On April 28, 2023, Franchise Focus host Lisa Linkowsky sat down with NiceJob's Relationships Manager, Daniel Gutierrez, to discuss the benefits that both franchisees and franchisors can gain from reputation marketing software.
You can read the interview transcript below or watch the half-hour episode on:
If you're a franchise business owner and would like to reach out to Daniel directly, you can contact him at email@example.com.
Franchise Focus with Daniel Gutierrez
[Lisa Linkowsky] Welcome to Franchise Focus. I'm your host Lisa Linkowsky. I am the founder of Milestone Franchising, and I'm a certified franchise consultant representing hundreds of different franchise concepts. Franchise Focus is all about shining light on all different aspects of the franchise industry. And often I talk to people in the professional services and today I welcome all the way from the country Columbia, Daniel Gutierrez, who is a Relationship Manager with NiceJob. Welcome, Daniel.
[Daniel Gutierrez] Lisa, thanks for inviting me all the way from Colombia and I love that you wer able to pronounce my last name correctly. So thank you.
[Lisa Linkowsky] Excellent, terrific. Well, thank you for joining us, Daniel. NiceJob, you know, no one's going to have a clue what that is. Usually, I'll introduce something and you can immediately understand. But what is NiceJob all about and what the heck does that have to do with franchising?
[Daniel Gutierrez] NiceJob is a reputation marketing software. It’s a simple way for owners of franchise locations, to be able to help generate more online reviews. That is certainly a struggle that a lot of businesses have to create more Google and Facebook reviews because that's how more leads will come in. We just make that process and we do it in an automated way. Just think of how easy it is to be able to be sent a link in order to leave a review. But most of us lead very busy lives. So we have a very smart follow up system. We'll send a text message out to the client, to the franchisee's location or to their client. And then the text message will be peak excitement right as the job is finished, whether it's plumbing service, electrical service, window cleaning, whatever it is, but since we all live such busy lives, we'll look at our phone and we'll say, “You know what, we'll deal with this later.” But most reputation management software stop there; they send out one invite. They send out one email, but NiceJob is so different because we send up to three follow-ups after that initial message and in the screenshot that you're seeing, you'll notice that there are a ton of reviews that came in via SMS (text message). But if they were to stop there, they’d miss out on hundreds of reviews, and that's why NiceJob is so easy. It’s “set it and forget it” connected to your CRM that you're probably already using. And you're on your way to getting more online reviews. But it doesn't stop there. Getting reviews is fantastic. But now we use that word of mouth that we receive and we put it on social media, we put it on the website. We put it everywhere where people can see that you are doing great business and that way we can get you more leads.
[Lisa Linkowsky] Wow! There's a lot to go over with this. You made it sound so simple, but there is a lot for this. And we do lead busy lives and I know that the habit unfortunately of human nature is that we tend to run to the phone. When we're unhappy about something and you know, that's super easy. We suddenly immediately find the time when something goes wrong to go and blast someone online. And this is the flip of that to go hey listen, you just had something done for you. They did a great job or a reasonable job, it met expectations at minimum. Then if it's even beyond that, take that time, take that moment and you go okay, I got the one reminder oh wait squirrels something else happened in my life. I forgot. Now you've gotten these repeated messages, which I love because then it's like, Alright, I need to do that. Oh, yes, I need to do that. And this isn't a survey because I've gone down that rabbit hole where, you know, take a minute to take a survey and 20 minutes later I'm still scrolling through page upon page. This is just a very simple process for someone to come in and go. What was my experience like? Give how many stars and write a short paragraph, right?
[Daniel Gutierrez] Yeah, exactly. And Lisa, you bring up an interesting subject with the surveys. Sometimes we do receive a survey. We want to know as business owners how we're doing, how we are performing, and they want to get that feedback, instead of it going public, because they’re worried that they're gonna say something negative. Is it gonna be out there for the whole world where I can't delete it because it's in Google Now? But what tends to happen is once a survey is sent out, people are missing out on a lot of reviews, because they just spend all their time providing feedback that at the end when the actual reviewing un locks it's too late. My mind is somewhere else. I don't want to leave a review. We take that out of the equation. And we actually used to have what's called “review gating.” And when we did, we saw that the actual star rating was lower than when we just sent out the link. When we removed review gating, that scary part, it actually increased from typically 4.3 to 4.6 on average from all our customer database. So it makes it very, very easy to follow up and get a ton of good reviews.
