The First Step to Understanding Your Customers: Listen Up!

July 7th, 2015 By Brinda Lee

Understand your customer


Let’s face it. It’s hard to know your customers.

You’ve done a great job. Their car purrs like a kitten. The new tile in the bathroom sparkles in just the right way. The temperature control of their new HVAC system functions like a dream. But still, they might not come back to you. Next time there might be a better deal, a closer mechanic, or a new cleaning product on the market. It’s frustrating.

Every business wants to maximize the lifetime value of their customers. After all, it’s much less expensive to retain a customer than it is to find a new one (around 4-10x more expensive!). And it feels good knowing your standout service gets loyal customers coming back again and again. But how can you ensure that customers will keep coming back to you, or that you really — I mean REALLY — know what they want?


Know Your Customer’s Voice

With Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, each customer has a wide social influence. More and more customers are using this referral power to promote their customer experiences, both positive and negative. We’ve all heard the horror stories. By tuning in and paying attention to what these customer are saying, you can strengthen your understanding of your business, and learn what your customers desire most.


Learn From Your Mistakes

Reviews are a great starting place to understanding what makes your business great. Or not so great. Don’t be afraid to use your customer’s voice to recognize where you need to change. Negative experiences, when quickly fixed, can make a customer even more loyal to a business. Use the bad experience to your advantage. Gain a loyal customer, and turn that review into a marketing asset. Tell everyone how you made it right. Keep doing it right in the future!


Understand Your Strengths

Paying attention to your negative reviews, and correcting bad company habits in response, is only part of the picture. Read your positive reviews too! Do your customers love that you wash their car after servicing it? Are they thrilled that you wore booties when fixing their bathroom sink? Did they swoon when they saw your popcorn machine in the waiting room?

These small gestures that get people excited can help you know your customer and guide your business in the future. Don’t overlook your great feedback. Listen up and use it to your advantage.

Understand your customer’s voice, and you will begin to understand your customer.


P.S. Customer Lobby has a standing offer to help you write a response to a negative review – no matter where you receive that review, and even if you are not our customer. Take us up on this offer, we would love to help!


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Make the Most of this Independence Day Weekend

July 2nd, 2015 By Jasmine Reynolds


The fourth of July is a time for barbecue, patriotism, and fireworks. This also a time for last minute jobs over the weekend from panicked customers for those working through the holiday. Whether you’re out on the field or lucky enough to get the day off, here are some quick reads to help you make the most of this Independence Day weekend.

Nothing to Fear in Asking for Reviews – CustomerLobby Blog

Some of you are probably already in the middle of last minute home repairs for customers who need a smoothly running house in time for their 4th of July party on Saturday. Those of you running an auto repair shop will probably have customers towed in from the highway who were on their way to see extended family for the holiday. These are the customers you want feedback from the most and we’ve written extensively on the best ways to follow up with customers to do just that.

Weather Affects Reviews – CustomerLobby Blog

In some areas, the temperature can get up to three digits this weekend so keep in mind that some customers will be unhappy no matter what you do (unless you fix their AC of course). However, don’t fret the negative reviews that may roll in. As explained above, asking reviews from all your customers will generate more 4 and 5-star reviews so make sure you ask for feedback from those customers you saved from the sweltering heat without an AC.

11 Tips And Tricks That’ll Guarantee An Amazing Fourth Of July Cookout – Huffington Post

Before you go shopping for your Saturday cookout, considering some of these tips and recipes for having an amazing cookout this Independence Day. I can’t say I’d recommend putting macaroni and cheese on a hot dog but I’ve heard great things about grilled watermelon.

Tiny Hamster’s Fourth Of July BBQ – YouTube

Even members of the animal kingdom are celebrating the Independence of the USA with their own tiny barbecue. If you’re busy at work this weekend, feel free to celebrate vicariously through these adorable hamsters for a few minutes.

And with that, remember to stay safe and hydrated this 4th of July weekend!

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SEO is a Science

June 25th, 2015 By Jasmine Reynolds

Periodic Table of SEOSEO is a bit of a beast. Everyone has their own methods and strategies and gems to give out to anyone looking. If you’re like me, you like your information in one place, in visually appealing info-graphics that can print out nicely. Thankfully, the folks at Search Engine Land with Column Five Media have provided that very handy graphic and made a girl’s dream come true. Each “element” is a key ranking factor to consider in ensuring your efforts are on track.

