Great Reviews Provide Proof That You Keep Your Promises

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Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I would like to discuss online reviews.

You know those Google and Facebook first star reviews we all know and love. It’s become a crucial part of marketing these days. Let’s face it when we go to make a purchase, the presence of a lot of 4 or 5-star reviews provides us with a level of trust that this is someone we want to do business with. Something that is sometimes overlooked is the actual words that the reviewer uses above and beyond the stars.

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • How to get more ideal clients like the ones that are already leaving you 5-star reviews
  • How you don’t provide a service your clients had a problem and you solved it wonderfully while providing a good experience
  • How to use reviews to update your core messaging
  • How to use reviews to inspire brilliant marketing from email subject lines to Facebook ads

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

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Less Annoying CRM AwardThis episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Less Annoying CRM.

Less Annoying CRM is a simple contact and lead manager built from the ground up for small businesses. Manage your contacts, leads, notes, calendar, to-do’s and more, all from one simple web app. Less Annoying CRM is founded on three core principles: simplicity, affordability, and outstanding customer service.

Less Annoying CRM has a special offer just for listeners of Duct Tape Marketing Podcast.  All users get an unlimited 60-day free trial to exhaustively test every aspect of the CRM. There is no prepayment or obligation to try it out.

John Jantsch: This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is brought to you by Less Annoying CRM. It's a simple contact and lead manager built from the ground up for small business. Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch and I'm going to do a solo show. It's been a little while since I've done that. I hear from lots of you that you enjoy the solo shows so let's do one today. I'm going to talk about online reviews. Those little Google five-star and Facebook five-star reviews that we all covered. I mean, it's become a crucial part of marketing these days. I mean, let's face it. When we go to make a purchase, the presence of a lot of great reviews, I think provides a layer of proof that maybe that business is somebody we want to do business with.

But often overlooked in my opinion, and the obsession for the five star reviews is the actual words used by the reviewer. See a five-star review often implies that this is an ideal customer. I mean, they had the right problem, you solved it wonderfully. They had a great experience. Then they voluntarily turned to a third party review site like Google or Facebook or Yelp, and told the world how great you were. And frankly, some of those sites aren't that easy to navigate. So they had to put in a little work and I think that to me, that's like referring your business to anyone who cares to read the reviews. And of course, total strangers now are reading those reviews and putting a lot of stock in them.

Now, you want more ideal clients, don't you? Well, here's the real point I want to make today. If you want more customers like the ones that are leaving great reviews, pay very close attention to how those reviewers talk about your business, the words and phrases that show up repeatedly. If you've got 30 or 40 five-star reviews, I can almost guarantee you that there are going to be some phrases and words that show up repeatedly. And there's gold in those phrases. I mean, it's essentially your best customers telling you over and over again, exactly what it is that you do that solves the real problem they have. And I've said this numerous times, I mean, nobody cares what we sell or the benefits or features, they want their problem solved. And that's what they end up talking about when they have a great experience.

Let me give you a couple of real life examples. This is from a local business, and frankly, I just grabbed the first five reviews that showed up. And these are some of the things that repeated. They came and worked as scheduled and cleaned up nicely after it was done. The guys showed up on time and did a wonderful job. In the past, we have dealt with people who don't show up or do a professional job. Everything was cleaned up very well. Did you hear a pattern in any of that? I mean, frankly, it's probably not even clear to you. In fact, I know it's not clear to you what service that business actually provides, but I think the clues to how they provide it are obvious.

If I were working with that business, the core message for that business, as something they should put up above the fold on their website, first thing you see is we promise to show up when we say and we will clean up everything before we leave. So it turns out this is this business is a tree service. But do you see the real problem they're solving for their ideal customers, those ones that leave reviews had a great experience? Is that so few people in the home services industry are organized enough to offer appointment times and often leave a mess behind. Maybe you've had that experience yourself.

But for this business and so many others that I've worked with over the years, reviews now can be seen as a strategic marketing asset, as much as a vehicle for social proof. If you start mining those reviews for core message, that can become a tool to help you attract even more ideal clients. I mean, it just goes to reason that people who really want somebody to show up on time and clean up the job site are people that are going to be your ideal clients. They might pay more for those. So imagine if you're actually saying that, screaming that at the top of your lungs and everywhere you go, you're going to attract people who that's more important maybe than saving a few hundred bucks here or there.

