Many small businesses simply do not have the benefit of an in-house marketing team to help them hone in on the ways they could be using digital marketing tools to enhance and grow their businesses.
As a digital marketer I am always engaged in searching for, testing, and sometimes implementing new technologies to help my clients improve their businesses.
Recently in working with a salon client, we were discussing ways to keep new and fresh reviews coming in. After weighing the possible solutions for this, it occurred to me that she could actually kill two birds with one stone.
Here’s what I mean. As the salon’s marketing partner, I have goals for them and they have their own goals for the business. My goal is to help my clients “own” a segment of their market by selling the “experience” above almost everything else. It is also my job to produce results that improve the client’s bottom line: more money.
Back to my client’s situation and how we’re solving it.
I suggested to the client that we should ask a person for a review within the first hour after they received their service.
Tool #1 – Google Forms To Automate Review Requests
The first thing we did was create a Google Form for In-Service clients (people currently being serviced) where the stylist waits (until the service is within 15 minutes of being finished), picks up her phone and opens the Google Form.
She enters the client’s name, email address, service performed, and phone number and submits the form. She’s done.
Tool #2 – Zapier To Connect Softwares
I used a simple automation tool like Zapier to take the data submitted by the stylist using the Google form and instructed the commands to (a) wait 1 hour and then shoot off a text to the clients phone thanking them for choosing us (the salon client) and a soft request for them to share their feedback of how we did.
The link goes directly to the salon’s Google Reviews page and the deed is done.
Tool #3 – Twilio to Send Text Messages
Then the automation tool records all this data and dumps it into a Google Sheets spreadsheet, ready to be used by the email automation tool we use to send further follow-up. If the person is not a member of the salon’s birthday club, they are sent an invitation to join it.
If they are already birthday club members, they are sent another thank you and tips for maintaining the hairstyle (service performed) they just had done.
The technologies we used are either free or low-cost. Google Forms is free. We used Zapier’s $15/mo service to take the data from the Google Form and instruct Twilio to send the SMS message. We used Google Sheets (free) and Mailchimp ($10/mo) to send the email. Not bad, right?
But look at what we achieved: (1) we setup an automated way to collect a constant stream of fresh reviews (2) improved the customer experience by implementing a well thought out follow-up (not too passive–not too aggressive) and (3) established a new channel for automated email subscriber flow.
A small business with not much of a marketing budget can achieve some pretty amazing things using the tools digital marketing and a digital marketing partnership can provide.
If your small business needs help figuring out the best tools to use to improve your business’ relationships with its customers, feel free to book a call with us to see how we might craft smart marketing solutions for you.
Or if you have digital marketing tools in your arsenal that work well for small businesses, feel free to share them with us. We would love to hear about them!
Frederick Webb Digital Marketing