Easy Trick for Getting More 5-Star Online Reviews

Are you interested in getting more online reviews for your business? Of course you are. Reviews not only help to improve your company’s ranking in search engines, they prove to others that you’re a credible and trustworthy business.

As a business owner, you already know that reviews are crucial. However, just because you know that they’re important doesn’t mean they’re easy to get. Even if the vast majority of your customers have nothing but warm and fuzzy feelings towards you, it can still be challenging to get them to write a review. The fact of the matter is, the people who’ve had negative experiences are far more likely to write a review in anger, than a happy customer who got what they paid for.

So what is a business owner to do?

Read on to learn a simple ‘hack’ you can do in your email(s) following a job to not only solicit reviews – but solicit positive ones, at that!

Step 1) After you complete a job, send out an email follow-up to your customer. (Tip: This is easy to do in ServiceMonster 6 using the Email Templates marketing feature. Build out a new email template with your company logo, website, social media links, and other contact information. Thank the customer for the opportunity to service them and mention that’d you appreciate a review of the services you provided.)

Step 2) In the email template, include the option for people to select a star rating for the services they received… 1 being the worst, and 5 being the best.

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2  star-resized-smallstar-resized-small
3  star-resized-smallstar-resized-smallstar-resized-small
4  star-resized-smallstar-resized-smallstar-resized-smallstar-resized-small
5  star-resized-smallstar-resized-smallstar-resized-smallstar-resized-smallstar-resized-small

If a customer was for some reason unhappy with your services, you certainly wouldn’t want to encourage them to leave a review on your company’s Facebook Page, or on Google. You would, however, want them to feel heard, and you would want feedback as to what went wrong. How can you accomplish this? Here’s where the sneaky part comes in!

Step 3) Link the “5” star review (and the “4” too, if you’d like) to whatever review platform you’d like to gather reviews on – whether that be Facebook, Google, Yelp, Groupon, Angie’s List, or something else.

Step 4) Link the “1,” 2,” and “3” star reviews to a contact page on your website where they can privately vent (privately being the keyword, here). Be sure that responses from this form are going to a place where someone in your company will see them and be able to respond in a timely fashion.

By prominently displaying the star ratings in your email and strategically linking them, you not only give your number of reviews a boost, but you also control where the ratings are published – all while making your customers feel heard, regardless of if they had a positive or a negative experience.

We hope you try out this simple ‘hack,’ and that you find success with it!

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Are you interested in getting more online reviews for your business? Of course you are. Reviews not only help to improve your company’s ranking in search engines, they prove to others that you’re a credible and trustworthy business. As a business owner, you already know that reviews are crucial. However, just because you know that […]

The Experience 2017 in Florida & ServiceMonster 5 to 6 Transition Webinars!

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We just returned from The Experience in Clearwater Beach, Florida. The show was held in a hotel right on the beach, which was a truly spectacular location. While most of the country was still trying to thaw out from the late winter, the sun and warm temperatures were a welcome change of pace. Aside from browsing cool local shops and eating our weight in fish tacos, we got to meet lots of new people who don’t usually make it to the fall Experience in Las Vegas.

We had the opportunity to chat with some long-time ServiceMonster users who were really interested in ServiceMonster 6, but hadn’t had the time to take the plunge yet. After seeing a bit of ServiceMonster 6 in action at the show, they convinced us to continue offering webinars to help make the transition easy.

With that in mind, here’s our webinar schedule for the month. We’ll cover the same content in each webinar, so you only need to attend one:

Dates and Times:

– Tuesday, 5/16 @ 2:00 pm

– Thursday, 5/25 @ 9:00 am

– Tuesday, 5/30 @ 3:00 pm

* All times are in Pacific.

In addition to reviewing the major differences between ServiceMonster 5 and 6, we’ll also review:

  • New features in ServiceMonster 6 that will interest you (including Quick Add, waitlisting, and technician GPS tracking)
  • Best practices for navigating ServiceMonster 6, and
  • We’ll take an in-depth look at automated email campaigns.

* You’re not required to switch from 5 to 6, but if you’re curious about the new features that are included in ServiceMonster 6 and interested in making a smooth transition, we invite you to attend one of the webinars!


