Mat and Dave are joined by Thomas to talk pest control, reviews, Local SEO and how he got his start with SEO and reviews.

Thomas’ 3 Step System for Getting Reviews

It really is a simple system or list of things that any company can do.

  • Don’t suck
  • Figure out a system to ask for reviews
  • Make the system for your customer easy to do and follow

How have Online Reviews Evolved?

Mat asks a pretty broad question and Thomas breaks it down into a few stories and examples.

  • Because Thomas and Bulwark started collecting reviews so early and so well they ran into issues with Google.
  • Thomas even had to talk to Matt Cutts about it because at one point Google cleared every review that they had received.

When asked by Mat if anything has changed between 2007ish and 2019 a number of things came to mind for Thomas.

  • They now ask for reviews on their own site. The goal is to have their own unique reviews on their site.
  • Doing this also allowed for them to monitor employees to make sure that reviews that were coming in were honest.

Incentivizing Reviews

As this is always a hot topic it seems with every platform the guys dug in a bit into Yelp, Google, being a Local Guide for Google and a bit more.

How to Deal with Negative Reviews

Thomas quotes a book and some research that suggests that someone that leaves a Hotel (or business) happy actually rates the experience lower (on average) than someone that ran into issues and had them solved during a stay/visit.

Thomas suggests a book that helped mold how they deal with Negative Reviews. It is called “Satisfaction: How Every Great Company Listens to the Voice of the Customer”.

Thomas’ book suggestion

So if someone had a bad experience, it should give you another reason to make sure that customers are taken care of. If you haven’t checked out our podcast on Customer Service SEO do it after you finish this one.

Look for trends. Thomas has data and dashboards that he and his team uses to look for trends in negative reviews to help them mine and fix possible issues that may be in their internal processes.

Review Studies

Thomas mentioned a study but here are some others including the one by Northwestern University that dig into industry averages and why having 100% of your ratings be 5 stars is likely a bad thing.

E126 – Bugging Out Over Reviews With Thomas Ballantyne Hosts:

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