“John Powell said it right when he said: “Communication works for those who work at it.” For small, local businesses to prosper or thrive, strong communication, especially with customers, becomes essential.”
– Laura Nelson
Listen to the complete episode here:
Are you curious to know what strategies can you use to optimize your communication and manage your customer relationships?
As we bring you this episode, Laura from Signpost will discuss generating word-of-mouth business with us!
Join Tersh Blissett and his co-host Josh Crouch, as they discuss overcoming the marketing challenges one faces as a small business, and how to optimize your communication with customers by driving ROI through customer communication and external CRM services with Laura Nelson.
Tune in as they sit with an amazing coach, a leader with professional passion who shares tips about how to communicate right with your customers. Let her nuggets of wisdom goals guide you in owning a thriving, profitable, and ever-growing business.
Laura Nelson is the vice president of marketing at Signpost, a Denver-based company that helps businesses respond instantly, simplify communications, and build credibility. It is a technology firm that creates CRM and marketing automation software to help local businesses and contractors connect with new and existing customers. Laura is a self-starting manager with prior experience in marketing, business management, and editorial functions. She possesses a strategic mindset, strong communication skills, and a strong sense of storytelling. Laura is looking forward to the future of Signpost and hopes to strike a balance between a feature-based and a value-based website. Signpost only works with contractors to help them not only get found online but also respond quickly.
Are you looking for valuable business advice to reach that seven-figure revenue mark? Do you want actionable tips to properly navigate through every business challenge you encounter as a tradesperson along the way? Then this podcast is definitely for you.
[00:11:00] What makes Signpost worth your hard-earned money?Laura Nelson says, “Signpost exists because we have gone out and talked to contractors about the problems small businesses face, such as having to log in to 20 different things throughout the day to get your leads.” Click To Tweet
- So, Signpost provides you with a way to arrive at one place. The other important thing is to be able to respond quickly with tools such as Signpost and others that enable this.
“It’s a contractor. If he’s under a sink, replacing an HVAC unit to automate a response in a, customized way, Hey, like we’re not available right now. Feel free to text us at this number. We’re gonna call you as soon as possible. Whether that lead comes in through home advisor, Facebook messenger, Google messenger, or they miss a phone. There are ways that tools and technology answering services can do this in a more efficient way than hiring a human being, which we know in this hiring climate is nearly impossible.”
In this episode, Laura talks about how to better communicate with your customers and create a strong reputation in your industry and community.
Listen to this entire episode to know how you decide as a local business what the best marketing approach is.
<<Join us to dive into her multi-channel marketing strategies and their efforts to invest in SEO, email marketing, and content.>>
Laura Nelson recently joined Service Business Mastery Podcast, and here are some highlights of the podcast:
- Overcoming the marketing challenges you face in your business.
- Tips on which tools and channels to use as a small business
- The key to competing with the big brands
- Which marketing mistakes should a small business avoid?
- How to optimize your communication with customers Driving ROI through customer communication and external CRM services.
- How do you decide as a local business what the best marketing approach is
- Having grown up in a family of entrepreneurs, Laura Nelson tells us what she’s learned. Moreover, she discusses how “word-of-mouth” marketing has evolved due to the omnipresence of online reviews.
- How to make the most of technology like Signpost to provide excellent customer service that will increase sales and get good and positive reviews.
Key Resources From The Show:
- Learn more about Signpost.
- Connect with Laura Nelson.
- To check out more fun and valuable video do not forget to follow our YouTube Channel.
- Email us at Podcasts@ServiceBusinessMastery.com
- Learn all about the Hosts of Service Business Mastery!
Listen to this podcast and get equipped with essential business advice from this impactful conversation. So, what’re you waiting for? Tune into this episode immediately and get one step closer to becoming the successful owner of your dreams.
Subscribe to Service Business Mastery on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or wherever you get podcasts to hear more such fascinating and insightful stories.
About The Guest:
Laura Nelson is the VP of Marketing at Signpost. Laura is a skilled entrepreneurial manager with experience in a variety of roles, including marketing, business management, and editorial functions. Strategic mindset, effective communications abilities, and a strong sense of storytelling. Experience with marketing SaaS and consumer platforms on strong growth trajectories, and collaborating with strategic partners to create scalable programs.
Links to content here:
Meet the Hosts:
Tersh Blissett is a serial entrepreneur who has created and scaled multiple profitable home service businesses in his small-town market. He’s dedicated to giving back to the industry that has provided so much for him and his family. Connect with him on LinkedIn.
Joshua Crouch has been in the home services industry, specifically HVAC, for 8+ years as an Operations Manager, Branch Manager, Territory Sales Manager, and Director of Marketing. He’s also the Founder of Relentless Digital, where his focus is on dominating your local market online. Connect with him on LinkedIn.
