How Do Clients Benefit from 5-Star Google Reviews?

How Do Clients Benefit from 5-Star Google Reviews?

In this first episode of a new series of Replicating the Stars in Your Pilates Instructor Team”, the team at Pilates Can discusses how to replicate their successful 5-star Google review process across their clinical Pilates instructor team.

Chief Instructor Claire Gunther and Sales and Marketing Manager Tara Smith join host David Gunther to explore the

marketing and sales strategies behind collecting these reviews, the unexpected benefits for clients and the studio’s culture, and overcoming technological challenges.

They emphasize the importance of written client feedback in conveying the studio’s excellence and dedication built over 25 years.

Show notes

  • [00:00:00] Introduction to Replicating Success
  • [00:00:41] The Importance of 5-star Google Reviews
  • [00:00:56] The Journey to Overnight Success
  • [00:02:04] The 5-Star Review Process
  • [00:04:08] Client Testimonials and Their Impact
  • [00:09:16] Technical Challenges and Solutions
  • [00:12:43] Conclusion and Next Steps

"It looks like we have been an overnight success with this process because we've been collecting 5-star Google reviews consistently and quickly over the last few months but that's not actually the case. That 'overnight success' has taken 25 years of consistent effort in producing excellence within our business."                                                                                             David Gunther – The Pilates Business Podcast, and Co-owner & Instructor Pilates Can, Canberra                                                                                             

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Episode Resources

Episode Transcript

DAVID GUNTHER: Replicating the stars in your clinical Pilates instructor team. We thought this was a very important subject, so we'll have about six, seven or eight episodes in this series where we can explore and explain how to replicate the sales and marketing processes. We've categorized this collection of 5-star Google reviews as a marketing process.

And you want to be able to replicate that with your team. We also discuss in this first episode the unexpected benefits, there's some real gems. The benefits to the clients, particularly writing reviews. The written review is really important. In our case, it's really helped to explain the culture to other prospective clientele, as well as to the existing clientele who are also reading and writing their own reviews.

 It looks like we'd been an overnight success with this process because we've been collecting 5-star Google reviews consistently and quickly over the last few months, but that's not actually the case. That 'overnight success' has taken 25 years of consistent effort in producing excellence within our business.

 Part of that excellence is our instructors, and that consistent effort is what has delivered these 5-star reviews that are now coming through with this process. We talk about what you cannot do with Google reviews and how those Google review rules protect businesses like ours from unscrupulous practices. We also talk about how to help clients with the technological side. So this is the first episode, let's get into it.

 Welcome to Claire, the chief instructor at Pilates Can Heads up the team there of about 11 instructors at the Pilates Can studio in Canberra. And of course, welcome to Tara, who is the sales and marketing manager for Pilates Can. Today, we're going to talk about this 5-star Google review process and replicating that into the team. Claire's done an excellent job with her clientele, that she sees in her sessions, and encouraging them to give us a 5-star Google review.

 Currently, as we speak, we're at 78. So, we're well and truly on track for 100, which is really good. There's a lot of benefits for everybody, the clients, the instructors as well as the business. I think Google wins as well. In many cases they get probably new clientele with new Google accounts that perhaps weren't happening before because our clients weren't particularly necessarily on the Google platform.

Welcome, Claire, and welcome, Tara.

TARA SMITH: Hey David, it's great to be back.

CLAIRE GUNTHER: Hi David. Thanks for asking me to join.

DAVID: Good to have you back here. Give us unique prospective that are very important to our listeners. Claire, please share from your point of view as the person not only instructing a large percentage of the clientele in the studio, but also leading the team. Tara, you as the linchpin between our admin, our automations, our clients, our instructors, Claire, and also myself as the owners of the studios.

You've been in the center of things there, Tara, and you’ve got also some unique perspectives about these processes. So, let's go straight into it. The 5-star Google review collection process is the prime example that we're using, but it's really about replicating marketing and sales processes with your clinical Pilates instructor team.

 This 5-star Google review collection process is essentially, a marketing and sales process with a lot of different outcomes attached to it, as we'll discuss today. What are the outcomes of this new process, and how it's designed to benefit Pilates can clients? Let's check up first what the client outcomes are.

There's a big heading here, and you guys can just jump in whenever you like in terms of answering and responding to this question. The main outcomes for the client is that it allows them to express what they think about Pilates Can services in a meaningful way via their 5-star Google reviews.

 Any thoughts on that?

TARA: Some of the reviews that we've been getting just been really lovely, especially some clients who've been with the studio for a decade or more. Who really have that long-term commitment to us and that long-term connection to our studio.

 Reading the way that they appreciate our services has been really touching for me. I'm sure even more for Claire as the one who's actually instructing those people and who's actually seen them change over the years that they've been coming to the studio. Would you agree, Claire?

CLAIRE: Yes. When I've asked people about it, our clients generally aren't people that do Google reviews, so that is quite foreign to a lot of them. Though quite a few do have Google accounts, they've been very happy to do it because we often get told in sessions, and in emails how much they enjoy our services, and the benefits they're achieving. Like Tara said, pretty much been blown away by the amazing testimonials really that people have been writing. We could never possibly do that sort of content ourselves, and to hear it in so many different ways. From such a personal perspective, it is just been a wonderful experience and the clients have been more than happy to do it, except for occasionally they've got technological issues. I'm laughing because that's not my big strong point either.

DAVID: I think, the Google review platform is very important to the business. It allows the client to give us this written review, even if it wasn't on Google, the quality of these reviews, as you guys are saying, so lovely, and personal. Stuff that we just couldn't write if we were trying to write marketing pieces for ourselves.

