daycare, my three-year-old did not want to go with me to some other location away from her toys and her room to write words of blessing on someone’s skeleton wall. In attempts to appeal to my three-year-old, I said these words, “Palmer, please come with me to a really cool space, and then afterward we will come home and play with your toys!” She happily walked toward the car.

As we approached the building, which was an old brick warehouse if you can imagine the type, my daughter, Palmer asks, “Mom, may I have a purple one?” Purple is her favorite color, she always wants a purple one…but a purple what? “Mom, may I have a purple space helmet?” I thought to myself, “Oh isn’t that cute, she’s so imaginative, she’s pretending she’s an astronaut!” To which I responded, “Yes, of course you can have a purple space helmet!”

Fast forward a few steps as we entered the building, and she instantly cried aloud in terror, “Where are they? They’re not here!” I didn’t know what she was talking about, so I quickly handed her a purple marker and sent her toward the 2×4’s to make her mark.

Thirty minutes later, after she’d colored every board she could find, we attempted to leave, and a tantrum broke out. My sweet Palmer was screaming in hysterics with tears streaming down her face and all the other moms stared at me as if to cast blame because I couldn’t control my child. But wait a minute, why was she crying?

It still hadn’t occurred to me, the words I had spoken to her. I had said earlier, “Let’s go check out a cool space.” She had said, “May I have a purple space helmet?” Wait, what? It was all coming together now; I began to see why she was crying as she kept hollering for her purple space helmet. The purple space helmet I had promised her when we got to that really cool ‘space’.

 

MARKETING VS. MESSAGING

How often do we spend our precious hard-earned money on marketing and market the wrong message?

We have good intentions, but good intentions do not clarify the message nor the expectation. When we market a new product, service, or discount, are we also asking ourselves, “How would my customer receive or interpret this message?”

Going back to the basics is hard. Stepping outside of our busy lives is hard. Our phones are ringing, texts are dinging, technicians are calling, office staff is calling, everyone wants to push their agenda onto your plate, but to make sure it’s not all in vain, to make sure we’re reaching our target, we must step outside of the busy noise and ask ourselves to first:

  • Clarify the message
  • Simplify the message
  • Maximize the message
  • Multiply the message

More than likely, you’ve heard this before. I live and breath this, and still I get it wrong. We fail forward daily, but in our failing, we also succeed when we slow down and say, “Hey, wait a minute, ‘what’s the message I need my audience to understand and how does it benefit them?’”

Marketing fundamentals were established for a reason, just like parenthood. Listen to your child and don’t promise without understanding what you’re promising.

So of course, I’m off to find the latest and greatest space helmet so I can redeem my child’s faith and confidence in her mother, so she can TRUST that I do what I say…just as we all want our customers to trust that we’re providing what our messaging promised.

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These group of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area!

Maximizing the Market Value of Every Job

By Chris Lonergan

How many jobs have you completed this week…this month…this year?

How proud of that work are you?

How did you capture the marketing value your work?

Making The Most (Marketing) Out Of Each Job

Many contractors and home service providers fail to utilize the marketing value of their daily work and customer base. You’ve spent the effort to find a lead, nurture it into a sale, completely satisfy that customer, and you create a finished product that you were proud of.

Why wouldn’t you maximize that investment of your time, money, and resources?

To be clear, we’re not talking about getting more money out of your customer’s wallet.

Often left untapped, there is great potential opportunity to develop additional marketing value on every job site. Let’s talk about some tactics for maximizing your marketing.

 

Generate Media: Taking Pictures Of Your Work

By and large, people enjoy visuals more than they do text. While written content in your marketing is great for demonstrating your authority and expertise, a wall of text with no visual relief isn’t likely to capture much attention.

Instead of relying on stock photography to fill the gaps, take pictures on your job sites to develop your own library of content. A sharp eye and a smartphone camera are more than sufficient to start taking candid photos and videos to document your work.

Your new visual content is great for growing your website, featuring in print marketing materials, and sharing as social media content.

 

Generate Reviews: Follow Up For Online Reviews

You know that you have been exceeding your client’s expectations and completely satisfied their service or installation needs, so why not give your customer a way to share their positive experience?

While some positive reviews will happen naturally, taking steps to actively pursue testimonials will help to rapidly grow your online review with both quality and quantity. This can help your business from a search engine optimization and marketing perspective.

Your website and post-sale customer follow ups should encourage review gathering by 1) actively asking for the review and 2) providing an easy to follow path to leave reviews.

 

Generate Referrals: Growing Your Business On Your Previous Successes

 

Your marketing plan is already developed so that you can position yourself in front of prospective customers. Whether you run TV and radio ads, Google ads, print mailers, billboards, social media, or SEO — the basic purpose of your marketing is to get in front of people who may be interested in your service.

