Have you sought to buy something online and chose a business with more reviews from previous customers than those without? Why? Because reputation matters.
Prospects are more likely to trust what customers who have had a personal experience say about the services or products than what the company has to say about its services. The reason is simple – a customer is (on average) honest and genuine, and there is no conflict of interest.
With this understanding, it’s important to know how to get more reviews, which platforms to get reviews on to increase your credibility and reputation, as well as online resources and tools to help you monitor and respond to reviews.
That said, let’s get into a detailed guide to building a 5-star reputation for your home services business.
Why are reviews important to your home services business?
Understanding the importance and benefits of reviews will help you invest in a review management system for your company’s growth.
Reason #1: Builds Trust
Customers want to work with trustworthy brands that have proved themselves as reliable to deliver what they promise. As such, when prospects consider positive reviews of past clients, they view the brand as one that can be trusted.
According to ReviewInc, reviews, ratings, and referrals are among the top influencers in choosing a product or service. This means other people’s opinions matter and influence purchasing decisions significantly. In fact, 83% of people trust referrals from friends, and over 70% view reviews and ratings higher than an advertisement.
In a sense, ads are carefully created to appeal and sometimes may not be fully authentic. However, reviews are real since the customer does not seek to gain much from it; it’s just what they feel.
Reason #2: Promotes Transparent Marketing
Proper review management creates an indelible imprint in the eyes of customers and prospects. When your company responds to both negative and positive reviews with authenticity, it shows an active online presence.
It further increases your perceived value as a brand that listens, cares, and interacts with its customers. This transparent marketing can also improve your reputation if you reply and engage with social media comments.
Reason #3: ShowsYou as An Expert in Your Field
People seeking home services like remodeling, interior design, or even roofing don’t want to gamble with a novice who cannot deliver. They want to know who is the ‘go-to provider’ in the community. They cannot trust a random website that has no reviews.
With more reviews, customers will perceive you as an expert and a brand that meets the expectations of its clients.
Since customers want proof that you can be depended upon and the quality of services is exceptional, reviews help achieve that. As social proof, ratings tell prospects you have the capacity to deliver, as you’ve done in the past.
Reason #4: Reviews Increase Traffic and Leads
Did you know that reviews are among the top SEO strategies small businesses can use to rank higher on Google? If you have more positive reviews, Google picks this as an indicator that you offer value and meet people’s needs.
As such, when the bots crawl your website, they will keep pushing it higher, even to appear on the first position or first page of SERPs.
For example, if XYZ Home Remodeling Company has 5-star reviews on ‘bathroom remodeling,’ when a searcher types’ best bathroom remodeling company near me,’ Google will recommend your site as among the first search engine results.
When more customers give 5-stars, it will attract more potential customers. If you continue delivering value and increasing reviews, Google will position you as an authoritative site for those particular services.
This results in increased traffic from prospects and increased conversion of prospects to customers.
Reason #5: Optimizes on Your Google Presence
When you increase traffic with positive reviews of your website, it will positively impact your brand’s online profiles, such as Google My Business (GMB). This is a great platform to showcase your client’s reviews. In addition, these positive ratings will enhance the GMB optimization and increase exposure, further increasing the ranking on search results.
Consistent optimization of GMB with reviews and rating increases visibility to potential clients within your location. This will give you a competitive edge to stand out and increase the clientele base.
Reviews can also help you with Local Services by Google. These are Google ads specifically designed for local businesses that rely on Google reviews. The higher the ratings on Google Local services, the better the ranking for your ads above the competitors.
With such online review management for home services contractors, you’re sure to increase your revenue.
How to Get More Business Reviews
With the understanding of how crucial reviews are to your business, it is essential to learn important tips that can help increase the number of reviews.
The reality is, even when customers get a good experience with your product or service, it’s not automatic that they will leave a review. This underscores the importance of directly asking them to provide a genuine review.
But first, ensure you have a great product or service, which is worth a positive review. Otherwise, you’ll get poor or bad reviews that will hurt your reputation more than not having reviews.
That said, it is important to mention that average reviews aren’t all that beneficial. In fact, only 57% of customers would select a company with a 3-star rating, but with a 4-star rating, 97% would choose it.
With a product/service that your clients will find useful, ensure you have excellent customer service. Be genuine with yourself and ask if you yourself would leave a positive review if you were in the customer’s shoes. If not, work on improving the quality of the products or customer experience before requesting reviews.
Remember getting reviews when you are a reliable brand will be much easier.
Top Review Sites you can Utilize
Google My Business
GMB is an easy-to-use and free Google product that you can use for your business. Ensure you fill in all the required information and select category features. This will tell your brand’s story in the best way, attract prospects, increase visibility and ensure you get many positive reviews.
Besides increasing organic social media traffic, Facebook can be a great source of reviews. Customers cannot provide 5-star ratings but are asked whether they can or cannot recommend your services.
With over 2.89 billion active users, you can work at getting some good recommendations.
While it’s not the biggest review site online, it has a significant traffic of over 91 web visitors per month. It’s a great option for home services and local businesses as this is the site’s second-biggest category, after restaurants.
Yelp reviews filter into Apple Maps, the most used mobile brand in the US. Since most of your prospects will be using their mobile phones to look for and inquire about your services, making sure your business’s listing on Apple Maps looks impressive is key.
This review site allows customers to connect with local professionals like remodeling contractors. It has over 260,000 businesses using the platform and over 10 million users. All you need to claim your business listing, and you are good to go.
This review site connects design professionals with interested homeowners. Whether you are in plumbing, HVAC, or remodeling, you should make sure you list your business with Houzz. Ensure you have a complete profile to optimize the reviews.
How to Monitor and Respond to Reviews: Important Tips
Tip #1: Set Review Alerts
It’s impossible to monitor reviews when you are not aware of where your business was mentioned online.
As such, you need to set alerts to get notified when people comment, tag or mention your company. This provides excellent online review management for home services contractors.
Google alerts is a good place to start, and ensure you set it to get notifications ‘as-it-happens’ to avoid missing out.
It would help if you also aimed at getting Twitter alerts for your business since your prospects, competitors, and customers could also be hanging out there.
Tip #2: Respond to Positive Reviews
When customers say something good, it’s important to respond. Even a simple ‘thank you’ will do. This shows that you care and read the comments.
Tip #3: Confront Negative Reviews
We all wish customers would not have negative experiences in our business or leave a bad review. However, this is likely to happen in the business world, and how you respond could break or enhance your reputation.
As such, own up to your mistakes, and let the reviewer know you’ve taken their comments seriously and you are going to address them. Such a review also provides important insights into your business gaps, areas of improvement and allows you to rebuild trust with clients.
Tip #4: How about Fake Reviews?
Sometimes you’ll be required to deal with malicious reviewers who are out to ruin your reputation. Some are people who want to get discounted prices. So, be tactful in your response but don’t fall prey to the trap.
Remain firm and state the steps you are taking to make the customer experience exceptional.
Attend Surefire Local Marketing Platform Demo!
Consolidating all the ratings, reviews and remaining at speed to monitor and respond to comments can be overwhelming. But you can sort that by using our all-in-one marketing intelligence platform.
Attend a Surefire local marketing platform demo to get started!