How Moving Companies Can Improve Their Online Reviews — An Expert Roundup
- October 31, 2019
- By: Vonigo
We asked the experts: What advice do you have for moving companies to help them improve their online reviews.
We received responses from a diverse range of experts from within the moving industry, marketing professionals, customer service experts, authors, and more.
1. Ali Wenzke, Author of The Art of Happy Moving
I have advice for moving companies for how they can improve their online reviews. My husband and I moved ten times in 11 years.
Empathize With Your Clients
Although moving day is another day at work for you, it is one of the most stressful days of your client’s life. You are like a doctor during a patient’s most important visit, so your bedside manner makes a difference with your more anxious clients. You are not seeing your clients at their best. They’ve spent every night of the last week pulling all-nighters to finish packing boxes. They’re worried about everything that happens after moving day. Empathize with your clients, so they know that you are more than just another moving company.
Add a Personal, Thoughtful Touch
A gift basket, a bottle of wine, or a book about Happy Moving can go a long way. Leave your client something special with a note attached asking for a review on Google or Yelp. Be specific about where you would like your reviews. Follow up with an email two weeks after the move and ask how everything is going. In the email, include a link to where your client can leave a review.
2. Lior Rachmany, CEO of Dumbo Moving + Storage
Online Reviews are Important
Other people’s experiences can give us some clues about what can we expect from moving companies. One day, when your moving day passes, your story can be the one someone else will read. Just remember how the period of moving house was for you when you had to deal with so many difficulties and uncertainties.
The Competition Between Moving Companies is Fierce
In this modern age of information moving companies don’t have the luxury of providing poor moving services without being exposed. Professional movers know that a good reputation is critical to a successful business. That is just one more reason Dumbo Moving and Storage is very proud of all the accomplishments and is satisfied with the current business with all of our clients. With plenty of positive NYC moving reviews, we are one of those moving companies people return to. It is our rich experience that has made us one of the leading moving companies in New York. You will read many positive comments from our customers whose trust we earned due to our dependable service.
3. Sameer Somal, CEO of Blue Ocean Global Technology
People who regularly spend time online have increasingly short attention spans because they are bombarded with information, requests and offers to purchase a product or service. Having said that, when prompted most would be delighted to share their positive brand experience.
But even when people experience exceptional service, they may not automatically go and look for places to leave a review or provide a rating, because:
a) They would not think to
b) It’s too hard or confusing
c) Takes too much of their time
And so you have to actually ask for online recommendations and reviews, and provide instructions to make it easy for them to do.
According to HubSpot, 71% of people say they are more likely to buy from a company that has referrals or recommendations online.
Successful companies have realized that positive customer feedback is one of the most powerful forms of building a positive online reputation. To curate consistent feedback through online reviews, they integrate positive feedback loops into their sales process and encourage satisfied customers to confirm their positive client experience online.
Receiving reviews, recommendations, positive comments and ratings on social media is achieved when you provide exceptional service, ask for feedback, and make it easy for people to accommodate your request.
Consider adding a link within your client service email that prompts customers to leave a Google, Yelp or Facebook review. Train your sales and marketing team members to explain that it is a small-time investment and that they are here to help if they get lost in the process. Make it easier for them by sending step-by-step instructions that illustrate exactly how to leave a customer review.
4. Louis Watton, Marketing Executive, Shiply
At Shiply we provide a platform where customers can find removal services and moving companies, and due to our built-in feedback system, we see A LOT of moving company reviews. I would say the top three areas we see moving companies getting negative feedback on and could improve are:
Being on the road all the time makes it difficult to communicate with customers, however, we often see people getting worried about where their possessions are due to a lack of contact.
Try and keep your customers informed about your whereabouts as much as possible to avoid them feeling left in the dark.
We often see complaints about customers feeling as if their movers were a bit short with them and not quite as friendly as they could have been. Whilst not everyone can be positive all the time (we all have our off days), you must remember that you are providing an important service and recommendations and reviews can go a long way in the removals industry.
Putting in that extra effort will be worth it when you see a glowing review come in.
Damaged goods are always a risk when moving a whole house full of items, and while you may do this two or three times a day, you have to remember that for the customer this is their life you are packing up. Showing that extra bit of care with their possessions can go a long way to making them feel like they put their trust in the right movers.