Reserve your spot now, and we’ll follow up before the event via email with a link to join.

may-sm5-sm6-training-webinars-arrow

We just returned from The Experience in Clearwater Beach, Florida. The show was held in a hotel right on the beach, which was a truly spectacular location. While most of the country was still trying to thaw out from the late winter, the sun and warm temperatures were a welcome change of pace. Aside from […]

Continued SM5 to SM6 Training Webinars Through April

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If you haven’t been able to attend any of the previous ServiceMonster 6 transition webinars, you’re in luck! We’ve extended the training sessions through most of April.

Are you a ServiceMonster 5 user who’s interested in getting trained on ServiceMonster 6? Sign up for one of our webinars! Each session covers the same topics, so you only need to attend one webinar to get the full effect (although you’re welcome to attend as many as you’d like!).

We’ll be reviewing the major differences between ServiceMonster 5 and ServiceMonster 6 to ensure you get started off the right foot with the new software. Come learn about the new features, as well as how to navigate 6!

* Note: Current customers are not required to switch from 5 to 6, but if you’re curious about the new features that are included in ServiceMonster 6 and interested in tips on making a smooth transition, we invite you to attend one of the webinars!


Dates and Times:

– Wednesday, 4/5 @ 2:00 pm

– Thursday, 4/6 @ 9:00 am

– Tuesday, 4/11 @ 2:00 pm

– Friday, 4/14 @ 9:00 am

– Tuesday, 4/18 @ 10:00 am

– Thursday, 4/20 @ 3:00 pm

* All times are in Pacific.


We’re not offering any webinars the last week of April, because we’ll be at The Experience in Clearwater, Florida! If you’re planning on attending, be sure to stop by our booth (#203) for a live walk-through!


Reserve your spot now, and we’ll follow up before the event via email with a link to join.

april-sm5-sm6-training-webinars-arrow

If you haven’t been able to attend any of the previous ServiceMonster 6 transition webinars, you’re in luck! We’ve extended the training sessions through most of April. Are you a ServiceMonster 5 user who’s interested in getting trained on ServiceMonster 6? Sign up for one of our webinars! Each session covers the same topics, so […]

Don’t Delay: Set Up Your Spring FillMySchedule Order Today!

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Spring is here, which makes it the perfect time to touch base with your customers and encourage them to schedule a cleaning. Help them get their home clean for springtime events like BBQs, pool parties, and other gatherings.

Don’t waste time waiting for your customers to call you – chances are high that many won’t unless you actively reach out to them. What’s the best way to do this? FillMySchedule cards! They are a friendly reminder to previous clients of the services you offer, your availability, and any specials you might be running to entice them further.

FillMySchedule cards will never be mistaken for junk mail. Made from heavy cardstock, the tent-fold cards arrive in your customer’s mailbox addressed directly to them, with your businesses’ return address and a first-class stamp. They are NOT postcards!

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People are much more likely to be engaged and read through mail they get that’s addressed using their name as opposed to “Current Owner” or “Current Tenant,” which means you’ll enjoy a high return on your investment! We feel so confident that you’ll get a big bang for your buck, in fact, that we display your results in your ServiceMonster account (just monitor the FillMySchedule tab after you send out your campaign!).

We have two card fronts to choose from – the bird “Spring is here!” card, and the flowers “It’s time for a spring cleaning!” card.

In terms of the inside of the cards, you can write your own message, or choose our pre-formatted message (which we can customize to suit your business). We advise including a list of the services that you offer, along with your signature and company logo.

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If any of your cards are marked as undeliverable, they will be returned to you so you can update your records.

The slow season is officially over! Give your business a boost. Fill up your schedule fast by sending out spring FillMySchedule cards!

If you would like someone to contact you to help set up your campaign(s), please fill out the form below. Someone will be in touch with you shortly!


You can also reach us via email (support@servicemonster.net) or phone (888-901-3300).