[Lisa Linkowsky] Okay, excellent. And this gets put onto multiple platforms because you've got Google, but then you have your website and Facebook, and other arenas. There's so many different social media in so many different ways. If someone goes to the website, how can they see these reviews? Or do they have to go to Google and go here and go there and go everywhere?
[Daniel Gutierrez] Yeah, and he said, You nailed it. The goal was to get it on Google, or Facebook if someone doesn't have a Google account. Then our process once we gather the review, we'll post it and we'll post it on the Facebook wall, Instagram, on Twitter, on their LinkedIn. And then on their website. We also have five different widgets that they can use that come with our software, and they can add it to the website. So every time a new review comes in, it's going to be posted automatically onto their website. The wonderful thing is that a franchisee or franchisor is able to choose what star rating it could be four stars and above so they're only showing those or the aggregate value of the reviews and the different places where they've been led. So there's a lot of variety that we provide to our business owners in order for them to show their reputation online.
[Lisa Linkowsky] Excellent. Variety is the spice of life, especially today because there are so many different places. And I struggle with that myself. You know, I'll go and ask a candidate to do a review for me and I think, do I choose Google? Do I choose LinkedIn? Do I choose Facebook? This answers all of it. Which relieves so much for so many out there. Right? So yeah, this is terrific. All right. So NiceJob was acquired by a company called Paystone in March 2020. How is that affected? Nice job. Today, what has been the benefit for you as a company having this acquisition?
[Daniel Gutierrez] We were a startup, so we were about 40 employees when we were acquired, and then you can imagine getting a larger company like Paystone coming in to back up the goal and the vision that our founder Lars had. It's been accelerated. So now Paystone was able to get funding last year, which really accelerated growth of Paystone and NiceJob. And then we're able to come with what we really want to do, which is Customer Driven Growth. The majority of businesses spend a lot of money on getting Google Ads Facebook ads. The vision that we have is: Paystone is a payment processing business that also acquired a gift and loyalty business. So now we have the customer feedback reviews reviews; the reputation. So we've created this beautiful circle where we can now get customer information through payments. We want them to keep coming back to the business, therefore gift and loyalty, but because they're getting the gift and loyalty system, now they're able to also provide feedback to the business with reviews. And it's a beautiful circle where we keep customers coming back but bringing in new ones. So it's like word of mouth times 1000. And that's what we want. Very simple, easy, that is extremely affordable, in a way to help generate more business or small businesses or in this case, franchisees.
[Lisa Linkowsky] You're speaking words that are music to small business owners’ ears, right? Easy, quick, no fuss, no muss like, and yet provides this indelible service of reviews because I know myself when I go to use someone or I go to look somewhere, I'm immediately looking for those reviews right? So we're just ingrained in doing something like that. So walk us through how a small business franchisee can get set up with NiceJob, what type of franchisees are you looking for?
[Daniel Gutierrez] Our bread and butter is home service industries. Plumbers, HVAC, carpet cleaning, etc. Anyone that is providing a service to the home. So, I am a tree removal service franchisee. And head office is providing me with the tool but I still don't feel like it's doing what it's supposed to in order to help generate more reviews. Go to nicejob.com and then book a demo or message me directly and that's how people would be able to start and it's extremely simple. Within 30 minutes, you're understanding the power of reviews, how we're helping you or how we are going to help you and you get two weeks for free to try it. The best part is that during those two weeks, you're able to upload a CSV file of all your past customers – be it 5, 10, 20 years, however long you've been in the business. We'll send out an invite to all those people. And we've seen people receive over 200 reviews just in the first two weeks by doing that – by going back to their past customers, people that actually loved the service. They just never had an easy way or they were never reminded to leave a review. So now you're starting off your two week trial with all these awesome reviews. And now it's simple, because we've helped you, we've coached you and it's a one-time kind of set it and forget it setup to integrate it to your CRM in order to get a review and have that picture posted on your social media automatically. So it's very hands-off. When we work together, we want to see success. We want people to stay with us because they want to, not because they're tied to a contract. And that's what we've seen with the majority of our clients.