Subscribe to Service Business Mastery on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or wherever you get podcasts to hear more such fascinating and insightful stories.
Tune in to the latest in business services trends on Service Business Mastery by checking us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and our website.
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For a complete transcription of the interview, Read More
22-06-01 – Laura Nelson – Signpost
Josh Crouch: [00:00:00] Good morning and welcome back to the service business mastery podcast. Ter and I had a little hiatus last week. We were both out of town and ter was actually learning about how to make the podcast better at pod Fest. And I was just enjoying some nice warm weather at Arizona. I am sunburned and then I gotta come back and get a tooth extracted.
So I’m in pain. So today should be fun. That being said, we are going to bring on Laura Nelson, who is the VP of marketing with signpost. And she’s had a lot of industry experience with reputation management, customer communication, and things like that, which as most of customers communicate in a lot of different ways.
And. In order for us to stay ahead of that curve. We have to meet them where the customer’s at, because not even though everybody wants a, at least they think they want phone calls, customers don’t care to call and they don’t wanna leave a voicemail. And I think today we’re gonna come away with some nuggets about how you can better communicate with your customers and meet them where they are.
Tersh Blissett: I’m excited to talk about what we have going on here because just like Josh said there, we definitely, as contractors, we say that we want phone to ring, but then, Josh knows this being where he’s at. Like you say my phone didn’t ring yesterday or whatever, and then. Josh goes back to CallRail or whatever, and says you had 27 phone calls, but you only answered three of them.
Yeah. [00:01:30] But then I called him back or whatever, but there’s
Josh Crouch: nothing as a digital. And honestly, even as a, when I was a contractor, if I found out we weren’t answering calls on the weekend or answering service, wasn’t answering calls, there’s nothing that frustrates me more is marketing is working right.
The phone’s not answered. Text messages sent out like the customer’s not communicated with at all. Because when I go into call rail and I see the it’s like
a red call symbol and it’s a missed call or it’s, I think it’s orange for voicemail. And I’m like, Why you just see, why is this still happening?
Tersh Blissett: talk to contractors and I’ve been guilty of this myself. It’s let’s turn up the marketing, turn up the marketing. We want more leads. We want more leads. And then you go back and you’re like, what’s your conversion rate on your phone calls? Bingo. Oh, don’t worry about that. We’ll worry about that later.
Let’s just get the leads coming in here, but yeah I’m excited. I’m excited to talk about that with Laura. We’re gonna talk about reviews communicating with the client where the client is versus pulling them to where we are. And then answering the phone with live answering services.
But yeah, let’s get, sorry. When did they.
Josh Crouch: Are you looking for valuable business advice to reach that seven figure revenue mark, do you want actionable tips to properly navigate through every business challenge you encounter along the way? Let ter BLI and Josh crouch be your guide in getting you to the top here at service business mastery tune in as they sit down with world renowned authors in business leadership and personal growth.
Who share valuable insights [00:03:00] about management, marketing, pricing, human resources, and
Tersh Blissett: so much more. Let their nuggets of
Josh Crouch: wisdom goals guide you in owning a thriving, profitable, and ever growing business.
Tersh Blissett: Cure your
Josh Crouch: hosts and Josh.
Tersh Blissett: Hey there, Laura, how are you
Laura Nelson: doing well? How are you
Tersh Blissett: guys? Good. Good. Good. Tell us a little bit about yourself, who you are and a little bit about signpost.
Laura Nelson: Sure. My name is Laura Nelson. Thanks so much for having me today. Okay. I am based in Colorado where we have a lot of growth and weather events, so never a dull moment as.
A typical color Rodian I enjoy skiing and being outside as you may imagine. I I’ve been working with contractors for a long time. I’ve been in software for a long time and in this local marketing niche. For even longer than that I’m currently VP of marketing at signpost and we work exclusively with contractors to help them not only get found online, but respond first.
So really excited to be here with you guys today.
Josh Crouch: That’s really cool. Awesome. I appreciate you being on here with us, I know it’s a little earlier by you than it is for ter and I so I do appreciate that. I guess let’s get started with talking about you [00:04:30] talked about the communication and we’ve preluded to that when we did the intro, cuz I think that’s something that’s.
It can never be talked about enough because there’s so many ways to communicate with a customer. So many ways a customer tries to communicate with a small business. Can you take us through maybe some of the challenges that you’re seeing, small businesses face and then maybe some different either tips or solutions and ways that they can help themselves so they can reach.
customers where they want to be reached, not where we as contractors decide they need to be reached at.
Laura Nelson: Absolutely. I’m glad you guys brought this up and set up the conversation in this way. Particularly when you talked about, I told
Josh Crouch: that out
Laura Nelson: particularly when you talked about Hey, my phone didn’t ring yesterday, right? I hear that from contractors a lot. Like I just need the phone to. When you think about your day to day as a consumer, because we are all consumers chances are you sent more text messages or Facebook messenger messages or other types of messages more than you made phone calls.