It notes both On-The-Page and Off-The-Page SEO factors that help and hurt your performance with a question fixed to each allowing you to match your efforts against the table. Positive elements include crawl (Ac, “Can search engines easily ‘crawl’ pages on site?”) and negative factors include purchased links (Vp, “Have you purchased links in hopes of better rankings?”).

You can see a bigger PDF version of the table as well as a printable copy in the link above.

We’ve also written about how to improve your own SEO performance. Here are some of the more recent ones:

Impact of Reviews on a Non-branded Search

Local Business NAP Management

New survey: reviews and local SEO

Easy Website Tweaks To Capture More Leads



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Google Adds “Unsend” Feature to Gmail, Saves Lives

June 24th, 2015 By Brinda Lee

Working at Customer Lobby means working with amazing local businesses every day. It also means respecting business owners’ schedules as we help them get more repeat business.

Email is a great way to do this. Not so great is watching an email woosh off before a proofread – or to an unintended recipient.

Google Adds More Robust “Unsend” Option to Gmail

Firstly, SWEET! Secondly, here’s how you can enable the unsend feature in your Gmail account:

  1. Click the gear icon for Settings.
  2. Under Undo Send, check Enable Undo Send.
  3. Adjust your (saving) grace period for undos under Send cancellation period.

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30 seconds is an option? Thank you, Google, thank you.

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Encourage Employees to Ask for Reviews

June 18th, 2015 By Jasmine Reynolds

build self confidence

I briefly advised in a previous post to encourage your employees to ask for feedback from customers. It can feel like an awkward request for technicians but it’s a roadblock faced by some of the clients I talk to.

The advice I have to impart is simply to monitor reviews that come in and let your employees know of great reviews that come in.

Customers will often mention the names of their technicians and the people they worked with in their reviews. So when a great reviews comes in mentioning your guys by name, let them know! Everyone loves positive remarks about the work they do. Letting your employees know about the comments that come in about them is a great way to encourage them to ask for reviews from future customers.

Employees in any business want to feel valued for the work they do and service they provide to customers. We at Customer Lobby get online reviews that, every now and then, mention their sales rep or customer service rep by name. It’s a great way to remind ourselves why we do what we do and why we work so hard to please our customers.

Ultimately, I hope business owners and the people that work tirelessly with them take a break to reflect on and appreciate how happy their customers are. You make people’s lives a little easier with seamless plumbing, a functional vehicle, or energy-saving windows. Keep up the good work!

*Above image from Wikihow entry how to build self-confidence.

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“Get Your Biggest Sales Delivered: 3 Ways to Leverage Postcards and Emails” Is This Thursday

June 16th, 2015 By Brinda Lee

Save your seat! Customer Lobby is conducting a live talk, “Get Your Biggest Sales Delivered: 3 Ways to Leverage Postcards and Emails”, this Thursday, June 18th at 11:00 – 11:30am PST / 2:00 – 2:30pm EST.

This talk will cover how successful local businesses bring their existing customers back sooner and more often.

You’ll learn how to use irresistible postcards and emails that really work for your unique business. Join us!


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Diversify Your Customer Reviews

June 11th, 2015 By Jasmine Reynolds

Eggs in a basket

“Don’t put your eggs all in one basket” is my favorite idiom for it’s irony. I’m not exactly sure why you’d want to travel with your dozen or so large grade-AA eggs in their own individual compartments–seems like a hassle. The lesson is sound while the straight meaning may not be (unless there’s some 17th century egg-carrying method I’m not aware of).

The lesson of this strange, seven-word fable is valuable for numerous reasons.

Customers Want a Choice

Customers are more willing to leave you a review if you give them more than one option. Even if it’s a site as widely known as Yelp, that doesn’t mean customers will leave reviews there. In order to leave a review on sites like Angie’s List or Yelp, they have to have an account (for the former, they have to pay for their membership). For the ultimate golden nuggets, Google+ reviews, customers need a gmail address which might have a slightly higher membership than Yelp but not much. Basically, give customers the option to leave reviews where they feel most comfortable.

Customer reviews in more places will also result in more links showing up in Google with your business name attached to great feedback about your business. This builds credibility not only of your business’s brand but seeing your customer base spread across the field, so to speak, makes all those reviews the more believable. It’s hard to accuse a business of faking or influencing the content of reviews when they’re all over the place.

Besides asking customers to leave a review for you, let them know that you appreciate their feedback however they feel the most comfortable giving it to you.