* If you’re not already a FillMySchedule customer, one of our representatives can help you get set up in a matter of minutes! The FillMySchedule program can also be used to send out thank you and reminder cards — don’t miss out on one of the easiest, most effective steps you can take in bettering your marketing. The most convincing fact to give it a try? ServiceMonster users who take full advantage of ServiceMonster’s marketing features enjoy an average 800% return on the money they spend on cards!

spring-cards-2

Spring is here, which makes it the perfect time to touch base with your customers and encourage them to schedule a cleaning. Help them get their home clean for springtime events like BBQs, pool parties, and other gatherings. Don’t waste time waiting for your customers to call you – chances are high that many won’t […]

Overview: Instagram’s ‘Stories’ Feature

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Instagram was originally created as a way to share snapshots from your daily life as they happen. However, over time, the platform has morphed into a more curated sharing platform.

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Share Later or Share Now

A common scenario on Instagram: A user scrolls back through photos on their phone that they took weeks or months ago, applies a neat-looking filter, and uploads their masterpiece with a #tbt (throwback to…) hashtag.

Instagram’s solution for spurring more in-the-moment sharing? Instagram Stories. Like Snapchat, the (relatively) new Stories feature allows users to share both photos and videos that vanish 24 hours after they’re posted. Stories was launched last summer, and Instagram’s CEO doesn’t deny the similarity between Stories and competitor app Snapchat.

To ensure that users are only sharing new content, the app limits you to recent photos: only photos and videos you’ve captured during the last 24 hours will be available to share on your Story.

Using Instagram Stories

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Stories appear at the very top of users’ screens when they open Instagram. If your business already has a presence on Instagram, this means that your Stories will be seen by all your current followers, without needing to create a new account and building an audience from scratch on Snapchat.

How can you use Instagram Stories for your business? Amuse your audience when something funny happens while on the job, or snap a picture or take a short video when you get a new piece of equipment or a new cleaning solution. Don’t worry about applying the perfect filter or ensuring that the photograph is “artistic”: the point of Instagram Stories is for the sharing to be organic and spontaneous.

Have fun with the editing tools they provide: use text, color filters, and more to make your photos more entertaining.

Instagram Story Analytics

What could be considered a negative, Instagram Stories doesn’t allow for public likes or comments. If someone sees your Story and wants to reply, their only option is to send you a private message on Instagram’s message feature, Instagram Direct. However, one positive trade-off: You can view a list of users who have viewed your Story, which gives you insight into who’s paying attention to you.

Maintaining a Captive Audience on Instagram

The Stories feature came on the heels of Instagram’s decision to adjust how users’ feeds are delivered. Originally designed to list followers’ posts in the order they were uploaded (with latest posts at the top of people’s feeds), Instagram now uses a relatively new algorithm that sorts photos and videos in your feed according to which photos you’re more likely to be interested in, based on which accounts and content you’ve interacted with in the past. The unfortunate part is that this means that, as a small business with a (presumably) small audience on Instagram, it makes it harder for your content to garner the same exposure that it would have before the change. Two things we recommend you keep in mind:

1) Encourage your followers to turn on post notifications: Doing this tells Instagram that they are engaged with your content, and they’ll be notified any time your account is updated.

How does one turn on post notifications? Once on a profile, tap the menu (three dots) in the upper-right hand corner, and select “Turn On Post Notifications.”

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2) Use hashtags: Selecting popular hashtags allows others interested in that topic or tag to see your post (which are sorted by most recent).

If your business is interested in sharing some off-the-cuff content, we recommend trying out Instagram Stories. Go try out Stories for yourself: Nothing can replace giving it a try first-hand!

Bonus: Ads

Recently, Instagram Stories announced that it’s made ads available for businesses of all sizes, across the globe. They can be up to 15 seconds in length, and are displayed between users’ stories.

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Instagram was originally created as a way to share snapshots from your daily life as they happen. However, over time, the platform has morphed into a more curated sharing platform. Share Later or Share Now A common scenario on Instagram: A user scrolls back through photos on their phone that they took weeks or months […]

Free Webinars: SM5 to SM6 Training Through March

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The first few ServiceMonster 5 to ServiceMonster 6 training webinars were so successful, we’ve decided to continue holding them twice weekly through the end of March (and maybe past that, if demand is high enough!).