Yeah, I know. That’s hundred percent. I know that’s true for me anyways. And a lot of my peers and homeowners that contractors are trying to attract. What I work with contractors to do is really understand, who is that client you’re trying to attract and how [00:06:00] can you meet them or he or she is right.
So really does start with establishing lines of communication that. May not currently be in place for your business or may not currently be routine. So obviously the phone is really important. Some people are always going to call or at some point in working with your customers, you’re gonna need to pick up the phone.
Tersh Blissett: However you can’t do away with that
Laura Nelson: altogether. Yes. I also hear contractors all the time say, Hey, just bring me more leads. How do I get more leads? Fill up that top of the funnel and what better way than to. Open more lines of communication,
Tersh Blissett: where all lines of communication. Are you talking about yeah.
What were you think about?
Laura Nelson: Absolutely. So what I’m referring to here is does your business have a dedicated line for texting, right? Where can homeowners find that? Especially if it’s after hours or, or if they’re busy during the day, which many of us are right. Does your website have self-service chat that helps people, selfer and get the answers that they need about your products and services, right?
Yeah. Do you offer online scheduling? So a lot of people, maybe they’ve heard that you, as a contractor, you do great [00:07:30] work and they’re already ready to work with you. If they call you, can’t reach you to book, a service call. Yeah. They might go to someone else on the list.
Tersh Blissett: They just assume that you’re too busy.
You do such great work that you’re just so booked out. It’s I’ll just try ’em again, next time, maybe.
Josh Crouch: And the thing was, so if you find a, contractor’s say Google since
Google, the big one, every option they have, whether it’s local service ads pay per. Maps or organic has more than one option.
So it’s very easy to hit the back button and go back to the next guy that’s on the list. And it’s just it’s crazy to me that we there’s still contractors. There’s still contractors not using CRMs , but believe it or not, but the. Just not having another form of communication or investing in those solutions, especially, I talked to a lot of guys are on the smaller end of things.
One, two man shops, and they’re answering the phone while they’re installing the new system for Mrs. Jones. And then to, updating the next customer, what time they’re gonna be there. And they’re trying to do all this stuff while they’re just trying to manage their business. You’re trying to
Tersh Blissett: remember that too.
Me, if I’m in the middle doing this and I answer. I like right now, if someone calls me and says, Hey, can you send somebody to my house? I’m like, I’ll be a hundred percent honest with you. You really want to call the office number or chat the office because there’s, cause I don’t possibility that I’m gonna drop the ball on this.
But I will try, but I would still double check that the office got the end information because [00:09:00] it’s so like my brain doesn’t work that way. If I’m not like if I’m driving, I have to write it down or send it straight, pull over side of the road and get all their information, send it to the office.
So I could only imagine if I was in the field still trying to answer the phone and do all of that stuff too. So that’s just a wild thought process to me but continue on with other places where that people are gonna communicate with you.
Laura Nelson: Yeah. So I talked about text online scheduling. The phone is still important.
Especially if you’re a small operation, right? Yeah. Chances are you can’t afford to hire someone back at the office to answer phones full time. That’s where an answering service can come in handy. But think about social media networks, like specifically Google messenger, you can activate that from your Google business profile.
We’ve got Facebook messenger. People are a lot more acclimated to sending a business messages through that. In fact, Facebook says 20 billion messages are exchanged between consumers and businesses every month. That’s my mind. Now
Tersh Blissett: you probably believe, I believe it, but how many of ’em are probably hidden somewhere in the business suite that you can’t ever access?
Probably that’s not probably 19 billion of those 20 billion are hidden somewhere and notification that says your business suite has a new message and you’re like, oh, sweet. Let me click on it. You click on it. And then it goes, everywhere, but where you’re actually supposed to be. And then you can never find what you [00:10:30] actually need in there.
That thing’s the biggest joke in my life.
Josh Crouch: It’s terrible. I find every once in a while, I’ll get on there and I’ll just start going through stuff. And I’m like, where was this? this was three weeks ago and I never saw this, but
Tersh Blissett: so having a platform that brings that in to you straight to the office, and then it.
You don’t have to go searching and you get that dive down in a rabbit hole. That’s amazing. That’s worth this price of admission in my opinion, right there.
Laura Nelson: Yes, absolutely. And that’s why products. Signpost exists because we have gone out and talked to contractors about this very problem, I have to log in to 20 different things throughout the day to get my leads. How can I come in one place? And importantly, how can I respond quickly and tools like signpost are others out there too that enable. It’s a contractor. If he’s under a sink, replacing an HVAC unit to automate a response in a, customized way, Hey, like we’re not available right now.
