The Pool and Spa Dealer’s Ultimate Guide to Online Review Management

The Pool and Spa Dealer’s Ultimate Guide to Online Review Management
Online review management and 5-star reviews

Most companies know that they receive online reviews on various platforms like Google, AngiTM, Trustpilot®, and social media sites. But a lot of pool and spa businesses merely let the reviews accumulate – never bothering to manage their online reviews. After all, can you really do anything about that Karen who gave you a 1-star rating for no good reason? Or the person who’s leaving nasty reviews even though they’re not even a customer? Yes! Yes, you can. A sizable amount of your online reputation comes from your ability to monitor and direct what people are saying about your company through online reviews.

Great reviews persuade people to buy. Unmanaged bad reviews drive people to purchase from your competitor. Managing online reviews involves a three-part approach:

  • Answering all reviews, both positive and negative
  • Handling negative reviews quickly and with the right tone and information
  • Generating positive reviews from your happy customers (this also helps bury negative reviews)

Our Guide to your Online Review Management Includes:

  • What platforms are your customers looking at before making a purchase? Using a tool like Birdeye, you can manage the online reviews your customers are most likely to read.
  • How do I respond to positive reviews?
  • How do I respond to negative reviews?
  • How do I request a review? Doing this the wrong way can actually land you in trouble.

What platforms are your customers looking at before making a purchase?

Let’s take a quick look at online review statistics from Google. We all know they fluctuate, but generally, this gives you an idea of what today’s reports show. [Source: Exploding Topics]

  • 93% of people interviewed agree they made a decision to buy a product based on a review.
  • Almost 50% of consumers interviewed post reviews monthly.
  • The top four locations for online reviews of pool and spa companies:
    • Google = 73% — yes, Google is still the king when it comes to reviews, and Google marketing for hot tubs is imperative.
    • Yelp = 6%
    • Facebook = 3%
    • TripAdvisor = 3%
  • Since there are so many potential places where people can leave and read reviews, it’s essential to leverage a tool that allows you to manage reviews across platforms from a single dashboard.

How Do I Request an Online Review for My Pool & Spa Business?

Sometimes all you need to do is ask. Ask everyone that has had a positive experience buying from your store. Seek out happy new pool and spa owners, people who are repeat buyers, those who refer their friends, the ones who gush about how great your product makes them feel, how they improved their health issues and who all-around love you. Ask them to mention you, the business, and products by name.

  1. Request customer reviews on your website. Add a fun graphic button to your website on your home page and in strategic locations on multiple pages. Let them know their opinion matters and that you would like their great review. Make it a simple click to go to a unique page or you can make it go directly to your Google page. Ask, ask, ask!
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  1. Utilize your social media pages to generate positive reviews.
  2. Leverage a CRM system to build customer reviews via your customer engagement emails.
  3. Create a QR code that directs them to your Google business profile. QR codes can be used on your website, on social platforms, or you can even print them out to have physical copies in your stores or at your events. QR codes have made a revival and are a quick and easy way to get people to those review sites for you.
  4. Hold contests within your company or sales team. Reward the most reviews generated with a gift card to a favorite restaurant or store.

How Do You Respond to Positive Reviews?

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A study by McKinsey shows that an increase in 5-star reviews directly leads to an increase in sales. 5-star reviews can create emotional trust and increase confidence in your company and products. It gives the reader the green light to proceed and the confidence in your company they need to do business with you.

It’s tempting to just leave those 4- and 5-star reviews alone, because why cause extra work for yourself when the review is good for you? There are three strong reasons to respond to all reviews, even the glowing ones.

  1. It shows potential new customers that you appreciate your customers, value them, and regard their opinions as important.
  2. It shows the same for your existing customers, too! If you went to the trouble to write a really great review for a company you love, wouldn’t you want them to recognize it?
  3. Google loves companies who are active in their reviews. You’ll lose brownie points if you have tons of unanswered reviews or reviews that have sat too long without a reply.

Responding to positive reviews isn’t just easy; it’s so rewarding! Just pop into your reviews at least once or twice per week and say thanks to your fantastic customers who’ve made the time to send you a review. Avoid using cookie-cutter answers — it doesn’t take long to leave personalized, unique thank yous for each of your stellar reviews.

How Do I respond to Negative Reviews for My Pool & Spa Business?

Everyone gets the occasional negative review, but you need to address negative reviews quickly and professionally. A negative review, unmanaged, costs you sales. People aren’t just reading the bad reviews, they’re also paying close attention to how you respond. This tells them a lot about who you are and what it’s like doing business with you.

Here are our recommended steps for replying to those difficult negative reviews:

  • Verify that this is a legitimate customer. We’ve known cases where competitors had others leave nasty reviews just to drive business their way. You also need to do any necessary research to determine if your staff needs additional customer service or sales training to prevent a similar negative customer experience in the future.
  • Apologize. Even if you’re not at fault, say you’re sorry they had a bad experience.
  • Be brief with your explanations. There’s no sense in adding fuel to the fire with lengthy explanations.
  • Direct them to call in so you can get the conversation offline as quickly as possible. Something like, “Please call me so we can work this out.” This shows you’re willing to work with them and hopefully stops the barrage of negative comments.
  • Maintain a professional tone no matter how negative the comment is. Remember, your answer is as much for the next potential customer reading it as it is for the one who left the negative review.

For more detailed info, check out Should I Spend Time Replying to Online Reviews?

How Do I Manage My Online Reviews?

Most likely, reviews about your pool and spa business are already being added online. Your job is just to identify which platforms you have reviews on and then develop a strategy for managing those reviews. Here’s how.

Set Up Your Search Engine Accounts

If you don’t have an online presence you need to set up your accounts today in each of the four top platforms. Google is the most important, so if you have limited time, start there. Add as much information to your Google profile as you have; the more the better. You are going to direct people to your Google account to write and read reviews.

Utilize a Review Management Platform

There are simply too many review sites out there to check and manage as regularly as you need to. The Get Smart Group provides a review management platform for our clients that captures reviews from across the internet and allows you to monitor and manage those reviews in a single dashboard.

Designate the Person Responsible for Your Online Review Management

For most pool and spa businesses we work with, once or twice per week is often enough to keep your review platforms managed properly. This process is usually pretty fast – just pop in and thank all your customers who left 5-star reviews! It can take some time to draft a good response to negative reviews, however, and those tend to come in batches.

During the supply chain shortages, some of our clients received multiple negative reviews from customers who were angry they couldn’t get products as quickly as they wanted. But if you have a strong sales team and well-trained customer support, negative reviews will be few and far between. 

Ask The Get Smart Group

We know online review management is a lot for a busy pool and spa business to handle, but it needs to be done. If you would like help, we are here and we just happen to be experts. The Get Smart Group believes reputation management is a key to your business success. We have designed a comprehensive approach to review management for your pool and spa business working in conjunction with Birdeye. We will customize it for your business and your program will combine an easy platform to review, respond, request, and build reputation in one package. We will manage and update the details to ensure you always have the latest and greatest in pool and spa online review and reputation management. #CustomMarketingSolutions

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