Don’t miss out! If you’re a current ServiceMonster user who is interested in transitioning to ServiceMonster 6, be sure to sign up (see the form below). We’ll be reviewing what YOU need to know when it comes to switching from using ServiceMonster 5 to ServiceMonster 6.

We aren’t recording these webinars, so we’re offering them on various days and times in hopes that one of the sessions will work with your schedule. We’ll be covering the same general topics in each webinar, so you’ll only need to attend the one that works best for you.

* Note: Current customers are not required to switch, but if you’re curious about the new features that are included in ServiceMonster 6 and how to easily make the transition, we invite you to attend one of the webinars!


Dates and Times:

Wednesday, 3/15 @ 3:00 pm Pacific

Friday, 3/17 @ 11:00 am Pacific

Wednesday, 3/22 @ 10:00 am Pacific

Thursday, 3/23 @ 2:00 pm Pacific

Wednesday, 3/29 @ 2:30 pm Pacific

Friday, 3/31 @ 11:00 am Pacific


Reserve your spot now, and we’ll follow up before the event via email with a link to join.

sm5-to-sm6-training-webinars-take-2

The first few ServiceMonster 5 to ServiceMonster 6 training webinars were so successful, we’ve decided to continue holding them twice weekly through the end of March (and maybe past that, if demand is high enough!). Don’t miss out! If you’re a current ServiceMonster user who is interested in transitioning to ServiceMonster 6, be sure to […]

Personalized Clerical Support for Your Business: 3 Open Spots for Super Agents!

Super Agents logo.

Specialized ServiceMonster staff who provide
personalized clerical support for your business.

Need a helping hand?

We currently have three open spots… act fast!

Click Here to Request More Information


How does it work?

Super Agents are ServiceMonster-trained, knowledgeable about carpet cleaning, committed to learning the intricacies of your company, and always up-to-date on the weather and major events in your area. Our Agent’s goal is to provide you with peace of mind so you can focus on what really matters: cleaning carpets!

How do Super Agents help?

Super Agents can…
Answer your businesses’ incoming calls Monday – Saturday
Book your jobs and quote your prices to prospects and customers
Make outbound calls, including job reminder call, job satisfaction calls, and more
Maintain your schedule in ServiceMonster
Send out email confirmations, thank you’s, and more
Assist with email template creation and maintenance
Represent your company professionally and provide excellent customer service
Ensure your ServiceMonster account stays tidy and well-organized

Leads

As part of your Super Agents subscription, you will have access to ServiceMonster WebForms for free (a $25/month savings!). The leads entered will be visible in your account. If you’re interested in using WebForms on your businesses’ website, contact Support for assistance.

Customization

You have the option of customizing various settings related to your incoming calls, including personalizing your voicemail, hold music, and more.

Billing and Reporting

Billing is invoiced on a monthly basis, and the billing date is adjustable. The base Super Agents subscription costs $1,000 a month, and includes up to two routes. For ServiceMonster accounts with more than two routes, pricing starts at $2,500 a month. At the end of every month, we will provide you with a summarized report of what we were able to accomplish for you.


There are only three spots currently available, so all applicants will be reviewed to ensure that they are a good fit.

If you’d like to learn more, or if you’re ready to sign up for Super Agents, please click on the link below. Once you fill out the short form, a Super Agents representative will be in touch!


Rave Reviews

“Our bottom line was $53,340.35 greater in 2016 when we started using Super Agents versus when we didn’t use them in 2015. That shows me that they’re doing an excellent job for us and our clients!”
The Specialists

“I was very pleased with Super Agents’ high booking rate (67%) on their first day. During that one day, I received a 133% ROI for the entire month investment with Super Agents.”
Healthy Choice

“They are awesome.”
The Steamery

Click Here to Request More Information

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Specialized ServiceMonster staff who provide personalized clerical support for your business. Need a helping hand? We currently have three open spots… act fast! Click Here to Request More Information How does it work? Super Agents are ServiceMonster-trained, knowledgeable about carpet cleaning, committed to learning the intricacies of your company, and always up-to-date on the weather […]

Transitioning from SM5 to SM6 [Webinars]

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Current ServiceMonster users who are interested in making the transition to ServiceMonster 6:

Join us as we review what YOU need to know when it comes to switching from using ServiceMonster 5 to ServiceMonster 6.

