Leverage Social CEO, Michael Kellim Shares Key Profit-building Tactics

No matter where you are in your WISP’s development – from the startup phase to a subscriber list of thousands – don’t leave money on the table. Michael Kellim, CEO of Leverage Social shares how Google Reviews can help you get new subscribers. 

Why Market Online?

Your marketing strategy must include the internet – there were more than 4 billion active internet users as of October 2019[1]. And, it’s influence on purchasing decisions is growing — even surpassing the influence of family and friends in some cases[2].  Everyone is online getting news, socializing and reading reviews – you want your WISP to be there, too.

Your ads and posts on Facebook, Instagram and other platforms establish Top-of-Mind-Awareness (TOMA) and engagement with your WISP.

Whether you do it yourself or have a marketing team, Google Reviews is an effective way to target the audience who is interested in your Internet service. “Reviews from customers are an authentic assessment of a product or service,” Kellim says. “An unbiased review of a product or service can motivate prospects to call you before your competitors.”

Google Reviews Work

There are three primary reasons Michael recommends Google Reviews:  

  • You don’t have to be a marketing genius to figure them out 
  • Shoppers listen to other consumers’ experiences 
  • They’re easy to do – but, must be managed

“The goal is to average 4.5-star ratings on your reviews,” explained Michael. “The reality is, ratings matter to shoppers and the better your ISP is ranked, the better you’re perceived by your prospects.” 

A surprising but welcome benefit is the positive reviews boost employee morale. As they see the positive feedback, staff feel appreciated and that positive emotion influences the work environment and impacts the service they provide your subscribers.

How to get Google Reviews

“First, set up a Google Business account — it’s free,” he explains. “As part of the service, you’ll get a profile that’s targeted to your location. So, every time someone in your area does a Google search, your WISP’s profile appears on the page.”

The profile includes a spot for customers to leave a review and the means for you to respond to it. 

While Google Business makes it easy to capture and manage reviews, just how effective are they in persuading people to subscribe to a new service or buy a new product? 

93% of people say that online reviews have an impact on their purchasing decisions.[3]

With statistics like that, it makes sense to ask your best customers for reviews.

Google Reviews reach new subscribers everywhere your service reaches.

How to Ask for Reviews

Subscribers who have been happy with your service for years want to pay it back by leaving you a review. 

It’s a breeze to ask satisfied subscribers for reviews because happy customers want to help you out! A principle that’s based on social-psychology theory shows that people want to “pay back” good behavior from others. 

The Law of Reciprocity is taught by business masters, like Brian Tracy, as an influential tool when used during sales and contract negotiations. The principle says, “If you do something nice for me, I’ll do something nice for you. I feel obligated to reciprocate.”[4] 

To employ this principle, Michael suggests asking for a review when your technicians complete a service call and the subscriber is happy with the resolution. “If your service techs are reluctant to ask for a review, give them a $10 to $15 bonus to do it,” he says. “If they’re compensated for every review that’s posted then they’ll ask for the review – otherwise they won’t.” 

When subscribers agree to leave reviews, be sure to thank them. 

Have a Script and Process

A script ensures that even shy staff members won’t stumble when asking subscribers for a favor. 

If you follow up with new subscribers after a few months on your service, at the end of a positive call, say, “I’m glad that you’re happy with our internet service. I’d like to ask for a quick favor. An online review would help us get the word out about our service. If I email you a link, would you leave an honest review?”

Or, if you’d prefer that your techs not ask for reviews, your back office staff can follow up with your subscribers about whether they were happy with the service call. Just say: “I’m glad we could take care of the issue and you’re happy with the resolution. I’d like to ask you for a favor – would you mind providing a review of our service? If I email you a link, would you leave your opinion?”

“Make the process easy for your subscribers and you’ll get more reviews,” Michael says. And, when you get a nice review — respond to it. Thank your subscriber online, or at least like the comment. 

Automate Google Reviews

Make it even easier on you and your staff to get new subscribers by finding a software system that automates the process of asking for and collecting reviews. There are several available, including ReviewTracker and Podium. Both services manage, organize and help organizations respond to customer reviews. 

Leverage Social  offers a Facebook management software that includes automated text follow-up to subscribers who leave reviews to save staff time and keep the Law of Reciprocity flowing.  “It not only manages Google Facebook and other review sites, but it also automates your relationship with your subscriber,” Michael said. “As all successful business people know, that relationship is essential to maximize customer retention and reduce churn.”

Leverage Social offers the Facebook Management software to their customers; contact Michael Kellim for more information.  .  

Next Steps – Dealing with Negative Reviews 

There’s more to know than just how to ask for and collect reviews. 

Do you know what to do if a subscriber leaves a 2-Star Review instead of a 5-Star Review? 

Bad and subpar reviews cost you more than one subscriber – it’s not only their lifetime value as a customer but all the people in their circle who are influenced not to call you because of what a friend says about your WISP. 

Look for part 2 of the Google Review story, “How to Stop Bad Reviews from Killing Your Growth” with more strategies from Michael Kellim. He’ll share the techniques that his team used to increase new subscriber enrollment for a WISP by nearly 300%.  

Michael Kellim is the founder and CEO of Leverage Social, an agency that focuses on the ISP industry and help operators rapidly scale new subscriber enrollments and sales. When he’s not chasing his five kids around his 30-acre farm or enjoying quiet evenings with his wife, he works with WISPs to disrupt the industry. He can be reached at michael@leveragesocial.net or https://leveragesocial.net.

Mary Barry, Visp.net’s Content Manager has been attracting revenue and managing customer experiences in corporations like Wells Fargo Bank and the University of Phoenix for more than 20 years. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona is a patron of the local art scene and is often found on surrounding desert trails. She can be reached at mary@visp.net.

Thank you, Berkeley Communications and Alex Zimo for providing the images for this article. Their work can be found on Unsplash.com. 

  1.       Statista, Global Digital Population as of October 2019; online: https://www.statista.com/statistics/617136/digital-population-worldwide/
  2. Fleishman, Hillard and Harris; 2012 Digital Influence Index, online: https://fleishmanhillard.com/2012/01/news-and-opinions/2012-digital-influence-index-shows-internet-as-leading-influence-in-consumer-purchasing-choices/
  3.     Podium, The State of Online Reviews 2017; online: http://learn.podium.com/rs/841-BRM-380/images/2017-SOOR-Infographic.jpg
  4. Tracy, B.; Using the Law of Reciprocity and Other Persuasion Techniques Correctly; online: https://www.briantracy.com/blog/sales-success/using-the-law-of-reciprocity-and-other-persuasion-techniques-correctly/ 

Additional Resources: 

ReviewTrackers — https://www.reviewtrackers.com/

Podium — https://www.podium.com/