Feel free to text us at this number. We’re gonna call you as soon as possible. Whether that lead comes in through home advisor, Facebook messenger, Google messenger, or they miss a phone. There are ways that tools technology answering services can do this in a more efficient way than hiring a human being, which we know in this hiring climate is nearly impossible.
Tersh Blissett: challenge for sure. Do you [00:12:00] have an integration with home advisor? Yes.
Laura Nelson: Oh, that’s good. So we know contractors are spending hundreds of dollars, right? Yeah. Each lead. And if you’re not first you’re last.
Tersh Blissett: Absolutely. Yeah. It’s
Josh Crouch: really hard to be first. It is very tough.
Tersh Blissett: It’s really tough. Do you have some sort of way to automate as soon as a lead comes in and automatically would send a message to someone?
Laura Nelson: exactly what our integration does. And what’s also cool about it is that it gives you the phone number too, which we know. How much doesn’t always provide. So that’s where we help to give an edge. Like how can you drive more ROI outta those incoming leads when you know that, minutes can make a difference?
Tersh Blissett: yeah, absolutely. That’s amazing. All right. Moving on to point. We can do I guess it’s a nice transition into, to live answering. So tell us a little bit about how your live answering works. With signpost.
Laura Nelson: Sure. We acquired a business about 10 months ago that specialized in home services.
And all of our agents are based in the us and work with contractors on getting the customized script, representing the business well, and really acting as a backstop for those evenings weekends. Times when you’re understaffed, can’t answer the phone, especially great for people who have [00:13:30] small teams, they simply just go onto our app.
Toggle call forwarding, know that our team takes care of it, get messages, when the call ends so that, they know, Hey, is this actionable? Do I need to get to it right away? Or, can it wait till Monday contractors find that feature really helpful. Additionally we know contractors get a lot of calls throughout the day that might not be prospects or customers, right?
Yeah. You get a lot of marketing services who call you, you get, other types of vendors that want to sell you something. So this can be really helpful in the filtering of messages to.
Josh Crouch: The gatekeepers. Yeah. Cause everybody knows marketing companies like to call and tell you that you’re on page two and I can get you to page one, right?
Tersh Blissett: Yes. Josh calls me and sends me that email about twice a day. like Josh, you’re the ones supposed to be doing this?
Josh Crouch: Clearly it hasn’t worked.
Laura Nelson: Hopefully nobody’s falling for that.
Tersh Blissett: That’s funny. Yeah.
Josh Crouch: No, those message. Those emails usually get forwarded to the marketing company and they’re like, what, is there any truth to this?
And I’m like, it’s the same message. They send thousands of people like it’s
Tersh Blissett: junk. They just got your information off of
Laura Nelson: LinkedIn. Yeah. And they say they’re with Google, which I think, I feel badly for the contractors who, you know, who believe in that and who wanna do anything to get an
Tersh Blissett: edge?
Honestly, the I have set because I got this email or something and [00:15:00] it was like $95 to renew your. Whatever guarantee. And I’m like, this is a spam. And I was like, or no it didn’t even say $95. It said nothing. And it was like, just call to verify. And I was like, this is a spam call, but I’m gonna call him and talk
to him, ask I was on the phone.
I was like, and first off I get irritated when people waste my time. And I told the guy up front, I was like, look, man, if this is, if you’re gonna sell me something, just tell me right now. So we can. Have that conversation, but if you’re going to waste my time, I’m going to be extremely unhappy and you will not get my services.
And he was like no. This is a Google thing. Google never charges for anything, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I was like, okay. So we, I was on the phone for an hour with them, and then they’re like, it’s $95 to verify this. And I was like, oh, I’m gonna, oh man, let me find you. And you’re at I just went, click, hung up on them.
I was just so irritated with that dagum thing. And I felt like it was a scam call the whole time, but I just like. I would hate for it to actually be Google. And I actually did need to do some sort of verification because I, it was during the same time process whenever I was getting Google guaranteed verified or whatever.
And so I was like what if I just hung up on this person? They really were. And then I got called back by the marketing guys and they’re like, why did you hang up on the Google people and stuff? but yeah it [00:16:30] sucks to get that phone call for.
Laura Nelson: Yeah. Think about it. Google’s a massive company and they’re building tools so that contractors and other types of companies can self serve.
Yeah. So unless you’ve got a massive spend with them and a dedicated account manager, they’re not gonna call you. They’re gonna message you, through email, they’re gonna expect you to sign onto your business profile and your ad account and take care of an issue there.
Tersh Blissett: Yeah, that makes perfect sense.
Ahead now. Go ahead. Good, Josh.
Josh Crouch: I was gonna say so with answering services, and this is something that I see a lot of people want the calls to be booked by the answering service. What is that something a you guys do? And B do you have any personal
thoughts about that? Like as far as it, is that helpful or not?
