ServiceMonster 6 Introduction Webinar

Date: Thursday, October 12th, 2017
Time: 2:00 pm Pacific


There’s no better time to switch to ServiceMonster 6!

In this webinar, we’ll show you how easy it is to try the new version, what’s new, what’s different, and we’ll also cover some handy timesavers that you’ll want to be aware of, including the new Quick Add feature, as well as some amazing scheduling tools.

NOTE: ServiceMonster 6 is included in your ServiceMonster subscription, so you don’t need to worry about paying anything extra.


Please access the live event on Thursday using this URL: https://servicemonster.adobeconnect.com/sm6101217

webinar_october

Date: Thursday, October 12th, 2017 Time: 2:00 pm Pacific There’s no better time to switch to ServiceMonster 6! In this webinar, we’ll show you how easy it is to try the new version, what’s new, what’s different, and we’ll also cover some handy timesavers that you’ll want to be aware of, including the new Quick […]

Why You Should Film Customer Testimonial Videos

Picture this, if you will: It’s Friday. You’ve had a long week, and you’re craving a good steak. You do a quick search online of best places for steak in your area, and come up with two options:

Restaurant 1’s website claims that their steak is the tastiest around (according to content written by the restaurant itself).

Restaurant 2 is purported to have the best steak in the area, as well. However, the difference is that you learn this via reviews of the restaurant on Facebook, written by customers who have dined there over the last few months.

Which candidate is going to win your dinner business?

You realize that any restaurant could claim to be the best at a certain dish or cuisine, but when a positive assessment comes from someone who has no ‘steak’ (see what we did there?) in the business, it carries a lot more weight. An unbiased opinion is always more persuasive.

Restaurant 2 it is!

– – – – –

We have no doubt that your company does stellar work and that your customers are in great hands with you. But, regardless of how well you sell your services, you still can’t change the source: you.

Testimonials’ strength lies in the fact that they come from a source outside your business, who has seen proof of your work and was happy with the outcome. This impartial opinion fosters positivity and confidence in your prospects.

What is a testimonial video?

Before we get any deeper, let’s go over what a testimonial video is. A video testimonial is simply an on-camera endorsement of your services from a customer. The best ones are straight-forward, short, and upbeat. Though videos require more work than simply pasting a quote or two on to your website, they provide an organic way for prospects to learn about how great you are, straight from the horses (er… your customer’s) mouth.

Are videos more persuasive than text?

Without a doubt, yes. Because viewers can see your testimonial-offering customer in the video, there is an automatic feeling of authenticity from the beginning that’s inherently lacking when it comes to text testimonials.

Seeing a homeowner or business owner talk about how satisfied they are with your services can be a key factor in your home-owning and business-owning prospects (who personally identify with the customers in the video) choosing to use your company.

What do I need to consider before I make a testimonial video?

Even though videos do naturally come across as more authentic than text testimonials, that doesn’t give you free reign to hand your customer a script and tell them to read it to the camera. We recommend brainstorming a short list of questions before filming, and passing them along to your interviewee a day before filming. This will give them time to review the questions and consider how they’d like to answer them, so they won’t be blindsided when the camera is rolling.

Some questions to consider asking:

  • If someone called you and asked why they should use our services, what would you tell them?
  • What would have prevented you from using us?
  • Where did you hear about us?
  • Overall, what was the experience like?

What do I need to think about during filming?

Don’t get hung up on purchasing an expensive camera, especially if you’re just starting out with video testimonials. You can even use your phone! Just be sure to shoot it using widescreen (turn the phone horizontally), and steady it against something.

Be mindful, too, of the location you choose to film – it can make a difference in how watchable the video is. Try filming in front of or inside of the customer’s home or business.

Another important consideration is audio quality. You’ll want to avoid locations that produce an echo, and busy places with lots of people talking or traffic noise. While you certainly can edit the audio post-production (after you’ve filmed), ideally you wouldn’t have to do too much to it. We recommend considering a wireless lavalier that you can run into your camera.

