How much do online reviews really matter? According to Zippia, 95% of people read online reviews before making a purchase and 93% say reading those reviews affected their buying decision. Additionally, products that have at least five reviews increased their conversion rates by a whopping 270%!
So if you are wondering if online reviews really matter, then YES! Yes, they do!
Now that we have that settled, you probably want to know what you can do to get online reviews, right? You can start by finding a reputation management platform for home services contractors. But first, let’s talk about why online reviews are so important. Then we will show you how to build a 5-star reputation. And to round it all out, we will go over the rules of thumb you should follow when responding to customer reviews.
Let’s get started!
Why Online Reviews Are So Important
Here are just a few of the reasons online reviews are so crucial to your brand.
- Social Proof: The statistics show that most people search for, read, and make a buying decision based on the customer reviews others have posted even if they don’t know them personally.
- Makes You Appear More Trustworthy: Online reviews serve to show people that you are a legitimate business. With all the scams and fly-by-night contractors out there, people want the reassurance that the contractor they are considering is legitimate, professional, and trustworthy.
- Helps Build Your Brand’s Reputation: Customer reviews help build your brand’s reputation. The more reviews you have, the higher your brand perception will be.
- Increased Visibility: The more times your company name appears on the internet, the more visibility it will receive. Online reviews appear in the search results, are shared on social media, and often translate to word-of-mouth referrals on forums, etc. as well.
- Expand Your Customer Base: Positive reviews will generally lead to you getting more customers. This is because the more people that leave positive reviews for your company, the easier it will be for others to justify their reasons for choosing your brand to handle their needs.
- Online Reviews Create Customer Engagement: Many businesses fail to engage with those who leave them a good (or bad) review. Not responding to your customer reviews reflects poorly on your brand. If people see you appreciate your current customers after the sale, they will be more likely to trust you with their new business. Additionally, engaging with your customers after they’ve left a review gives you the opportunity to either thank them or address any issues they might have had.
- They Can Identify Hidden Opportunities: Online reviews will tell you how your customers feel about your products and services. And they will sometimes show you where you are lacking or what else those same customers might want in addition to what you’re offering.
- Free Advertising and Marketing Content: Online reviews are basically free advertising. They also provide your audience with content you didn’t have to create or pay for.
Now let’s move on, and we’ll show you how to build a 5-star reputation for your brand.
How to Build a 5-Star Reputation for Your Home Services Business
Here are some steps you can take to build a 5-star reputation for your home services business.
- Develop and build a professional brand identity.
- Establish an online presence (website, social media pages, etc.)
- Provide exceptional customer support.
- Thoroughly train your staff.
- Ask every customer to leave you a review and respond to those reviews when they do.
- Use negative reviews to show you’re trustworthy and are willing to correct any issues.
- Be transparent.
- Respond to all reviews quickly and insightfully.
- Feature reviews and testimonials on your website, social media pages, and anywhere else you are online.
- Provide your customers with links to review platforms to make it easier for them to leave you a review.
Strategies for Receiving Positive Reviews
Some companies find it hard to get customer reviews. But it’s really quite simple. First and foremost, all you have to do is ask! However, upon asking your customers to leave you a review, you need to make it easy for them to do so. If you don’t, most won’t take the time to figure out how.
Provide your customers with email and text reminders. You can also use a service like Surefire Local’s reputation management platform for home services contractors to handle all that for you (more about that in a moment). Those reminders should include links your customers can use to easily leave their reviews.
Other ways you can encourage customer reviews are to engage with their reviews, offer incentives or discounts on future purchases, and encourage your social media followers to leave you a review.
Strategies for Dealing with Negative Reviews
No brand should expect never to receive a negative review. Remember, you can’t please everyone all the time. When people get emotional, heated complaints usually follow, even if they are unjustified. So don’t take negative reviews personally. If your company did make a mistake, own up to it, make it right, and use it as a learning and training opportunity.
Engage with your negative reviews as soon as you receive them. That means you must continually monitor your online reviews, so you will need to know the moment you get them. More in a moment about how to use a reputation management platform for home services contractors to monitor your online reviews.
Professionally addressing your negative reviews shows your potential customers that you are trustworthy and eager to resolve any issues they might have. Most people are more than willing to overlook negative reviews if they see you admitting to a mistake and doing whatever it takes to make it right.
The Rules of Thumb When Responding to Reviews
For good reviews, a simple thank you or something similar will be just fine. For negative reviews, be professional and remember, you are not just responding to one person, you’re speaking to everyone who reads your response, and that includes your potential customers.
1. Acknowledge and be empathetic to the customer’s concerns, even if they are unjustified. Then be sympathetic by stating you understand what they are saying or by apologizing and offering a resolution if your company was in the wrong.
2. Explain how your company typically handles things. Then let your customer know what you can do to resolve the issue.
3. Offer to take the conversation offline. Sometimes providing the customer with your contact information helps reassure them you are willing to address their issues and will be there for them until those issues are resolved.
4. Keep it simple. When responding to negative reviews, always keep it short and sweet. You don’t want to ask for too much detail or ask too many questions. This will prevent the customer from providing any more negative feedback or going on another rant.
How to Monitor Your Online Reviews
Creating and building a good reputation doesn’t happen overnight. And once you achieve a good reputation, you must continue to monitor, engage with, and nurture those reviews. This is much easier than you would think, but only if you utilize a reputation management platform for home services contractors. Surefire Local can help with that.
Surefire Local is one of the best online marketing tools available that can make many of your digital marketing tasks, including reputation management, much quicker and easier.
Let’s take a look.
How Surefire Local Can Help You Get More 5-Star Reviews
- The Surefire Local Marketing Platform will connect you with the top review sites like Google Business Profile, Facebook, and Yelp. It also gives you the ability to see all your online reviews from one place as a timeline view.
- It enables you to send review requests to happy customers via text message or email.
- You can also write and post responses to your customers’ reviews from within the Surefire Local Marketing Platform.
- You will be able to send reminder emails or text messages to customers who have already received a request to write a review but have yet to do so.
- Surefire Local will eliminate all the time you waste going from platform to platform checking to see if you have any new reviews and at the same time, you can respond to any reviews that have already been posted.
- You can easily measure brand sentiment with a word cloud graph. The graph shows you at a glance the most frequently used words from all your customers’ reviews.
- You can also optimize your brand presence across all review sites on more than 80 local business directories. Surefire Local does this by managing the information found about your business, the photos that are displayed, any special offers you might be running, and more! And all this is done from one dashboard on the Surefire Local Marketing Platform.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform Demo
Surefire Local is business intelligence marketing software that is available at a fraction of the cost of other online tools and resources. And it’s significantly less than using a marketing agency for simple things you could easily to yourself. Additionally, you can do many of your most time-consuming online marketing activities all from one platform.
Thank you for reading this article about the Reputation Management Platform for Home Services Contractors. We look forward to hearing from you!