Laura Nelson: Service calls being booked by the answering service. Yeah. So
Josh Crouch: yeah, so like you guys would like, the signpost would answer the service call. Yeah. Someone says I need service. You’d go into their, whatever CRM it is. And book the call forum. Or do you just take the
Laura Nelson: message? We do this for a fraction of our customers.
Not all of them want that level of service intervention to their CRM. We can do it. But what we have found is contractors have very specific booking rules that, can be tricky, right? Like they don’t want certain texts and teams booked at certain times. , there are services that take longer than others, whether it’s a complete install versus, maintenance call.
We kinda leave it up to them. [00:18:00] What level of intervention do you want? Do you want us to go ahead and put that on the calendar? We can. However, like they’re really just looking to get, a human on the phone to get that information over and then, they can decide based on their capacity.
What happens now,
Tersh Blissett: you’re fighting. Do you have an integration with any of the CRMs
Laura Nelson: out there? With we have one with service Titan. And depending on the side of our business, like we also work with contractors, use house, call pro for instance , some like to tie into their accounting.
when we talk about online reviews. So it really depends on like that preferred point of entry too. Okay. Yeah.
Josh Crouch: Okay. The reason I ask that question about the booking is I see a lot of people that they think they want that because it, in theory, it sounds amazing. yes. Oh man, I get to book calls and I don’t have to do a damn thing.
But then the reality of it is one these CRMs are not set up for third parties to have easy, like to toggle between company a and company. So that would, but they have to have separate logins and separate sheets. And it’s to me, it seems more problematic to try to do that than just take the message and then have
someone from your team, yourself your office person, another tech, somebody, a VA, somebody reach out to these people and book.
’em the way you want them to be booked. Because when we tried this, it failed. Epicly there. We always, when we book calls, [00:19:30] we always put ’em on our assigned board. Even if they were booked out weeks, we didn’t keep ’em on the unassigned board. The unassigned board was like open projects. Yeah.
They were booking stuff on the unassigned board way at the bottom, which I never scrolled to a customer would call and be like, Hey, where are you guys at? You said, you’re gonna be out between this time. And this song like, oh, I have no idea what’s going on right now. and I would take the phone call and I’m like, you have to fall on the sword, but.
The best thing we did was take away that part of it and just let the answering service do what they do best. Yeah. Answer the call with a friendly voice, take down the information. And then we did what we did best and we scheduled and provided that customer service. Once they, once we got their information, even on the weekends, our technician knew that they were in charge of, they would get a text message.
Here’s the information. Call them and let them know that you’ll be out there with it. You schedule the appointment based on your day, because we don’t know how BI how backed up you are. And obviously the technician on call was the one that knew, Hey, I’m at this call and then I got another one.
Then I can get to you next. So I can be like three ish hours or so, but the answering service, isn’t gonna know that cause they don’t know how long those calls are gonna take. And that’s why I asked the question, cuz I’ve seen people and I usually comment something to this effect. Be very careful because you might bring more headache into your business and you will be more pissed off.
If you try to do this than just taking the message, have someone answer the phone, get that customer to the point where they’re, I don’t like, Hey I [00:21:00] scheduled something. Someone’s gonna call back to me. I’m not gonna look for another company to contact me. And then obviously you can handle it from there, but that’s why I asked the question.
Laura Nelson: No that’s a great point that you made right there. Josh. That is what. People are expecting to we have. Encountered similar challenges where there’s so much variability across contractors in the services they provide, how long they take, how big the team is that scheduling can get Harry. So my recommendation is just what you said, take the information shared with the contractor immediately.
Homeowner knows that this is a process. right. Contractors are booked out. They wanna find enough time in the right time to work with homeowners. So as long as they get the info in, they feel like psychologically they move the project down the road. And just, as you said, they’re not gonna call the next person on their list.
They’re gonna move on with their day. Great. Someone’s gonna call me back right about the service call and, we’ll get it booked. I don’t have to worry
Josh Crouch: about that. Yeah. And then I don’t go into call rail and see a bunch of missed calls and voicemails and get all pissed off.
Tersh Blissett: So tell us about the review aspect of it, cuz you do that as well.
The reputation management. Yeah.
Laura Nelson: Signpost has been in the reputation management space for a long time. And that’s how many contractors know us lots of providers in this space. And that’s why we really have branched out into these other areas of the instant response, [00:22:30] communication, answering service to make it a more complete solution.
But it’s super critical for contractors to have a great reputation online. Like you guys do this.
Tersh Blissett: It’s table stakes. It’s a it’s not even an option anymore, right? It’s you don’t have a great reputation. You just might as well start another business.
Yeah. A lot of contractors are operating in competitive markets and to your point earlier, there’s always somebody else on the list that a homeowner can
call or get in touch with if this 4.8 star business doesn’t reply, Hey, I’m gonna call. The four finite eight with the name right next to it. Yep. So hundred percent super critical to automate that process and make it easy for homeowners to leave their feedback on your jobs.