So, coming straight from our clientele and valuable even without being on the Google platform but because it is on the Google platform, the clients know it means a lot to the business. They're being extra careful to really say what is true and correct from their personal viewpoint.

 That's been an excellent outcome that we hadn't really planned for, but I think help us also in the long term. Clients are always saying thank you to instructors in the sessions, but they say that verbally, don't they? They're usually not able to write their thoughts down.

So, this process of actually sitting down and writing something gets them thinking in more detail about what exactly they're getting out of Pilates Can services. That deeper thought has come up with terrific quality reviews. We've also got very well-educated clientele.

 The people that we do come across, we've got many clientele in high positions with their jobs and their careers, and the sort of work that they do in everyday life. They're very much able to communicate and write down what really is important to them.

Quite a few clients have said how they actually write it down before they do the review. I hear about this after the event, but they really want to, as DAVID: said, have that opportunity to say what they think. So, they spend time with the writing, drafting and really going through what it is they want to express. That's where it's just been so moving each time. It's been interesting from the perspective from the person myself replying to these wonderful reviews and visualize that person in the session.

CLAIRE: To think about how they respond in a session and how their body moves, their interaction with clientele, and DAVID: will probably touch on this, but that leads onto our culture and our values that have really shone through these testimonials, but I'm probably jumping the gun.

DAVID: You're right, Clare, it is down to culture and that's something that we've built up for over 20 years. The approach that we have isn't an easy one because we're not a gym that has sleepers. Our process is that we only really get paid when the clients get results. The results are to create an excellent Pilates exercise habit.

Means they have to keep coming along for us to get paid. If they stop coming along, then we stop getting paid. Helping them create that habit helps them get those results, and getting results is why they are responding in such a positive way. The long-term benefits of taking the hard road for us, because it probably is an easier road to have a business model where you have maybe 400 people on a direct debit maybe a quarter of those actually showing up and the rest are paying sort of insurance not to exercise.

That's not our model. Our model is one where people need to be getting results, and that's what we're achieving. That's what's happening around the world with clinical Pilates studios, and that's a very different sort of business to many other types of businesses.

I can't really comment on these other businesses, but we know that they're out there and everyone has different business model types. Clients have had to overcome these technical hurdles as well. We've got a very good example with Ray, an 80-year-old who wanted to give us a Google review. As you said, Claire, she had drafted things out, and worked out exactly what she wanted to say because it was very important to her.

 It was very difficult for her to navigate the technical side of things. In fact, she employed an expert, a consultant, her grandson. They're our usual consultants in IT for the more elderly people. For myself and Claire, it's usually our son or Tara.

In many cases in the business, it's Tara. But for Ray, it was her grandson. He actually ended up not being able to help her get the review out there, even though they created a Google account and went through all of that process. For many people it's very easy, but for people that haven't dealt with the technology, one click that you're not sure about can stop you in your tracks.

He helped her, but unfortunately, she wasn't still able to get that done, even though she knew exactly what she wanted to say. So, her grandson ended up putting it up on her behalf. And of course, Google then took it down. They must have an algorithm to find those. How does that work, Tara? Is there an algorithm in Google that you're aware of that will find those sorts of things and delete them?

TARA: I'm not sure if it's an automated process or just a process where Google review those, but the rule is that Google have a rule against impersonation. You can't post a review on someone else's behalf. It needs to be the person who is leaving the review whose Google account leaves it.

DAVID: I guess that's fair enough in a lot of ways from Google, because they have to deal with billions and billions of these reviews, and they have to deal with the possibility that someone will set up different accounts and pretend that they're a client. This is not the case here, if Google is listening. What happened was a genuine situation of not being able to get over the technical hurdles. Ray will probably try again. We'll see. It might be all too much now, but she certainly was very keen to provide that review.

From Google's point of view, and from our point of view, it also does protect businesses from spamming or scamming that could be done by other businesses using impersonating reviews. Is that the correct term, Tara? Is that right?

TARA: Yes, that was the terminology that I found when I looked into why that review had been removed.

CLAIRE: I'd just seen Ray that morning while it was still up. She was so pleased that it got up because she really wanted to express how she felt. She said, 'It's everything what I feel. I tell people about you, about our place, and about our business and the services we provide.'

 She was thrilled that it finally worked. I haven't seen her since yet, but I'm sure we'll manage something.

DAVID: We'll let the listener know how that works out. We'll certainly get a copy of that review from Ray. There might be another way for us to promote it if she can't get it onto Google, which is fair enough.

 We all have technical problems at our own level, dealing with technology as it changes so quickly. When we started going to aerobics classes, Clare, in the 1980s, there weren't any mobile phones, apps, or

CLAIRE: There was Unitops.

TARA: They are so coming back in now.  

CLAIRE:  Oh, my goodness, no!

As Olivia Newton-John used to say, 'Let's get physical!'

With the leg warmers on as well.

DAVID: So, we'll finish on that light note for our first episode in our new series, Replicating the Stars in Your Clinical Pilates instructor Team.' There'll be six or seven more episodes in this series, so stay tuned. Make sure you Follow us on your podcast platform. And until that next episode, stay awesome.

"We have been pretty much blown away by the amazing testimonials that people have been writing. We could never possibly do that sort of content ourselves, and to hear it in so many different ways."                                   Claire Gunther, The Pilates Business Podcast & Co-owner/ Instructor Pilates Can

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