5. Joseph Giranda, Director of Commercial Relations at CFR Rinkens
Reviews are incredibly powerful, and when potential customers see great reviews on different platforms they are naturally drawn to your website to make a purchase. According to BigCommerce, 92% of consumers read online reviews before they make a purchase. That’s huge! Apps like Yotpo and Stamped both work really well. Yotpo collects customer reviews, photos, and Q&A’s, and then properly distributes them across your site and social media in an effort to create more traffic and boost conversions. Stamped is a more affordable option and offers a bit of better user experience, in my opinion. Both apps are easy to integrate into your website and both have a demonstrable return on investment.
You can also import the reviews you get onto your website using the Google Review widget. This way, your reviews come from a verifiable source rather than just uploading a text copy of them onto your website. In the unfortunate event that you receive a negative review, it’s important to research what happened and respond in a polite, personalized manner while attempting to diffuse the situation and fix the problem. Simply ignoring a negative review can look bad from the public’s perception. Regardless of the platform, we take the same approach because we want to fix the problem from a fundamental standpoint. If we’re able to use negative reviews to make ourselves better, then we can continue to grow as a business and serve our customers better.
6. Sean Clancy, SEO Director, Edge
There are a couple of ways you can improve your online reviews.
You don’t ask, you don’t get. You can instruct your moving staff when they have done a particularly good job to ask the customer to leave a review if they enjoyed it. Moving can be a stressful experience and customers tend to be very grateful and relieved after a successful day’s move. Asking at this opportune moment can generate the same-day, 5-star reviews.
Play Your Cards Right
Arm your staff with a business card. They can hand it over after they have asked for a review. This will help people remember your company name when looking online to review — believe me, they will forget. It can also double as a sales tool, with the owner passing it on to friends should they require moving services. Dual benefit.
Google your company name online. If people mention you on websites, forums, social media posts, then you can reach out to them via email/phone call and ask if they mind repeating what they said in a review. Of course, this only works for positive comments!
7. Jacob Landis-Eigsti, Owner of Jacob LE
There a few tactics that moving companies can use to gain more reviews.
Send a follow-up email or message after each move. This is good customer service, it will make you aware of any issues, and it’s a great opportunity to send a link where people can leave a review. Make sure you share a link to the review page and not to your website’s homepage. Make it as simple and easy as possible to leave a review.
It’s easier to ask for reviews if you mention how important reviews are to your business early on in your interaction with a customer. By letting people know early on that you’d love honest feedback, it will be easier to ask for that review later.
Not every review needs to be five stars. Ask people for honest feedback. This will provide helpful information, but your review score will look more natural than a page with only 5-star reviews. Aim for an average of at least 4.5.
Some services like Yelp don’t allow you to ask for reviews directly, but you can still make people aware that you are on Yelp and encourage them to check in.
8. Dallin Hatch, Senior Manager of Marketing Communications at Womply
According to our research, there are three things every moving company can do to improve their online review presence:
- Claim as many online review business profile listings as possible. Businesses that claim their free listings on at least three of the major review sites (e.g. Google, Yelp, Facebook, and TripAdvisor) average 60% more annual revenue than businesses that don’t claim their listings on any review sites.
- Ask for more reviews. Research shows that 7 in 10 customers will leave a review if you ask them. So don’t be afraid to ask happy customers for their feedback at your point of sale. Businesses with more than the average number of reviews (83) earn 82% more annual revenue than businesses with review counts below the average. In addition, businesses with 200+ reviews earn twice as much in revenue compared to the average business.
- Get more recent reviews. Recent reviews have more value. Businesses with more than nine “fresh” reviews (reviews posted in the past 90 days) earn 52% more revenue than the average business. Additionally, businesses with 25 or more fresh reviews earn 108% more than average.
9. Nora Rahimian, Creative Consultant
No matter how hard companies try, there will always be unhappy customers who will leave a bad review. Instead of shying away from it, use this as an opportunity to show customers how you respond to negative feedback.
Acknowledge the customer’s feelings. Take responsibility for the things you were responsible for. If it’s fully the customer’s fault, it’s ok to stand up for yourself, but stick to the facts. And then offer a specific way you’ll make amends or share how you tried to resolve the issue. Even if that customer remains unhappy, others will see the interaction and see how they’ll be supported if things go wrong.
10. Ciara Hautau, Lead Digital Marketing Strategist, Fueled
Moving is an incredibly exhausting process. I’ve found quite often once a move is done (and done well) customers are incredibly grateful for all the efforts put forth. So I don’t believe it’s an issue actually attaining the reviews, but rather giving gentle nudges so the customer remembers. If the customer is in the process of fixing up their new home, they’re definitely preoccupied. I suggest, at the end of the job, asking the customer directly if they’d be willing to leave a review. Then I would create an email campaign that is short, sweet and to the point to gently remind the customer for a review. Be sure to link to the review site so the customer can easily get in and rate your business.