[Lisa Linkowsky] Wow. Set it and forget it, again, small business owners have so many different things that they're dealing with. We as business owners, we forget to or we feel bad or feel uncomfortable asking for reviews. You know, we just say “well hopefully they'll think of it on their own.” Or sometimes we think, well if we did that good of a job, then they should want to give us a review. And maybe we didn't do a good enough job and that's why they're not giving you a review. Who knows what the psychology is that goes behind all of this. A lot of it is a lack of time, so you were just running to the next thing and that's it. So this provides an invaluable service for business owners to take this incredibly important piece – that review reputation marketing – and allows the business owner to flourish more shine. And by the way, if they get a bad review, it allows them to also correct and fix whatever is going on immediately instead of not knowing at all. It lends itself for fixing so many different areas and also bringing up your brand and bringing up you in the community. You made the critical decision to start really focusing in the franchise industry. Franchising has so many different industries that are out there. Most people think about food. But the service-based business is humongous and is so large out there. Why did you guys choose franchising? Why did you set your eyes on that space?
[Daniel Gutierrez] Franchising is composed of a large corporation, enterprise business, that is really made up of tiny little businesses. Small mom and pop shops. Because it's your average Joe that is purchasing a franchise location. Someone that maybe is looking to leave a legacy for their children or are getting tired of corporate America and into buying something for themselves. We started selling to small locations, to mom and pop shops. So when we thought of franchising, that's exactly what it is. It's a bunch of mom and pop shops that need help understanding how to run a business. And that's exactly what we do. We're not only there to sell. Our approach is to help people and help understand that pain and see how we can help them increase their reviews. So when we saw that the franchise world was made up that, not only do they need help to get more online reviews, but their online reviews helps each franchisee, but it helps the franchisor sell more locations. Because now when people are looking at the reputation that that franchise has, they're seeing the reviews and those are the reviews I want to have if I want a franchise. And now I'm gonna be able to sell more locations with a greater reputation.
[Lisa Linkowsky] That is such a great point. I had a client where we were talking about concepts and when I introduced the concepts, the first thing that they did was whip out their phone while we were talking and they looked at the reviews for the concept. And that was the first time that anyone's ever done that while we were in a meeting and they were like oh they have you know for 4.5 stars and then they started reading through the reviews. And I sat there going, huh, that's really interesting, and had that concept not had good reviews would have probably been a little bit nerve wracking. I would have had to have remind them that that was just for that location. That doesn't mean it's for everybody. But it does bring up a great point. Daniel, we mentioned that you set your sights on the services industry, which I think is brilliant, because there are so many different services out there. And you've partnered with a brand that I represent, Horsepower Brands.
[Daniel Gutierrez] I love this story. This is a great experience with the Horsepower Brands. When Mighty Dog roofing was starting, they were looking for a vendor in order for their franchisees to have something to generate more online reviews. They were very close to closing a deal with a competitor. But we came about and we spoke to the marketing director at that time, Paul, and she loved what we showed her. We continued their growth and they loved the results that we're getting with NiceJob. As Horsepower Brands grew, they saw the need to have that tool for all their different groups as well. And that's when the thought, let's not just leave this to the franchisees to make a decision of whether it's worth it or not. Let's make the decision for them. And now every franchisee starts with Horsepower Brands with NiceJob incorporated in their system in order to increase their online reviews. And the success has been amazing. We've seen their growth and we're excited to see what this year and the next few years is going to bring together for Horsepower Brands along with NiceJob to help increase that reputation and help them sell more franchise locations.
[Lisa Linkowsky] And what a great partnership it is because you can become a preferred vendor with a franchise you know, and you're on a list with however many other vendors that are all vying for the business's attention. But no, Horsepower Brands went another step further and said we are implementing this and everyone has to use it. Which, by the way, is how franchising works – if they tell you that this is something that you have to do, you have to do it. That's it and you pay the fee and this is part of what you're doing and it's because they believe that it benefits the overall system and it benefits the owners and they've seen enough success for it. Then that becomes the gauntlet forevermore or until they decide to change and go a different direction. So that is such a powerful relationship that you have with them. When you and I had first met well over a year ago and you were really starting to work within franchises, I said get some better case studies for me and then we can talk. And you then presented the case study for me of You Move Me. Tell us about that, Daniel.