Also, make sure there’s enough room on your recording device for the whole interview (plus some extra in case the discussion runs longer than anticipated).

What do I need to do after filming?

After you’ve thanked your customer for their time and thoughts, it’s time to start editing. This can be as long or as short of a process as you’d like, depending on how filming went and what you’d like your finished product to look like.

Try to edit the content down to focus on the most glowing praise, and keep it short – we recommend no more than a couple minutes. Remember, people tend to have very short attention spans!

Once I have a finished video… what do I do with it?

First, send it to the featured customer and get their approval. Then… share it!

Create an email drip campaign in ServiceMonster 6 for people you haven’t serviced in a while, and include the video to convey the voice of your customers.

Create a ‘case study’ section on your website and include the video.

Share on your social media channels, like Facebook and Twitter, and create a ‘testimonials’ playlist on YouTube and place the video in there.

Also, if you have a salesman, be sure to share the video with them. They can use it as a tool when chatting with new prospects.

– – – – –

Customer testimonial videos are unique because they’re persuasive and very effectively able to establish credibility for your company. Though they can be a bit labor intensive, we strongly believe that they’re worth doing because of the tremendous boost they can offer your business. Give them a try… and let us know how it goes!

video-testimonials

Picture this, if you will: It’s Friday. You’ve had a long week, and you’re craving a good steak. You do a quick search online of best places for steak in your area, and come up with two options: Restaurant 1’s website claims that their steak is the tastiest around (according to content written by the […]

ServiceMonster 6 Introduction Webinar

Date: Thursday, September 28th, 2017
Time: 12:00 pm Pacific


There’s no better time to switch to ServiceMonster 6!

In this webinar, we’ll show you how easy it is to try the new version, what’s new, what’s different, and we’ll also cover some handy timesavers that you’ll want to be aware of, including the new Quick Add feature, as well as some amazing scheduling tools.

NOTE: ServiceMonster 6 is included in your ServiceMonster subscription, so you don’t need to worry about paying anything extra.


Please access the live event on Thursday using this URL: https://servicemonster.adobeconnect.com/sm6092817

webinar_september

Date: Thursday, September 28th, 2017 Time: 12:00 pm Pacific There’s no better time to switch to ServiceMonster 6! In this webinar, we’ll show you how easy it is to try the new version, what’s new, what’s different, and we’ll also cover some handy timesavers that you’ll want to be aware of, including the new Quick […]

ServiceMonster 6.1 Release Webinar – Features and Functionality

Date: Thursday, August 24th, 2017
Time: 5:00 pm Pacific


Come see what’s new! Hosted by ServiceMonster CEO Joe Kowalski (with special guest Josh Latimer!), this webinar will provide an overview of the new job functionality and features in ServiceMonster 6.1, including Contracts and SendJim integration.

How can you leverage these new features in 6.1 to grow your repeat business, easily advertise to prospects who are likely to convert, and more? We’ll highlight tips and tricks and show you how ServiceMonster 6.1 can help you improve your business.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to take a tour of ServiceMonster Mobile, ask questions, and win prizes!

>> Are you a current Customer Factor user? Register and attend this webinar and receive a GOLDEN TICKET, allowing you to be grandfathered into ServiceMonster at your current Customer Factor subscription price!


Please access the live event using this URL: https://meet647039137.adobeconnect.com/servicemonster6

webinars_6.1_release

Date: Thursday, August 24th, 2017 Time: 5:00 pm Pacific Come see what’s new! Hosted by ServiceMonster CEO Joe Kowalski (with special guest Josh Latimer!), this webinar will provide an overview of the new job functionality and features in ServiceMonster 6.1, including Contracts and SendJim integration. How can you leverage these new features in 6.1 to […]

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.

1  star-resized-small
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!

stars

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 […]

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 […]

Overview: Instagram’s ‘Stories’ Feature

instagram-illustration-2

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.

instagram-illustration-2

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 […]

Transitioning from SM5 to SM6 [Webinars]

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 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 […]