Getting regular, positive online reviews for your contracting business matters now more than ever. Why?
- Regular online reviews boost local SEO. For example, Google factors in customer reviews when generating local pack listings (the 3 or 4 Google map results that appear when a consumer searches for local businesses). In fact, one study found that reviews account for 15%of Google’s ranking of a local business.
- Online reviews also impact consumers’ decisions. About 86% of consumers read reviews when shopping for a local company, and they read an average of 10 before they feel they can trust a local business, according to Brightlocal.
Focus on stellar customer care.
The foundation for getting great online reviews is earning them. Build a company culture that empowers roofers to care for customers’ homes like they were their own. Do that by:
- Being open or transparent about challenges or problems that arise during the project.
- Keeping the jobsite as clean as possible during the project and leaving it as clean—or cleaner—than what you found it.
- Doing quality work and backing it up with a robust product and workmanship guarantees.
- Offering multiple payment options that make the project more doable for the customer’s budget.
- Sending a thank you gift, like a gift basket or gift card, after the service is done.
Claim your profile on review sites.
It’s worth the time to claim your company profile on review sites like Angie’s List or Yelp. In addition to allowing you to respond to feedback, claiming the profile allows you to provide correct information, like services, hours, and contact info.
Ask customers to leave reviews.
Homeowners are as busy as you are, and even those who would want to leave a review may forget unless reminded. Build asking for reviews into your regular processes so it happens after every job.
Ways to ask include:
- Attach a card or note with review information to documents like the final walk-through checklist, final invoice, or other end-of-project materials.
- Include links to review site profile pages in email signatures, texts, or other electronic communications.
- Send out a separate review request after the project is completed.
Respond to positive reviews.
Acknowledging a review lets the homeowner and prospects know you’re engaged and staying on top of feedback, which conveys you’re a contractor who cares about customers.
Take action on negative reviews.
Look at a bad review as an opportunity to make the situation right and to show homeowners reading the review that you’re willing to make customers happy.
Reply to the review by acknowledging the customer’s complaint (Ex: I’m sorry you were unhappy with the workmanship.) Then, offer to take the conversation offline (Ex: Can I call you this afternoon to talk about a solution?) This takes the spotlight off the situation so you can work out a solution in private.
No matter what, keep the response professional. If the situation is heated, it might be helpful to have a colleague, friend, or family member give you feedback on your responses before you post them. Their outside perspective can alert you if your response comes across as short, rude, or nasty (even if that wasn’t your intent).
Never pay customers or people posing as customers for reviews.
Your reputation as a contractor matters. Don’t ruin it by paying for fake reviews or offering money for good reviews. Check out the FTC’s guidelines for reviews, which are designed to encourage transparency for consumers.
Now put that good reputation to work for you.
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