Tersh Blissett: Now, with your reputation management, where does that?
Where, what, like, where are you most focused at? I know Yelp is one of those, no GOs, like you can’t, you’re not supposed to do certain things that some people. Still do, and then other people
Josh Crouch: who you’re not supposed to get Google reviews, either people do it all the time. yeah. Yeah. That’s the thumbs up thumbs down or the happy face.
Sad face thing. You’re totally gating the review
Laura Nelson: Yeah. We leave it up to the contract to determine, what his or her priority is. Okay. So we can work with Google, Yelp, Facebook HomeAdvisor, a number of platforms to send customers to leave their feedback. Okay, yes, there are specific rules around [00:24:00] gating, Google reviews.
There are ways to mitigate that, obviously. We don’t wanna follow. Rules. But yeah, we do believe that, everyone should be asked for feedback. And that includes Yelp. Like they have a non-solicitation policy and frankly, no, one’s gonna write a review on Yelp unless they’re asked, unless they’re really unhappy.
What Yelp’s risk there is oh, we’re just gonna play defense and let all the, angry homeowners or they select you. Leave feedback. What about the happy ones you happen to have a Yelp account? They need to pushed. Yeah,
Tersh Blissett: I feel like that it’s hearing from people that’s more of a west coast issue than an east coast issue.
It’s Yelp is very popular on the west coast. Yelp is huge.
Josh Crouch: And especially in like California, like Yelp, Yelp actually trumps Google in a lot of markets out there as far as
Tersh Blissett: that’s wild. That blows my mind. Wild.
Josh Crouch: It is.
Laura Nelson: It’s crazy. You can’t go wrong with Google.
Tersh Blissett: What about the new platforms that are out there?
There’s was it duck do go? I don’t think so. Do they have review management
Josh Crouch: on that? I think duck do go uses Google for their reviews. Ironically enough, even though they’re they like constantly are saying we’re not Google. They still use Google for their search engine. I believe I don’t.
I think that the difference is they tied into it and they Don. They a lot of privacy stuff is turned off as far as tracking. What about the
Tersh Blissett: new thing that you just shared yesterday with the apple?
Josh Crouch: I don’t know [00:25:30] yet. That’s so they’re in about a week. So by the time this is actually live on the podcast catchers.
There’s a rumor that apple is building a search engine. It’s been a rumor for. a while, but it seemed to pick up steam, especially apple, as they continue to make updates to their maps program. Which if anyone could cut into Google’s market share it’s apple because they have 120 million devices in the us alone that could easily be like, Hey.
We’re not gonna take Google’s money anymore for the, to allow them for their search engine. You’re only gonna get to use ours and all just like that. All of a sudden you got a hundred million people that are going to apples search engine using apple maps, getting apple ratings. But nobody knows for sure because Google pays a crap ton of money to be the primary search engine on their devices.
Like 15 billion is what I read per
Tersh Blissett: year. I’m sure. I’m sure a lot of my ad dollars have gone to apple. Just yeah, we shouldn’t spend it in apple. Not that I spent a lot of money, but
Laura Nelson: yeah. Josh, you touched on how interrelated these things are too with, maps, search cetera. Google is so popular on apple devices still because the maps experience is so much better.
Yeah, absolutely. I deleted my apple maps a long time ago. I don’t let that be the default. Nope. It doesn’t get me where I want to go as effectively. Yeah.
Tersh Blissett: wild. How inaccurate it is. And I [00:27:00] actually I started using ways. Yeah. And it, and one, like when you move from. The one that’s working well.
And then all of a sudden you accidentally go to the apple one and it’s oh man, I know why I’m going back a long time ago. Yeah. But tr
Josh Crouch: you just like the ads for Hey, you’re passing a burger king. Do you wanna stop now? you’re
Tersh Blissett: right. You’re right. Yeah. That sounds great. Give me a burger. Yep. As a matter of fact yeah, I am kinda hungry.
Josh Crouch: So we’re talking about all these different things, Laura. So if you could summarize some trends that are coming or what you guys see, cuz obviously you guys being a company, I’m sure you guys collect your own data and stuff like that to analyze that stuff. What do you guys see as trends that are coming?
Whether it’s this year you think is gonna be like within the next couple years that contractors should pay attention to.
Laura Nelson: Absolutely. I think one of the big things for contractors to think about, which other industries embracing already is this idea of customer experience. What is that customer experience from the moment they reach out to your business, to the moment they finish the job and everything in between.
Can I ask a
Josh Crouch: follow up question on that? So you mentioned other industries, are there certain industries that you think would be beneficial for contractors to look at? Or maybe even if they’re like, who’s killing, looking the, like booking a service with one of these industries, like who should they look at to, to enhance their customer experience?