We will not be recording these webinars, so we’re offering training on different days and times in hopes that you’ll be able to attend one of the sessions. We’ll be covering the same general topics in each webinar, so you’ll only need to attend the one that best fits your schedule.

* Note: Current customers are NOT required to switch, but if you’re curious about the new features that are included in ServiceMonster 6, and how to easily make the transition, feel free to attend one of the webinars.


Dates and Times:

Wednesday, 3/1 @ 9:00 am Pacific

Thursday, 3/2 @ 3:00 pm Pacific

Tuesday, 3/7 @ 3:30 pm Pacific

Thursday, 3/9 @ 9:00 am Pacific


Reserve your spot now, and we’ll follow up before the event via email with a link to join.

sm5-to-sm6-training-webinars

Current ServiceMonster users who are interested in making the transition to ServiceMonster 6: Join us as we review what YOU need to know when it comes to switching from using ServiceMonster 5 to ServiceMonster 6. We will not be recording these webinars, so we’re offering training on different days and times in hopes that you’ll […]

Top 8 YouTube SEO Strategies

It takes planning and effort to make YouTube videos, so you want to do all you can to ensure that your videos get maximum exposure.

When it comes to YouTube, there are two main components to SEO optimization: video content and user engagement.

With that in mind, here are 8 techniques that we suggest you try out to grow your company’s presence on YouTube.

(Remember, search engine algorithms are always changing, and SEO is not a perfect science. Play around a bit to find out what works best for your company.)

1. Tagging:

Include brand keywords (your company name and any potential misspellings [e.g., our brand keywords are ServiceMonster and Service Monster]). Also, include other keywords that describe your video’s content and your company, such as your industry, and anything else that people might search for to find your content. Relevant tagging helps people find your videos, and the tags play a role in what videos are displayed in the sidebar. Put the most relevant keywords first.

*Bonus Tip: Set up default tags to be applied to all your uploads, which saves time and creates consistency across your videos.

2. Transcript / Closed-Captioning:

Transcribing and uploading closed-caption files for your videos is worth it for a number of reasons:

1) It opens up your content to a wider audience, including people who don’t want to or can’t listen to your video for whatever reason.

2) It can increase the search rank of videos and improve user engagement (views, likes, and comments), which in turn boosts the video’s search rank.

Remember: search engines crawl text, not video. Consider putting all or a portion of the transcription text in the video description, as well, which provides another opportunity for search engines to crawl and index the video.

*Bonus Tip: Upload your own caption files — don’t use YouTube’s auto-captioning feature. Automatic captions are often not accurate — in fact, they tend to be so inaccurate, they aren’t indexed by Google (your own captions files are, however!). Remember that even if auto-captioning saves time, inaccurate captions = spam = lost search rank for your YouTube channel.

3. Call-to-action:

There is no place for subtly when it comes to growing your business’ YouTube channel. Don’t be shy about asking viewers in a straight-forward way to visit your site, subscribe to your channel, like your videos, or take advantage of a special coupon or deal you’re offering. You can do this in the video description, via YouTube annotations (which come in many different formats), or via an end screen. A good call-to-action will be effective in driving traffic to the page of your choosing, or in keeping viewers on your channel, consuming your videos.

*Bonus Tip: Viewers can choose to turn off annotations. With that in mind, end screens are often more effective. In addition, end screens reach viewers on both desktop and mobile, whereas annotations are desktop-only. End screens display at the end of your video with a call-to-action, are a powerful tool for extending watch time on your channel by directing viewers to wherever you want them to go (other places on YouTube, your website, or another page entirely).

4. Channel trailer:

Show non-subscribers who land on your page a short “commercial” of sorts about what your YouTube page is all about. This video displays at the very top of your page, and is likely the first content viewers see if they land directly on your channel. It’s a good place to give an overview of what your company is about, and why viewers should subscribe and watch your videos.

*Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to include a call to action to encourage viewers to subscribe to see more of your company’s content!

