While 2020 was a challenging year for custom integrators across the United States and around the world, it also presented opportunities. Pacific Audio & Communications, a company based out of Kauai in Hawaii, was no different. More and more people were spending time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and with that came a surging demand for improved technology in the house. The Hawaii market presented some unique circumstances as well, with an increase in U.S. mainland natives escaping to Hawaii and establishing residence in the state.
Pacific Audio & Communications understood that an increased number of homeowners likely would be researching services custom integrators offer and would consider other companies in the crowded Hawaii market as well. The leadership team at Pacific Audio & Communications also understood these online searchers likely would be referencing integrators’ online reviews. By the end of August 2020, Pacific Audio & Communications had only 10 Google reviews; the most recent from December 2019. Pacific Audio & Communications Vice President Pat Mulligan knew this could be problematic – after all, 2020 had already been a turbulent year, and there had been no online feedback from their customers as to how the company was navigating the pandemic.
Pacific Audio & Communications has had a longstanding relationship with One Firefly dating back to 2015, and in January 2019 they subscribed to One Firefly’s Review Champ product. Despite months of paying for this service and not using it, by early September 2020, Mulligan and the Pacific Audio & Communications leadership team identified the service as a tool they could use to combat their online review problem. The results speak for themselves.
Pacific Audio & Communications is one of the nation’s premier electronic systems integration companies. The company designs, implements and installs custom technology in residential and commercial environments. Since 1991, they have completed over 1,000 quality projects in Hawaii, California, and Nevada. Some of Pacific Audio & Communications’ projects have garnered national attention in several consumer and trade publications, such as its work at Del Dotto in Napa Valley earning the 2019 CEDIA Awards Best Innovative System or Solution award. Pacific Audio & Communications has offices in Kauai, Maui, Oahu and Hawai’i Island and has full-time staff on the U.S. mainland as well.
One Firefly launched Review Champ in 2018, a robust software that allows integrators to easily contact their customers and effortlessly direct them toward online review platforms. For each company that purchases a Review Champ subscription, One Firefly provides them with a custom online link from which the company can then input a client’s name and phone number, as well as a field for employees to input their own name for attribution purposes. Review Champ then contacts the client via text message, prompting them to leave a review. Clients are directed to an online page, with a user-friendly interface prompting them to leave a review from 1 to 5 stars. Should the client click on a 4- or 5-star review, they then will be redirected to the company’s online review platform of choice, such as Google or Houzz. Should a customer leave a review of 3 stars or lower, they then will be prompted to leave feedback within the Review Champ software – avoiding negative feedback on the company’s online review profiles. If the customer ignores the initial text message from Review Champ, the software automatically sends two follow-up text messages in the ensuing days.
After identifying Review Champ as a tool that could bring Pacific Audio & Communications more Google reviews, Mulligan faced another challenge: how to get employees from across the company, on all islands, to use the software. While Mulligan might understand the importance of Review Champ, he needed to have buy-in from the technicians and project managers that interacted with clients on a daily basis.
To encourage employee buy-in, Pacific Audio & Communications rolled out a three-step system for implementation of Review Champ – starting with a Standard Operating Procedure for how to use the software and broadcasting that step-by-step guideline with best practices to all employees.
Employees track to-dos in a company-wide log that Pacific Audio & Communications calls EODs (end of day reports) in which employees report how many hours they worked, if they did the required on-site work, the nature of the job and more. In those EODs, employees now report if they asked for and received a review while interacting with clients on-site. Everyone working in Pacific Audio & Communications’ offices can access this database, instilling greater accountability and visibility into not only who worked and when, but which techs asked for a review – and, more importantly, who received one and why. Now that Pacific Audio & Communications has these metrics readily available, they use them to gamify employee KPIs and encourage Review Champ usage.
With buy-in from their employees, Pacific Audio & Communications began to extensively use Review Champ in late September 2020. As of September 21, 2020, Pacific Audio & Communications had 10 Google reviews. By February 24, 2021, just five months later, they were up to 34. They more than tripled their total number of Google reviews. Employees are increasingly motivated by the results of Review Champ – they are determined to earn 5-star reviews.
Most importantly, Pacific Audio & Communication’s goals for increasing its number of Google reviews has led to the desired results. Mulligan noted that Pacific Audio & Communications has received recent leads from potential customers discovering them online and reading their overwhelmingly positive and recent reviews.
“Review Champ is more than worth it. We tripled our total Google reviews in just 5 months. And the numbers don’t even tell the whole story. Our teams have benefitted from the sense of instant gratification and motivation that Review Champ provides: promoting an uplifting, teamwork-centered environment.”