Like who’s doing it well, if you had [00:28:30] a suggestion.
Laura Nelson: Think about the bigger companies that are innovating here. Amazon, I know this one is brought up all the time. But, think about how easy it is. I mentioned earlier booking or ordering groceries online before this show, because I simply don’t have time to go to the store today, but I’m out of a few key ingredients.
Amazon makes that shopping experience super easy from selecting. Products to, putting ’em in my cart to picking a time. Of course, they, you have to pay a premium for this now but
Josh Crouch: they’re great. They’re great at taking my money really easily. it’s two clicks and it’s bam,
Tersh Blissett: they make that so simple.
And maybe that’s something that you should take away from this. Here also is how hard is it for a cl a client to give you money versus Amazon? Here you go. It’s like literally, it’s slide the screen and you take the money. Whereas like I’ve had experiences before where the people are like, yeah, but how do I pay you?
Like, how do I get you the money? How do, and then it’s. I’m trying to figure out all of these pain points of let’s make this as smooth of a transition as possible. So that might be a perfect takeaway of this. That’s not the necessarily the client that is a client experience, but like getting paid and not having that accounts payable or accounts receivable out there 30 and 60 days because of.
Laura Nelson: Yeah, that payments is a absolutely a part of the whole experience. You think about every touchpoint and interaction you have with [00:30:00] customers? I prayed to locksmith a couple weeks ago on Venn. He offered me some other options, but I’m like, oh, I can do this right away.
Josh Crouch: Does he know that the us is gonna start taking taxes out of that
Laura Nelson: oh, I know.
Josh Crouch: He probably is trying to get away with something there, but that, yeah,
Laura Nelson: I agree. It is a convenience factor to it and a trust that like they’re absolutely get the money too.
Josh Crouch: Yeah. I think the more ways that you can make things easier and looking at some of these larger companies, it doesn’t have I think sometimes we get too caught.
As an industry, meaning like contractors, home service businesses, and looking at okay what’s the hundred million home service company done? They’ve also been doing it a very long time, so they may not have innovated as much as somebody in a different industry that maybe you’re smaller.
You can pivot more quickly. Offer. Easier finance options for customers or a different payment option or online booking online, different things for scheduling, make that customer experience. Literally they just want to get scheduled and get it fixed. Yeah. Make it as simple as possible as few touches as possible.
And I think the more touch points you have to have the. People are like this, whatever. I’m just gonna go somewhere else. I don’t, this is too much for me. , cuz it’s just like us we’re moving to Arizona and Brittany, my wife is handling everything and she is like going through all these experiences with all these different companies.
And she has given me like a full run on what she loves and what she hates about certain companies. Because like ones that don’t offer like a [00:31:30] live. Texting or chatting, like she doesn’t wanna call. She just wants to text her chat and get her thing scheduled and move on to the next one. And I think learning something from those other industries, or, like shopping experiences, like Amazon can be really beneficial because obviously Amazon’s doing something right.
And people love it because of how easy it. How easy it is to get your stuff, get it
delivered, move on with your life and think about the next thing.
Laura Nelson: Absolutely. And it’s not just for the big companies, right? You’re seeing this adoption at the local level, you are ordering groceries from someone local, right?
You’re getting a virtual inspection from a local provider. You’re ordering DoorDash from your favorite local restaurant. This has permeated at the local level. And to the extent that contractors can adopt some of these experiences, like the better off they’ll be in helping to, convert the leads that they get.
And ensure that, homeowner is happy and writes about it online.
Josh Crouch: Yeah. Yeah, no, I think that’s a great point. I think those types of reviews lead to other people, other customers like that who don’t really care about price, how they just wanted to get it taken care of.
Tersh Blissett: So let me ask you this.
How annoying is your reputation management? Is it annoying enough? The it’s in the, I say it that way and it like, there’s sometimes where it’s like, Hey, leave us a review. And it’s that’s it, but we, what you really need is Hey. Hey. Hey. [00:33:00] Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey, lemme get your attention.
read review, and it’s that’s what you need sometimes. Whether that’s. You know that mean, is it annoying enough in that aspect, I guess is my best question?
Laura Nelson: This is customizable. So I know that, certain companies prefer a little more relaxed approach and others want more touch points and want to update the copy or want to use text versus email, which we can provide either or both.
I personally, I like when a business has gone in and customized the language, Hey, reviews help us. Grow as a business sustain, make it personal, right? They cover, there’s
Tersh Blissett: a strong possibility that you found us because of our reviews. Yes. We need you to leave one.
Laura Nelson: They mean the world to us.
Yes. I think that coupled with, you’re finishing up a job and giving them the verbal cue. Hey please let us know how we did. We’re gonna follow up with the text message or an email for your feedback. That way you’re making eye contact with the homeowner it’s personal and they have that expectation.
