Troy Howard, the co-founder of the customer review and referrals system SoTellUs, joins the show to talk about his passion for combining technology and marketing and how it led him to become an entrepreneur and industry disruptor in the online review space. He and Kris talk about creating social proof, why reviews are so important to us in marketing, how to handle negative reviews and the most powerful elements inside a review.
Key Takeaways From This Podcast:
SoTellUs started as a website design company and then became more of an online ad agency ran by Troy, his brother, and father. In 2009, they decided they wanted to make a shift in the business and differentiate themselves from the rest of the agencies. They started developing their own software that they would sell to customers, and the rest is history.
SoTellUs serves a vast number of industries, with child care being one of the largest.
For three years, Troy was a commercial airline pilot and flew a $50 million jet for three different companies.
Social proof is defined by how we make decisions based on what others around us are doing and giving us proof that they are good decisions.
Having a system for regularly collecting parent reviews is so important for increasing your enrollment. They help to build your know, like , trust factor online and are crucial for attracting new clients.
88% of consumers will believe the review of a stranger the same way as if a trusted friend has told them the information. Reviews are right behind referrals because we tend to fall into the group mindset of expecting the same outcome as those around it.
You want the reviews to be as personal as possible and put a face to the words. You also want people to share an experience or story.
There is an inherent distrust in testimonials because people know they could be made up directly from the owner or employees. Reviews with real people, pictures and videos create more trust.
How to handle negative reviews:
- Try to be aware of problems before they become a negative review.
- Have a bunch of positive reviews already in place.
- Take a 24-hour cooling off period, and don’t respond from an emotional state. Approach it from the perspective of a potential client instead of being defensive.
- Automation frees up time and energy and also helps keep the recency going. You want to have either an email marketing system or text message system that will constantly be reaching out asking for reviews. Also, in your email signatures, put a link for parents to click one link to leave a review.
- You have a 20-30% chance of getting a review by text, and up to a 50-70% chance by asking the parent personally.
- Instead of talking about the facts, talk about the heartwarming stories and the challenges that have been overcome.