How does a pool company collect the reviews from their customers? Listen to this podcast now.
Welcome to the Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches online podcast. With your Hosts, Holly Colasurdo and Elizabeth Varian.
Elizabeth: Hey, everybody. Welcome back to another edition of Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches podcast, we have Holly with us.
Holly: Good morning.
Elizabeth: Yes, we are having fun in this beautiful weather. It’s in March but up north they’re getting blizzards, so this is the perfect time of year to dip in the pool and take photos and show everybody up north what you can do that they can’t.
Holly: Oh my gosh. On the last radio show didn’t we say something, wasn’t a hurricane coming? Or one of the radio shows we said, “Well there’s a hurricane coming.”
Elizabeth: Okay, no, don’t talk about our …
Holly: Our stuff.
Elizabeth: We only like to look at our sunshine. Actually that is a great lead in to today’s topic, it’s focusing on why you want to focus on the positives not the negatives. Today we’re talking about online reviews and specifically in the pool industry. I got to tell you we manage your reputation online and you guys rank high everywhere. You are top, Angie’s List, Yelp, Facebook, your customers definitely just love you.
One thing I really want to make sure we stipulate upfront before we start this conversion is as a in stone rule Pool Doctor does not ever, now or never will pay for reviews or post fake reviews, we just gather them up from your customers.
Elizabeth: They have left some wonderful reviews, very honest ones and it’s so nice. Kind of let’s explain how does a pool company collect the reviews from their customers? Because as you get your pool cleaned, you go about your business, you don’t think to leave a note. Some people do, they send you emails saying how much we love your people.
Elizabeth: But what is it that you guys do to get those reviews?
Holly: Well yeah, and even if we don’t send a survey or just if it’s just a service client, we do get verbals over the phone all the time in the office and it’s good and it’s for the office’s morale, when somebody just calls up and say, “Hey I know you’ve been our service company for years, Ricky was out and he just did a great job and I don’t ever tell you guys so I just want to let you know it was great.” Blah, blah, blah. That’s good.
Holly: Our normal procedure is after we provide a service, whether it’s maintenance, repair or a leak detection, Michelle in the office sends a follow-up email and then we send a survey out to complete, just for that feedback. We want true feedback with every customer, no matter what we’ve done for them because this way it helps us grow as a company and give customer service to boot.
Elizabeth: Absolutely. Just in our discussion in preparing for doing this podcast it amazes me the extent that you go to if you get feedback that isn’t necessarily positive, it seems to me that feedback is more important to you than anything to help you guys strive to be better.
You were telling me a story about the Better Business Bureau, an incident you had there. Would you like to share that with the listeners?
Holly: It’s good, we don’t get that much bad feedback and when we do we do tend to focus on that when we’d really love to more focus on all the positive feedback, we do have to focus on the negative because you do want to figure out and investigate what you did wrong.
Elizabeth: What went wrong.
Holly: If you did something wrong. In today’s world it’s easier to complain than it is to give a good comment.
Elizabeth: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Holly: But if we have that and when we do, that’s something that we take very seriously and we work very hard from the get go to work hard to make sure we turn it around and make it better. Yes, it was a complaint to the BBB and it wasn’t even very detailed, it was just kind of general. We thought, “What? What happened? What did we miss? How did this happen?” We wanted to get to the heart of the matter. When we realized what had happened toward the end we went above and beyond, even provided some free services for this client, we couldn’t even reach them to offer some of the things we wanted to offer. When we figured that out we had realized her husband had died of cancer, The home we were servicing, she really physically didn’t live there. She was selling it, she was going through that process.
Holly: Then we understand that.
Elizabeth: She’s disconnected from it.
Holly: Right. You know what? You just wanted to leave your house, you don’t want to pay anybody that’s been helping you because mentally you’ve moved on. But, again we’re a business and we have to get paid and pay our employees for the hard work that they do.
Again, that’s something we took seriously so we did, we responded to the BBB and have a good relationship with them. Actually we’re still in very good standing with them and that’s something we take very seriously. Again, would it be easier just to throw our hands up and say we did our best when we didn’t? No. We actually work hard to investigate and to figure out what happened, if something there was our fault what was it? Let’s rectify it. We’re good about asking for forgiveness and we’re just as good forgiving those clients as well.
Elizabeth: Yeah, and you were saying it all worked out in the end.