Oh, I’m gonna get something like, I already made this verbal. Happy to do it. Thanks so much. Then, so how
Tersh Blissett: does it trigger? Is it like as soon as the invoices close or do we need to send it out? Cause. Sometimes if somebody might be like, okay, I just sent it to you. Let’s check and make sure you got it.
Did you get it? Yep. Yep. Oh, you oh, there. Yeah. Click that button right there. There you go. Now I’ll leave the five stars. I’ll just stand right here in your doorway. Yep.
Josh Crouch: And be all I’ll leave when I’ll [00:34:30] leave. When you’re done. .
Laura Nelson: That’s a possibility, like we have teams that send it right from the app via text message.
Like here, it’s on your device. They send it to you. And that’s what I recommend. Don’t bring around the same iPod and expect people to log in. You’ve gotta get it onto their device where they’re locked in and it’s easy for them. But it can be that immediate, you can wait around for it or you can integrate it with your QuickBooks, whatever.
And that automatically goes out once the job. Painting clothes gotcha. Up to you. Gotcha.
Josh Crouch: Gotcha. Yeah. I had a, so I think I told you guys before I, and I might have mentioned it earlier, but I had a wisdom tooth extracted yesterday and the dentist was really good. They’d really good about resetting me reminders and all that kind of stuff.
The only thing I would recommend to them is I didn’t get the alert and it’s probably cause they didn’t close it in their system for a couple hours afterwards, but I didn’t get alert for a review until like last. Even though my
service was in the morning. Oh they really should have asked me after I got took the first dose of drugs, I was gonna say, after it wore off at that point, and I was like, yeah, I’m not ready to
Tersh Blissett: leave a review.
If they got a review from me right after I left the office, that would be one hysterical review because maybe that why they would, I was asking for an extra wheelchair so that we could race down the hallway. . We were trying to race. And she was like, what? I was like, yeah, we need to know the wheelchair so that Julie can sit in this wheelchair and y’all can race us down [00:36:00] the hallway.
And she’s okay. And Julie, like that, don’t send this
Josh Crouch: guy a review.
Laura Nelson: but that’s a great point. Like ter I’m with you. Cuz when I leave I’m I hate the dentist. If many of yeah. Do I wanna get out of there? I wanna focus on something else. Cause I’m very anxious in the dentist chair. So that’s probably not the right moment.
For them to ask me for feedback, let me feel good about it, hours later. And so Josh, like how
Tersh Blissett: long does it take for this medicine to kick in? That’s when we’re gonna give them
Laura Nelson: overview but think about a plumber or an HVAC technician leaving your house, problem solved homeowners at a high point.
Yeah. Satisfaction, right? They’re never gonna be happier than something might happen down the road, get them at that high point of satisfaction group problem solve. You’re leaving. I can move on with the day cause they don’t.
Josh Crouch: So one. Former companies worked at, I’m not gonna mention their name.
We used them at one point and I, it was driving me crazy cuz they had a 15 minute delay before the review went out. And it was, I literally was like, I talked
to anyone. I could, I said, why? I said, I need to leave. I need to send the review. As soon as the job is closed, I don’t wanna send it 15 minutes after cuz they’re already left their house and they’re going to pick up their kid or going to get groceries or whatever.
I said, I need it now. Yeah. And they couldn’t do it. I would caution anyone that I would ask that question to any, most of them are pretty good about it’s right away, but ask the [00:37:30] question because the longer you delay that first review request the it’s just like answering the phone and you don’t get back to someone in 10 minutes, the chance you getting that lead are gonna be a lot worse.
Yep. It’s all speed to lead speed to ask the question everything’s about speed these days. But that was. A pain point for me. And if we solved it by moving on, because it just I needed more reviews more quickly. And so it’s just something to keep in mind for anyone’s listening. Laura, is there anything else that you wanted to cover before we wrap up here?
Laura Nelson: I would say I know contractors are investing a lot in their marketing dollars. Think about that next step in the experience, acknowledging missed calls sending text messages lots of different touch points where they can, ensure that you are at the top of the list. So not, don’t worry just about getting found online.
It’s that next? On. Yeah. Yeah. How you are you systematized to respond first by phone, by text, through all of your channels?
Josh Crouch: Yeah, I like it. That’s a great, that’s a great end point. I like that.
Tersh Blissett: Cool. We appreciate you being here, Laura and sharing this with everybody. And what’s the best place for people to reach out to you?
Laura Nelson: If you wanna learn more about signpost visit signpost.com. If you wanna reach me write L Nelson at signpost dot.
Tersh Blissett: Okay, perfect. Awesome. You heard it. And with that being said, I hope you have a wonderful and safe day until we talk again. Next time on the service business mastery podcast be [00:39:00] safe out there and we’ll talk
Josh Crouch: Thank you for listening to this episode of
Tersh Blissett: service business mastery.
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