5. Playlists:

Putting videos on a playlist can dramatically improve watch time. Why? Because as soon as the video ends, viewers are delivered the next video in the playlist, which hopefully captures their attention and extends their engagement.

6. Long Video Descriptions:

YouTube uses the content in your video descriptions to rank you for long-tail keywords, so make sure you’re making use of it! Try and write up at least 200 words, and pay extra attention to the first 25 words: that’s where you’ll want to include your most important keyword. Try and include your chosen keyword three or four times throughout the description.

*Bonus Tip: Put your business’ link at the top of the description. YouTube only displays the first couple lines of the description automatically (to continue reading, the viewer must click “show more”), so it’s essential that the most important, actionable information is included at the beginning.

7. Video Keywords:

Before finalizing your keyword choice, do a quick search on Google to see if there are video results on the first page. If there are, that’s a keyword you should strongly consider, because it means your video could potentially get ranked and get traffic from both Google and YouTube. How do you determine what keywords to check for? Try keywords in your industry niche (although make sure they’re not too specific — they have to be things you think your customers would be searching for). Once you’ve made a list of a few words, we recommend running them through the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to get an idea of the average monthly searches the keyword gets. This is helpful because there’s no sense optimizing your video around a keyword that is rarely to never searched!

8. Leveraging Online Communities:

Is your business on LinkedIn? If so, we recommend joining a few groups that are relevant to your business — specifically groups focused on the services you provide, the industry you’re in, and your local area. Scroll through the groups on occasion for questions that your videos could help answer. Be sure to type up a thoughtful response, and post the reply with a link to your video and a suggestion that they watch if they would like to see more. This works from an SEO standpoint because not only does it encourage video views, it encourages quality views — viewers who are more likely to watch the video for a longer period of time, engage with it, and share it (all metrics that YouTube tracks).

*Bonus Tip: Keep in mind that LinkedIn groups are primarily for discussion, not self-promotion. With that in mind, don’t spam-post your video links, and ensure that they add value to the overall conversation.

We hope you found these tips helpful, and that you’re excited to implement them in your next upload to YouTube!

seo-youtube

It takes planning and effort to make YouTube videos, so you want to do all you can to ensure that your videos get maximum exposure. When it comes to YouTube, there are two main components to SEO optimization: video content and user engagement. With that in mind, here are 8 techniques that we suggest you […]

A Recap of the 2017 ICE Expo

We attended the ICE Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada last month, and it was an amazing turnout! It’s a show that continues to grow every year. A lot of our customers mentioned that they love ICE because it’s scheduled during the perfect time of year to get away. Business is slower for carpet and window cleaners in January, so it’s doable for business owners to get away for a day or two and focus on improving their business before the spring rush hits. It’s also an affordable trip: located in the South Point Hotel Casino and Spa, rooms are priced in the $50 per night range.

We had the opportunity to demo the new ServiceMonster 6, which is loaded with new features and has a sleek new interface. The response from attendees was truly amazing. We were asked constantly about the automated marketing campaigns, new scheduling features, and the new fleet tracking / technician tracking map. Everyone loved the look and feel of ServiceMonster 6!

Our CEO, Joe Kowalski, was honored to give a talk to attendees on Friday about how field service businesses can succeed on social media. (If you missed the talk or weren’t able to be in Las Vegas to attend, you might find our series, Effective Social Strategies for Service Businesses, worth checking out. (Start here!).

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One of our favorite moments from the show came during a rug cleaning presentation by Lisa Wagner. She asked how many people in the audience use ServiceMonster, and half the crowd raised their hands. Seeing that many loyal ServiceMonster customers coming together makes all the show preparation and hard work worthwhile.

We also heard a lot of ServiceMonster customers winning prizes at the ICE raffles. Our customers won everything from T-shirts to new wands and other equipment.

We thoroughly enjoyed chatting with other exhibitors, catching up face-to-face with many of our customers, and meeting lots of new faces. We can’t wait to attend next year!

We attended the ICE Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada last month, and it was an amazing turnout! It’s a show that continues to grow every year. A lot of our customers mentioned that they love ICE because it’s scheduled during the perfect time of year to get away. Business is slower for carpet and window […]