When the Clouds Disperse

Without turning to obvious examples, let me give you an example from my personal life. Outside of my 9-to-5, I write screenplays and writers like me have a lot of storage options. Cloud storage is growing as the most convenient for writers who like to work on the go and for teams of people working on one project.

Some screenwriters were using a specific cloud storage service called Scripped as their primary storage option. When the site’s servers were accidentally wiped in the middle of a transition in ownership, thousands of subscribers lost their work all at once.

I never used the service but it was a wake up call. I now back up all my work on a flash drive, my OneDrive cloud, and back up my computer every other week on an external hard drive.

Location, Location, Location

Screenwriters must diversify their storage sources as much as business owners must diversify their review sources. Google is an ever changing giant of features and Yelp has been up for sale for quite some time. After going public in 2012, it hasn’t grown as steadily as people expected it so now arguably the most recognized reviews directory is looking for a buyer which could mean anything for the future of the reviews and it’s system in place.

Having reviews on these sites are still important but having reviews on one of these sites can prove disastrous if they were to change tactics. If you’re a Customer Lobby member, use Smart Invites to provide links to Google+, Yelp, Angie’s List, and Facebook.

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You Could Be Making 3 Common Mail Mistakes, So We’re Hosting a Live Lab on Avoiding Them

June 10th, 2015 By Brinda Lee

Learn how to bring your existing customers back sooner and more often.

We’re hosting a live talk. Join us for 30 minutes on Thursday, June 18th at 11:00am PT / 2:00pm ET.

Register for the Live Lab

cluster market

Showing all results for “hvac”

It is a VERY noisy market out there. Your average customer is hit with 200+ advertising messages every single day.

If you’re running a successful local business and want to keep it that way, you know it’s important to stay top-of-mind for your repeat customers.

Research shows the best way to win at bringing your customers back sooner and more often is to use a two-channel approach: postcards AND emails.

We’ll cover how local businesses leverage both channels for their most cost-effective customer magnetism.

Save your seat and join us!

Register Now











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One Size Does Not Fit All: Choose Marketing That Fits You

June 5th, 2015 By Jasmine Reynolds


Both luckily and unfortunately for small business owners, there are a lot of options for going about local marketing. The upside is that you can find almost any product or strategy to fit your business specifically. The downside is that there are so many options so it’s easy to misunderstand the goal of the product you’ve signed up for.

Your marketing strategy should fit the specific business you’re in, which sounds obvious but I get questions from our clients about other review or advertising products that all sound similar but don’t necessarily do the same thing.

Over the past couple of days, we at Customer Lobby have fielded some questions from clients about how to integrate us in their Google Adwords campaigns. Google has a list of trusted third-party review companies it will allow you to provide an extension for. These review sites, however, will come from reviews specifically designated for seller and product ratings, not the customer testimonials our clients want there. This kind of misconception is common and completely understandable.

If you run a business that is service-oriented like plumbing, auto repair, or carpet cleaning, you’ll want a marketing strategy that advertises the service you provide. Unless you are selling products or moving into an eCommerce model, you may not find Google Adwords appropriate or useful in those endeavors.

When it comes to reviews and reputation marketing, we’ve got your back. Sign up for a free trial to see what we can do for your business.

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Winning Local Hearts: A Lesson from the Field

May 28th, 2015 By Brinda Lee


Customer Lobby got into game mode Tuesday night

My colleagues and I had a blast cheering for our Oakland A’s Tuesday night. Admittedly, it wasn’t their best game. But that didn’t stop us from having a great time and feeling the swell of local pride every time an Athletic stepped up to the plate.

Each good play and fan cam moment got us excited. They also made me think of a lesson in local love.

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Win or Lose, You Can Win Hearts

We’ve covered how every business loses customers, and how you can easily build your best cheer team.

It’s really important to remember that happy customers are more than just fair-weather fans. We’re all human – we could honestly strike out on a job, or run into a review stalker who just doesn’t want to play fair.

When you consistently show compassion and integrity as a business, you gain loyal fans. Your loyal fans – a.k.a. your repeat customers – are always happy to give back for great service. This comes in payment, but also in new positive reviews, more services sold for a lot less effort, and valuable trust.

NOTE: A lot of marketing services out there claim to reach your customers. Then they drop the ball with a one-size-fits-all approach for your unique business.

Contact us at 510-230-0588 or check out our website to learn how our predictive marketing service helps get more repeat revenue.

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