Having a referral program is yet another way to create top-of-mind awareness to get your business contact information to the right potential leads. Instead of paying for ad spend or marketing professionals, you’re paying your previously satisfied customers.

Creating an incentivized referral program turns customers into influencers – a sales person using their network to identify potential customers that your other advertising and marketing efforts would normally not have reached.

Don’t let your marketing potential of your previous successes go to waste. With the right planning, you can maximize the marketing value of your jobs – to help continually grow your business presence.

 

Chris Lonergan is the President of Footbridge Media, a contractor marketing agency helping contractors and home service providers since 2004. For more information, visit https://www.footbridgemedia.com

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These group of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area!

A Powerful Marketing Source

By Dave Rothacker

“After my techs came out of that airflow class, their confidence level skyrocketed!”

Chris Hunter made this statement to me in a recent discussion we had on technical training.

He went onto say, “Technical competence is one key element in successful service call training. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like there’s been more emphasis lately on the sales and customer service part of the call. A tech who is confident in her customer service, communications, AND technical competence becomes a powerful marketing source!”

Did The Light Bulb Come On?

As an owner and/or manager, think about a recent class your service technicians took. Whether you, your service manager, or an outside educator held the class, did you notice an increased level of excitement in your techs? Did you notice an increased level of confidence? Did you notice a bank of stadium lights or at least a light bulb come on?

I’m talking about as the result of a class just taken. I’ve seen the light bulb come on when a tech finally understands the field operation of a refrigeration circuit. The same holds true for electrical troubleshooting. In every one of these circumstances however, it was at least a year, and usually more, after schooling. The only time I’ve ever witnessed an immediate light bulb reaction was following airside diagnostic training. For most, it was a flickering bulb. Every now and then however, a technician gets it and it’s a sight to behold. But I’ve never seen the overall reaction that Chris describes.

 

Is It Airside Diagnostics?

Over the years, airside troubleshooting training has taken a backseat to electrical, refrigerant, and mechanical training. So I naturally assumed that Chris’s techs were excited because they were learning new stuff.

Still, I wasn’t comfortable with that assumption. So I called up Chuck Morales, the educator who taught Chris Hunter’s technicians. Chuck works for Growth & Profit SystemsBen Stark’s company, located in Hurst, Texas.

 

It Wasn’t Airside Diagnostics

I hadn’t known Chuck, so we spent time talking about each other’s backgrounds. Chuck graduated from a Louisiana vo-tech school in 1981, worked two years for a contractor, and then started up his own HVAC business. He officially started training in 1992. He sold his business in 1996 and went to work at Elaine P. Nunez Community College in Chalmette, Louisiana, coordinating the college of HVAC. He was also the facility’s chief engineer. One day, the president of the college said, “Chuck, starting on Monday you’re going to teach our HVAC classes.” In 2005, Hurricane Katrina forced Chuck and his family to move to Texas. He went to work for a contractor as a technical instructor, then started up his own training organization, and then worked for another contractor before partnering with Ben at Growth & Profit Systems.

A few minutes later, Chuck mentioned something that squashed the airside diagnostic’s theory. In referring to his students, he said, “I reach down, pull out their soul, and let them look at it. I help them feel good about themselves. It’s about emotion, empathy, and feeling good.”

It wasn’t airside diagnostics, it was Chuck.

 

Former Students

Shayde Wood, Warranty Parts Manager for Milestone Electric & Air in Texas: “Chuck has heart, he cares about his students. He makes you feel proud to be a professional!”

Arturo Moreno, Milestone Electric & Air in Texas: “Chuck’s hands-on training makes a difference! He explains, building one concept upon the next, so that you understand. And then he follows up to make sure.

Matthew Ireton, Field Supervisor & Airside Specialist for A # 1 Air in Texas: “Chuck changed my life! He instills passion for the industry through education. And now as a teacher myself, I try to do the same.

 

The Missing Link

There’s a reason why your technicians come back from training, minus the bright eyes and spark. Put your Sherlock hat on and become the detective. Here’s your first clue: It’s not the main topic of the class!

 

A Powerful Marketing Force

Ever talk with a salesman who you didn’t feel confident with? He wasn’t obnoxious or creepy but something was off. Most likely his communication and or technical skills were lacking. He didn’t instill confidence. How likely would you be to recommend him to your friends?

A technician who combines customer service, communications, AND technical competence exudes confidence. When it comes to educating the customer, confidence boosts believability. Believability turns into increased revenue and satisfied customers. And satisfied customers tell others about your company.

A technician who combines customer service, communications, AND technical competence is a powerful marketing force!

“Watson, let’s make a list of HVAC, Plumbing and Electrical technical instructors who inspire their students. Who you got after Chuck Morales?”

 

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These group of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area!