Maybe your next customer will FIND you on Twitter or Facebook, but they probably won’t HIRE you until they’ve read a few reviews about your services.
And if you’re not trolling the review sites and responding to reviews, you’ve got a gaping hole in your marketing plan.
Most small businesses overlook this simple fact in the hyperventilating over Facebook, Twitter and the like.
Many people don’t think of online reviews as social media, because they can’t engage in the type of back and forth and outreach that you see on most social media networks.
That’s slowly changing, as more online review sites allow companies to comment on reviews. Most notably, Yelp allows it.
So small businesses, and most especially moving companies , can now take part in the conversation about their business in a way that was impossible before. If it’s a positive review, they can thank the reviewer. If it’s negative, they can explain their side of the story — and apologize if they were at fault.
Either way, it demonstrates a company that cares enough about their customers to take the time to reply to what a customer has written about their experience with a company.
Companies should also be actively encouraging their satisfied customers to submit reviews — good reviews are gold for a moving company, particularly heartfelt, obviously genuine ones.
I was recently reminded of this when a Relocation.com customer wrote a review about a moving company she used through our network. It shows that a satisfied customer can not only shower you with kind words; they can also become an advocate for your business.
So if you’re experimenting on Facebook and Twitter, that’s great — it can be a great way to find customers.
But those customers won’t choose you just based on a cool-looking Facebook page: they will search for online reviews about how you’ve treated previous customers. So get involved in the conversation and see what customers are saying about you.
Twitter and Facebook get the customer in the door; a review gets them to buy.
(I’ve removed the moving company’s name because we haven’t yet launched our reviews section.)
“Let me begin by saying my MOVING experience. I am a woman alone who is almost 70 years old and was leaving the residence where I had lived for more than 35 years to start over in a part of the country, in a town where I did not know anyone, and from the very first interview, the movers treated me with the greatest respect and never once tried to take advantage of my vulnerability as a woman; as a senior citizen, or as a woman alone.
“Quite the contrary, because I was a senior citizen, a woman and a woman alone, the staff did everything they could to assure that my move would go smoothly — and it did. After interviewing more than 40-50 moving companies which in and of itself was a nightmare, I finally narrowed my choice down to three, and even gave a $200 deposit to one, and actually was requested to pay the second one $2,100 in full. However, at the 11th hour based on several factors which seemed very unsettling to me about both companies, in the final analysis I felt there would be a negative outcome if I went with either of them.
“I was so pleased with everything about the movers that by the time the move was over, we were like family; and unbeknown to the staff, I am the founder, President and CEO of “A Woman’s Corner” and the Executive Director of www.awomanscorner.com, and decided to negotiate to have the moving company be the official movers  posted on the AWC website www.awomanscorner.com so women all over the country could hire a moving company with the confidence to know that they would be treated with respect and dignity, and would not be taken advantage of.
“1. I moved from New York to Virginia, and I liked the fact that the movers were a small/mid-sized company that does all of their own moving, and does not subcontract or outsource their long distance moves to other companies.
“2. The movers gave me a quote on the telephone based on the Inventory List that I gave them, and then followed-up with an on-site in-home interview which they conducted on a Saturday afternoon because it was the only time I was available.
“3. Their salesman gave me a binding quote of $1900 which they honored, although they spent considerably more time than was anticipated; and the second quote was only $100 more than the initial telephone quote, although the inventory list was significantly more than I submitted online.
“4. The moving company  provided extra boxes, wardrobe, mirror and other essential boxes needed at the time of the move at NO ADDITIONAL COST, as well as packed the mirrors, electronics, clothes and many other incidentals that I neglected to pack in my haste. Although I would encourage customers to disconnect their own electronics and take responsibility for the cords and sensitive items — bear in mind that they are movers are not electronic technicians or computer geeks.
“5. Because my move was a six hour drive, and would involve getting caught in rush hour in the Washington DC metropolitan area, the movers arrived at my apartment at 7:00 AM so they could complete the packing, load the truck and be on the road at a reasonable hour so we would arrive at our final destination by early evening.
“6. Because I had a shipment going into storage, which I would have otherwise had to hire a small truck to pick-up after they dropped it off at my Virginia destination, the movers dropped the shipment off at my storage unit for me at no additional cost.
“7. Several hours into my drive to Virginia, the sales personal who booked the move called me to assure that everything went well and to inquire if he could be of any other assistance, and assured me that he was only a telephone call away?
“8. At the end of the move as a token of my appreciation I gave the driver a 20% tip to divide amongst the crew which I hope expressed in some small way my sincere and extreme satisfaction that I felt for their efforts and a job WELL done.