If it’s a matter of improving the current reviews you have on your site, I find responding to the current negative comments and sending out performance surveys are incredibly helpful. Instead of leaving a review unresponded, show the public that you’re actively trying to improve. Ask where things when wrong and how you can make it right. Others will appreciate the efforts you’re putting forth. That customer is likely to be impressed by your efforts to do everything you can to make their experience, quality.
You can also email (a very short) survey that asks how you performed, rating on a scale of 1-10 with an option to add commentary. For those who leave good reviews, you can send a follow-up email to leave a review. For those who leave poor reviews, follow up with them and get to the root of it so you can improve the experience for future customers.
11. Alex Membrillo, CEO of Cardinal Digital Marketing
At Cardinal Digital Marketing we have experience in working with moving companies on online reputation management.
One of the most effective approaches to improving online reviews is to develop campaigns that ask for customer feedback. For example, email customers after their move to find out how their experience was with your company. If a customer had a positive experience, then ask them if they’d be willing to share their feedback online. If they had a problem, work with the customer to address the concerns.
Often if a customer feels that you’ve tried to take care of them, they often won’t leave a negative review.
Through our email outreach campaigns for reviews, we’ve averaged a 65% increase in positive reviews for companies. As a result, Google Map Pack rankings generally improve, as well as overall increases in new business leads.
12. Nathan Thompson, Digital Marketer for Pavilion Broadway
My top tip for gathering more reviews is setting up an email marketing automation stream explicitly asking for the review at opportune times. Firstly, the day of or after the move is probably the worst time to garner reviews. It’s one of the busiest times for new homeowners or movers. So, I would suggest setting up an email stream sending out an email one week, two weeks and one month after the move.
Be sure to set up a suppression list where you can remove people who have already left reviews to avoid repetitive emails. This sort of touchpoint provides ample opportunity for you to collect reviews in an unobtrusive and non-pushy way.
13. Laurie Guest, Entrepreneur and Keynote Speaker
Improve your online reviews by wowing your customers with exceptional customer service. That starts by training your moving teams in guest relationship skills that separate you from the competition.
Gone are the days that customer service can be left to common sense; it doesn’t just happen by accident! From the basics of company-focused messaging and approachable body language to how to deal with angry customers to personalized service at every opportunity, knowing how to go above and beyond — and then actually delivering on it — is the attention to detail that matters.
Moving is a stressful time for everyone; by making a commitment to training staff and leadership alike on the skills that make every customer interaction a success, you’ll see strong reviews and referral business pay off in dividends. Customers today make decisions not only on quality and price but on the way you make them feel; stepping up customer service is what will set you apart from the rest.
14. Olga Mykhoparkina, CMO at Chanty
I used to work in marketing for a moving company in the past and there is one thing I found out — people don’t want to give reviews on their own.
Most moving companies are suffering from a lack of reviews, not the quality of reviews. My first tip would be to actively ask for interviews as part of your work with a client. Once the job is done, send out an email asking for a review, complete with instructions on how to leave it and what to do.
In fact, the best piece of advice I have is to have an email drip set up for each successful customer, with reminders to leave a review on the platform which you prefer. For example, a reminder every five days if they haven’t left a review. This is an effective way to get reviews and use them as social proof for your marketing efforts.
15. Matthew Woodley, Founder of MoverFocus
When it comes to feedback the moving industry is no different from any other. Customers are quick to criticize but slow to compliment! As such if the client is effusive about the services you’ve provided, encourage them to post a positive review online. It helps balance the ‘scorecard’ and ensures that potential customers looking online for a mover are getting a balanced view of your Company.
So, encourage clients to post their experiences online. Even if they’re not going to give you a 5-star review, the more clients you can get reviews from the better — it’s a ‘numbers’ game!
If you do get a bad review, act on it! Don’t get drawn into a heated lengthy debate online but contact the client and see if you can resolve the issues they’ve raised or at least get your side of the story across. The ultimate goal is to get the review taken down and if you show empathy and a willingness to at least try and fix the problems the customer should respond in kind and remove their review. Inevitably though this won’t always happen and if the customer refuses to take down the review then all you can do is suck it up. Keep pushing those clients with positive experiences to post on line – drown out the noise of the bad ones!
No company is perfect and everyone makes mistakes, but it’s how we react to those mistakes or issues that count. Don’t shy away from them — proactively do what you can to turn the customer around. I’m reminded of a saying that a well-respected moving company promoted many, many years ago – ‘Feedback is the breakfast of champions!’
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