So turn your reviews on Google or Facebook or really any industry specific review site. Every industry now has them. We all know about Google and Facebook and Yelp, but pretty much every industry has some sort of grading sites, and just start carefully reading your positive reviews. Now, if you have a few negative reviews, they can tell you a lot as well, but that's not what we're looking for right now but don't ignore them. Now, as you read the reviews, start noticing words, phrases, themes, patterns that are repeated. Again, this is your customer explaining the problems that your company actually solves for them. The things that you do that others don't. I mean, these are the words, phrases, and themes that you need to start using in your marketing message right now. I mean, sometimes you'll discover that your happy customers simply love your people or your approach, and that's great. Don't discount how powerful this can be as a message.

Now, in some cases you'll uncover a complete and creative core message hidden inside of a review. Let me give you an example. A few years ago, we were working with a subscription based lawn mowing service, and actually they were in the Southern United States. And so it was kind of a year round thing. I mean they mow year round. So it's all weekly, we're going to show up, that's a subscription based thing. So this company, by the way, you think a lawn mowing services maybe not the most professional type of outfit but no, they were very professional, did a great job, they could be relied on to do what they promised. But we kept finding that their ideal customer expressed this as experiencing a moment of joy in an otherwise hectic world. I mean, that's kind of magic, right? When you're thinking of this commodity based, low profile kind of service, that's actually providing joy. So you won't find this all the time and this may sound a little goofy to some of you depending on what your business is.
But we read this over and over again, their reviews. These were word for word coming out and after calling through their reviews, we saw this three times, "I just love coming home on mowing day." So these were busy professionals. Everybody in the house worked would come home and voila the grass, the yard just looked lovely. So in addition to being very prompt and being reliable and being trustworthy and professional and communicating what they were doing, we changed their message, their entire message or their entire promise to you'll love coming home on mowing day. So again, I think the idea there was that this promise was kind of begging other prospects to wonder, "Well, gosh, how come that's not true of my current service?" So it's not always... I mean, in some cases it's just very to the point, we do this and you'll love it, this solves this problem. We show up when we say we're going to, that solves that problem.
But in other times, there can be creative elements to this as well. So don't discount something. If your customers are saying it over and over again, here probably is something very much to that. And that let's hear from our sponsor, Less Annoying CRM. It's a simple contacted lead manager built from the ground up for small business. You can manage your contacts, leads, notes, calendar, to-do's and more, all from one simple web app. Less Annoying CRM is focused on three core principles, simplicity, affordability, and outstanding customer service. And as a benefit, you're going to get 60 days of unlimited free trial. So you can test it out, every aspect of it. Check out the link in the show notes at
So think in terms of using your reviews to develop a core message of difference. One that really offers precisely what your ideal customer value, and that's how you turn a review into a powerful marketing strategy, but you can also use, and often we do this, we may find a handful of recurring themes. They might not make a great core message, but they actually might make a great topic for a blog post. You might start working them into your FAQs. I mean, if people are experiencing some sort of surprise or something they didn't expect, that's what they're often putting into their reviews. When they're talking about problems, many cases, email subject lines, you can imagine, do you enjoy coming home on mowing day as the subject line. I mean, that's certainly fair game for that so don't just think of this as only one purpose.
I think calling over your reviews and pulling out themes and words and phrases, it's great for ad copy. It's great for your Google ads. If you're running Google ads, there's probably a good chance that you should be calling through your reviews to find good and bad things that you might actually put into your ads. So it's all about using the words of your ideal customers to attract more of the same. And sometimes those words, they're describing your service or they're describing what you do, maybe in different ways than you would, because after all you're in the industry, you use industry jargon. So just go through those spend some time, every time you get one and analyze them or certainly if you've not done that in the past, make it a project that you do to start thinking about your core strategic message. Again, I've said it about five times that using the words that your ideal clients use is a great way to attract more ideal clients.
Now, one last thing, how did you got this review thing down? I'm going to expand it a bit. Studying reviews is also amazing for competitive research because your competitors, good reviews, bad reviews, both their negative and positive reviews, you can kind of find themes in them as well. So these can provide a sales advantage. So if a competitor is getting repeatedly kind of negative reviews about some aspect of their business, that can be something that you would sell against. If they're getting great reviews, you might also think, "Wow, all their customers are talking about their timeliness or some little thing, maybe we should either do a better job of that or maybe that's something we could communicate as well." So reviews and the words that contain are much more than social proof, they're amazing content and a path to better messaging in your marketing in general.
So that is it for day. You know that I love those reviews. If you want to turn to iTunes or Spotify or any of those places that you happen to listen to this podcast, I would love it if you tell me what you think. If you've been a long time listener, I would love it if you tell me that. Always feel free to write to me at [email protected] if you ever wanted to discuss marketing or anything I talk about on this show. All right. That's all. Be well.


5-stars, Reviews

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