[Daniel Gutierrez] You Move Me is a great example of what growth can do. You Move Me is an interesting situation because one of their franchisees decided to start using NiceJob and they were absolutely killing it. They were getting reviews like no other location. Now it's like well, what are you doing to get so many reviews? NiceJob. So once head office adopts NiceJob as a high customer moving business, lots of customers, which means more opportunities to get reviews, every time I would demo You Move Me or show examples, there's an aggregate that we have right now of what the reviews are as a whole franchise, and then well over 25,000 reviews across different locations such as a Google, Facebook, Yellow Pages, different ones that we integrate with. But it's been amazing to see the growth because every month we look, it's just an increase. In a picture that we have, you'll see the graph Before NiceJob and after NiceJob – the growth and how quickly it is. And it’s all because of a set it and forget it automation. Simple. You know franchisees, spend time with your family, spend time reading your business, no need to spend time following up on how to get reviews in order to get more leads. With the review system and then the follow up once a review’s left, a positive one, then comes a referral. “Hey, since you love this so much, why don't you recommend us to one of your friends.” Now we're helping them increase the leads that are coming in. And You Move Me is a great example of how they've been using that for well over a year and they're seeing all the results.
In the first 3 months, You Move Me franchisees won hundreds of new reviews and with their new website saw a consistent 6% conversion rate, resulting in 6000+ leads and $2 million in revenue!
[Lisa Linkowsky] I always say that once you get in with franchising, it just takes one and then that spreads like wildfire. Because people hear and they see what they're doing and they ask how did you do that? What did you do? And then it just takes off in the system because everyone's like, well, I want that, I want that, I want that. So in this case, the franchisee had reached out to you on their own, which is perfectly fine for this professional service. Not all, guys, to the franchisees that are out there listening. But in this case they were able to do this because there's not a set reputation company that they're expected to use. And everyone else, it got their attention and they were like we want that. And then you've become part of that franchise system which is fantastic. You're also starting to work in the hospitality space. You're putting your toes and your fingers out there because of your relationship with Paystone, because of the loyalty program that you have. Can you give us a quick talk about that?
[Daniel Gutierrez] You talked about it, Lisa, when we think of a franchise we think of restaurants or the food industry. And now as our partnership continues to grow with table booking softwares like Open Table and Libro, a Canadian one, as we integrate with them, it's gonna be a lot easier to get client information. Really all we need is two things: email and phone number to be able to do the smart follow up system. Now we have a couple of restaurants, large restaurants. We have one that’s 75 locations and we're currently working with another one that has 45 locations across North America. It's great to see the success they're having. One of them recently actually this week they went from a 4.5 to a 4.7 across their 45 locations, overall star rating. So it's nice to see that we are slowly but surely going into that industry as well.
[Lisa Linkowsky] Wonderful, and there's no end in sight with the hospitality space in franchising, so that's going to be a great area for you guys to be working in. I want to end with this Daniel. Let's educate everyone on the importance of reviews. No one wants to hear you say how awesome you are. What an impactful statement that is. And that comes from you guys.
[Daniel Gutierrez] Know when you're in a room with someone and they're telling you all the wonderful things they've accomplished, you quickly lose interest. It's the same when it comes to marketing. When you're telling everyone how awesome you are to Google Ads, through your Facebook ads, through all the money you are spending, no one really wants to see that. But when you let others speak for you, when other people are seeing how awesome you are, that is social proof. That is exactly what helps businesses grow because us, as consumers, will look to our peers in order to make decisions, not to the direct owner. And that's why reviews are so important. Reputation marketing will allow that social proof to increase business for the franchise.
[Lisa Linkowsky] Wonderful. Well, this has been terrific Daniel, I thank you so much for taking the time to talk to the audience about a really terrific service that is well suited to the franchise industry. I hope that people reach out to you and we're going to put your contact information up on the screen. So that people can reach out and find out how they can start getting their reputation marketing done for them in a jiff – very quick, easy, no headache and, to your point, you want them to be happy. So you also work very well with your clients and not just roping them in getting them in some kind of entangled contract that they can't get out. So thank you for joining.