Did you know that over 90% of people check online reviews before they buy anything? Having a great online reputation is essential to success in today’s business culture. How do you get homeowners to leave feedback? Even more important, how do you get them to leave a positive review for your remodeling business? How do you get that coveted five-star review for your exceptional service?
You might be tempted to buy into the thought that good customer reviews and reputation management are out of your control. Not so! When your remodeling business utilizes a structured review system, you can drive more homeowners and potential customers to your website.
As a home services business owner, where do you begin with encouraging high-quality reviews? How do you motivate the average customer to leave a google review or, better, a personal recommendation? See below to learn what personal recommendations and positive feedback impact your online presence and how feedback will lead to more engagement and ultimately more sales.
What Is Feedback and How Does It Help
We have all seen the stars associated with someone’s experience with a competitor’s remodeling or home improvement business. Those reviews and stars are feedback from customers’ experiences with the business. Reviews give your business important feedback on customer experiences so you can adjust to build more good reviews.
So, what can you do to encourage those five-star reviews for your own business? Learn to be savvy about using social sites to encourage reviews. The three main platforms featuring reviews that convert to sales for homebuilders and remodelers are Facebook, Houzz, and Google.
Facebook: Facebook is the social site that appeals to the broadest range of ages. Your business needs to have a clear presence there. The first way to encourage Facebook reviews is to make sure your business is easy to find on Facebook. When customers have to hunt and search for your business, they are more likely to quit than persevere.
- Make sure the customer review tab is activated and easy for customers to find.
Interacting in a high-quality way (such as on Facebook) with your customers drives more positive responses from satisfied customers. Positive local business reviews bring more business your way.
Houzz: With the click of a button, a customer can relate an experience with your business with Houzz. These reviews give potential customers more confidence in their purchases and reduce some of the doubt. Statistics show that positive Houzz reviews result in a 15-20% increase in the likelihood that a new customer will engage with a business. Thus, favorable business reviews on Houzz are essential to driving small business growth. Displaying the Houzz badge lets potential customers know that you have a presence there.
Google: Google reviews happen on the Google Maps platform. Once you set up your Google Business Profile, customers can leave reviews and read other reviews. When a potential customer does a local search for your home service business type, you will show up in the Google Map results.
Ways to Encourage Positive Reviews
Ask: Boosting positive company reviews may seem complex, but it is really as simple as asking for them. You can do this with review requests through email, an online review site, or a marketing company. The point is to encourage more reviews without artificially inflated reviews.
Keywords: Another way to cultivate favorable reviews is to find the keywords that are a recurring part of online customer reviews about your business and incorporate those into your content creation, product descriptions, and brand wording. When a customer is searching for your services or products, your business is more likely to show up.
Use feedback: Using feedback from online reviews to improve your business is a proven way to create a better brand. Use feedback to resolve issues and identify what customers love so that you can fix what is wrong and deliver more of what they love. Consumers trust online reviews, so use the feedback to position your business for positive customer reviews.
Engage: Engaging with your customers about their experiences by replying to their ratings of your business makes them feel heard. When customers leave positive online reviews, thank them for their business, solicit valuable feedback on what could be better, highlight a change that happens because of their feedback – any interaction shows them that you care. Never overlook when customers leave positive reviews.
Highlight: Highlight positive reviews and customer feedback right on your website. Many businesses have started to display reviews on their homepage, and they are proven to boost customer confidence and influence conversion rates.
Online review sites: You might feel hesitant to use online review sites, but they are a boon to local businesses. Review websites will manage your digital reputation by ensuring that you don’t have too few reviews. They will also solicit further reviews. Using a review site is especially helpful for new businesses.
Customer surveys: The use of a survey gives you an accurate, statistical measurement of customer experiences.
How Do You Handle Negative Reviews?
In the process of soliciting feedback, you will inevitably get negative reviews. A single negative review can diminish over twenty positive responses, so you can’t just ignore them. Here is what to do with those less than stellar evaluations.
Engage in a positive way with the reviewer.
- Start by responding right away since this shows the person that you are paying attention to. While any response is better than no response, a fast response is best.
- Apologize for the experience. You are validating their feelings and making them feel heard.
- Offer a resolution. Tell them how you will correct the situation, whether it is to replace a good or offer a free service, offer some sort of redress for what is lacking.
- Ask them to give you another chance. This effort shows that you care about their experience and, ultimately, every customer experience.
- Use the feedback to correct. Using feedback to correct an issue is a good policy, especially when you see a trend.
Recognize that you can’t stop negative reviews, but you can minimize them by using the information to improve your business process. Remember that an online review is a connection to your customer that you need in this digital world.
An online review weighs heavily on how people perceive your business. They are the way you will earn new business and keep those loyal customers. You are losing valuable business when you don’t have a plan to boost your digital presence and then execute the plan.
Prioritizing feedback and online business reviews is a proven way to drive customers to your website, where those visits can convert to purchases. There are strong connections for business reviews and search engine results, so what are you waiting for? Start working on incorporating online feedback today!