Elizabeth: Losing your husband definitely cannot be easy, so mental state, taking that into consideration. The fact that, when you and I were talking the thing that really stuck with me is the fact that you took that into consideration in how you were dealing with this person, because many people will say business is not personal and you take it very personally and you were very personable in how you dealt with it. It did all work out in the end, everybody was happy, all was fine but it was very intriguing to me on the fact that you cared enough to figure out what really was going on.
Holly: Right. We do, and that’s just I think human nature, to me it is. Everybody always says business is not personal, to me it always has been because why are we working? Why are we working in the first place? It’s to support our families and that’s personal.
Holly: I’ve never seen it as impersonal, how much fun can it be with it being impersonal?
Elizabeth: No. Yeah, now you also have, and we’re going to talk about some very specific ones. This is more my forte, but at Webmaster For Hire we do reputation marketing and we see fake reviews all the time.
Holly: Oh yeah, they’re so obvious to me.
Elizabeth: Yeah, you just want to go, “Really?”
Holly: Yeah, “Hello?”
Elizabeth: When I’m looking online I realize not one company can please everybody. There’s a local restaurant I was looking at and I love going there and the main complaint is they were too expensive and I’m thinking, “Okay, that’s a reflection of the person leaving the review not necessarily the restaurant. Price is subjective but let’s kind of share how to spot fake reviews. To do so I’m going to actually use three fake reviews that we found that were most definitely paid for or a competitor did it in some form or fashion.
Elizabeth: To me it was blatantly obvious that we found with Pool Doctor on Yelp, Yelp is a very popular reviewing site and that is strictly all they’re about. If you leave a review, and a lot of people don’t know this, and you don’t have a completed profile or you haven’t left many other reviews there’s a good chance that your review will actually be hidden on the company’s page.
Elizabeth: Webmaster For Hire, a lot of our clients, they’re not hanging out on Yelp so any reviews they leave, they get hidden.
Elizabeth: We found on Yelp, interestingly enough it wasn’t actually on your Yelp page. Your Yelp page is filled with glorious, glowing reviews about Pool Doctor and how amazing your service is and how great it is to work for you. Your business used to be down, I believe in Lake Worth or Boynton Beach and so someone created a Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches page in that area.
There was a photo uploaded as a review saying, “This is how my pool looked after Pool Doctor left.” It was a stock photo of a really dirty, filthy pool. I’m going, “Okay.” Nothing else is dated, there’s nothing else about it, there’s nothing of anger. If you left the pool that way the pool had looked that person would be like, “It was the worst, I didn’t want to deal with them.”
Holly: Yeah. Sometimes it’s just really obvious.
Elizabeth: Yeah, if you see this photo that’s put up there, and there’s no other reviews on there, there’s a good chance that’s a fake review.
Elizabeth: There’s no way any pool company is leaving your pool like that, that’s been in business any amount of time. No comments around it, except for this is how it looked after they left.
Elizabeth: There was another one on Angie’s List.
Holly: Was that the one with the picture of the people? They even out their picture up and we’re like, “Who are these people?” And their names.
Holly: We never even had that client in our system.
Elizabeth: I know.
Holly: They were never a client.
Elizabeth: No, not at all and even left the remark on there, “Hey we’ve never worked with these people.” But the review actually read that they had marked that they worked with you, which they have not but it was blatantly obvious in their comments that they had not worked with you because they stated that you had supposedly quoted XYZ, high, high price amount. Then they added in there, “But we called company XYZ and they only charged $30.”
Elizabeth: $40, whatever.
Holly: That was an obvious competitor doing that. If you have time to do that you must not very busy and you must not be doing really well because when you have time to do that … It’s just easy reading to me.
Holly: But for clients they look at that and they’re not going to do all that investigating, they’re not going to know. They’re just going to look at it and go, “Oh okay, I’m not going to call this company.” So how hard should a customer look at a review? I have friends that live by reviews and I have other friends that don’t look at reviews, they just go by word of mouth which is a lot of what we have as well, a lot of word of mouth is how we do what we do.
Elizabeth: With word of mouth you’re going to get the person that’s actually worked with you, because they’re not going to able to say, “Yeah, they suck, who are they again?”
Elizabeth: With Angie’s List, if you read all of the reviews around it they’re glowing.
Elizabeth: It does lower your rating though, which is sad. It’s not taken out, they don’t remove them, even if you state they’re fake. Because companies would be calling all the time and saying, “Hey this is fake.” Even if it’s real. But this to me was blatantly … Then we had fun recently on Facebook, Facebook there was someone, again, name that wasn’t recognized and when I contacted Facebook to say it was not real, they said, They were trying to be with anonymity.” They used the owners first and last name.
