Fallon Solutions is a one-call trade service operating in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. The business has more than 100 staff, including 65 tradesmen on the road and offers plumbing, gas, electrical, data, air conditioning and carpentry.
The business was established 52 years ago and current Managing Director Mark Denning bought it from the Fallon family 10 years ago.
Mark wanted to maintain the business’s heritage and name recognition and has a marketing manager on staff to co-ordinate activity including search engine optimisation, AdWords, an internal customer relationship management database, letterbox drops of flyers and newspaper advertising.
“We’ve developed a brand management manual and our marketing manager ensures all our activity is within the brand structure,” says Mark.
In recent years, says Mark, the business has focused more and more of its time on online reputation management and specifically the management of online service reviews.
“I first noticed public review sites growing in prominence five or more years ago and since then they’ve become a really important part of our marketing strategy,” says Mark.
Fallon Solutions carry out more than 30,000 jobs each year and receive only about 20 negative reviews.
Mark says review management on sites such as Google, Yelp and True Local has become a daily activity, with staff responding immediately to complaints and coming to a resolution with the customer as soon as possible.
“There’s a lot of work in managing it, and some sites do require a fee to join and be listed on so there is a cost and some research that needs to be done,” he says.
Mark is frustrated, however, that review websites weight the miniscule proportion of negative reviews more heavily than positive feedback for his company.
“I do get annoyed that such a small few can make an influence on a company like ours,” he says.
Fallon Solutions tradesmen now politely ask customers for positive reviews on site when they complete a job, which counter the few negative reviews and keep Fallons’ overall ‘star ranking’ high.
“We’ve turned it around and now actively promoted positive feedback to overwhelm the negatives,” says Mark.
“The only incentive we offer customers for a review is that we’ve provided an excellent experience with our staff and delivered a job well done.”
At training each week the positive reviews are read out to staff, which helps build a culture of quality within the business.
“So on site, a tradie is able to say to the client they’d appreciate a good review ‘so my boss sees it’ and then I make sure everyone knows internally that they did a great job and the customer made the effort to thank them.”
And it’s working; in their best month, Fallon Solutions received 120 positive online reviews.
On productreview.com.au, Fallon went from two negative reviews to 29 positive reviews in three months, enough to secure a ‘four star’ rating on the site.
Mark says Fallons’ consistent good reviews have given the business an overall rating of ‘four stars’ or better on each review site.
“The stars are another means of promotion now, we’re up where we need to be and our SEO consultants say it helps with our search rankings too,” he says.