The owner of the business actually in your company isn’t always dealing with the client. You have your customer service people that will deal with the clients and that they guaranteed this and promised.
Elizabeth: A week later the same profile left another pool company, Penny Pinchers Pool Supply …
Holly: Oh my.
Elizabeth: A one star rating. Most likely what we’re guessing is there are people out there that set their business up and that’s what they do for a living.
Elizabeth: Leave negative reviews, get paid by your competitors to do so.
Elizabeth: Once again all of your customers, all the other reviews are positive, they’re glowing. It doesn’t read like something, a journalistic style reading, you know?
Elizabeth: It is actual from the heart. When people are leaving reviews, they’re leaving it from the heart. The emotion of anger, disappointment for the negatives, they’re leaving from the heart of overjoyed, excited. For you it seems a lot of times the reviews are, “So glad to have a company that does what they say they’re going to do.” When you get that people are elated, they’re excited.
When you’re reading reviews, definitely listening to whether there’s a heart into it or not.
Elizabeth: Or finding out, like on Yelp, there are professional reviewers out there. There are people that’ll have hundreds of reviews that they’re done, if not thousands. Some of them are people who just like to complain about everything.
Holly: Oh yeah.
Elizabeth: But you can see where they’ve also left reviews, other places.
Elizabeth: To you can follow them and trace them, which is how we knew about Penny Pinchers.
Holly: It’s the same MO, there’s a trail. Just in the end, if you ever see somebody or if you’re looking at a review and there are a million bad comments well then, yeah, “Hello.”
Elizabeth: Yeah, they’re a little different.
Holly: Run the other way.
Elizabeth: Or if they state your biggest fear.
Elizabeth: You see it two or three times. It used to be reviews were just for restaurants and hotels or travel industry.
Elizabeth: And now they’re for everybody, they’re not going away. They’re on product sites, Amazon, I always make sure it’s a verified buyer that’s leaving a review.
Elizabeth: That they actually purchased the product through them. The thing that I like is any time you and I have spoken, and we have mentioned about other competitors before but you guys have never spoken any ill will about any competitors out there.
Holly: Oh no. If there’s an ill will spoken it’s by a client. The client wasn’t happy with a company and then we take over the job, they change to us. We don’t have to say any of that. I mean all companies are all out there to prosper and there’s enough work to go around for everyone.
Holly: It just wastes time. When I see companies that do that, we’ve had actually very loyal would be customers and customers that say you did this, and you’re like … They’re so loyal that they let us know that and we don’t have to move on it because we both know it’s not a truth but you do have to hear those things and you’re like, “Really?”
Holly: Again, it just comes back to they’re desperate, they don’t have any business acumen, they don’t have excellent customer service and deep down they really don’t care.
Holly: Good guy, bad guy, we always feel the good guy wins always at the end.
Elizabeth: Well I’m excited, you keep getting these positive reviews and it’s crazy to see how low people will go out there. It’s also good I think, and this is the reason I wanted to do this specific podcast is because I really think that people looking for a company, not just pool companies, any company out there, that you really do learn the difference between fake reviews, that you do know that and learn that not everybody is scrupulous in their marketing tactics.
Elizabeth: And that one or two people, like I said, we can list three fake reviews on three different sites for you but on each of these sites it’s surrounded by real positive glowing reviews. None that you paid for, none that you specifically went out and said, “Hey, go amp us up over here.” You just collect them, the positives, you ask, “Hey, if you like us please let everyone know.”
I think that people learning this new world of anyone can leave a review and knowing whether it’s real or not is a good thing.
Elizabeth: We’re going to make this a short one today because we’ve got such gorgeous weather out there.
Holly: Oh yeah. And all the north eastern people are coming down in drives, they’re still coming.
Elizabeth: They are, I would be.
Elizabeth: Thank you once again for your time for this podcast Holly and thank you everybody for listening in and listening to us just chat away about what we love, which is Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches.
Holly: Yeah, come to us. Whatever you need we’re here, good or bad.
Elizabeth: Find us online at Pools Palm Beaches.com and we will talk to you next time, bye.
Thank you for listening to our monthly podcast. Be sure to contact Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches for your South Florida pool needs. Call 561-2030270 or visit us online at www.poolspalmbeaches.com