For home services professionals, getting new clients can be difficult. That’s why more and more plumbers, electricians, pest controllers, movers, handymen and others in the home service industry are going online.
Have you ever tried searching your industry on Google? Or “pest controllers in my area”? The plethora of results might shock you and make you feel defeated before even beginning. Yes, there’s a ton of competition out there for home services professionals, and in today’s reality, going door-to-door to market your plumbing services isn’t as widely accepted or accessible.
With all this competition, one of the best ways to set yourself apart is online marketing, and more specifically, online reviews from your clients.
Why are online reviews so important?
Online reviews are important because they tell your business’s story without you having to do all the work. If you offer excellent service, online reviews are a surefire way of getting the word out there to your potential clients. Think about it, when you look for someone to service your needs, you ask friends and family for recommendations. Well, online reviews is a bigger community of friends and family that will reach more people and attract more business for you.
Online reviews also build a sense of trust around your business. A whopping 92% of customers read reviews before making a purchase, with most of those consumers reading an average of 6 reviews before making a decision. Online reviews make the customer feel confident in your business, which is what you want, especially considering you will be entering their private home to provide your services.
Lastly, online reviews help optimize your business’ performance on search engines such as Google. Your star ranking on Google determines whether or not your business will show up on the Google Maps listing. Bottom line: the more positive reviews you have online, the better your business will perform.
The best ways to get positive reviews from your clients
Be great at what you do
Of course, you’re professional and offer the best client experience you possibly can. Keep this up and people will want to get the word out about your services. First impressions are important, and for your home services business, it’s crucial to make a lasting one. And not just you, but your team as well. Every person out there representing your business should be offering unparalleled service, which will incline people to want to leave a review for your business.
Make the process easy and simple
Your clients don’t have time for cumbersome review processes. “Go to this URL, then click here, then scroll down, then fill out the form”…it’s too much for them to do. You can use a tool like vcita that offers automated email and SMS messages with links directly to your social media pages, or to an internal satisfaction survey you create for your clients. Emailing your clients to ask for reviews and making the process easy for them by reducing the number of steps they have to take will ensure you get more online reviews for your business.
Choose who you ask carefully
Let’s start off with the most important part of this tip: ask for reviews. Yes, it’s okay to ask! How else will people understand how important it is to you? However, when you ask, make sure to ask those who expressed their satisfaction with your services. You want reviews, but not bad ones. Asking the right clients who are eager to share their happy story with others is a great way to increase your star ranking and solidify your reputation online.
Be active and respond to reviews
Clients are more likely to leave reviews if they know you are active and responsive online. Managing your reviews might take up some time from your already busy schedule, but it helps future clients see that you care about your business and respond to their comments and even their concerns. That’s right, you want to make sure to address even the bad reviews you get online. Show the world that you’re not afraid of a bad review and actually embrace them and do your best to remedy the complaint publicly.
Consider rewarding online reviews
One great way to encourage clients to leave an online review is to reward them with something small like a t-shirt or a magnet. Be careful not to make it look like you are bribing clients for reviews as that would look unfavorable to potential clients, however a small token of gratitude to show your appreciation for the good review is welcomed by clients. You could also get your team involved by rewarding staff members whose clients leave a positive review. This would get everyone to work harder on getting positive feedback from your clients and increase the amount of good online reviews you have.
Top review sites you want to be on
Now that you’ve understood why online reviews are important, and how to ask for them professionally, it’s important that you know where to focus your efforts and which sites you want to be on.
1. Google My Business
We all know Google, and so do your potential clients. Making sure your business is searchable on Google is one of the first stops you want to make. Also ensure your business’ information like hours of operation, address, contact information, etc. is all updated.
With over close to 1.5 billion active users each day, you’ll want your business to be on Facebook. You can choose your target audience and set up a free page for your business, just be aware that you cannot alter or delete any reviews left on facebook.
Third on our list is the ever popular Yelp. Though many know it for its restaurant reviews, its 173 million active users search for anything and everything on Yelp. The reviews get picked up by Google, but make sure you’re responding in order to get as many positive reviews as possible.
4. Better Business Bureau (BBB)
BBB is one of the more trusted names for business ratings and reviews. Your business will get a letter grade (yes, like back in high school), anywhere from A to F. Your score is calculated based solely on the amount and type of reviews as well as how responsive you are to them.
5. Angie’s List
Angie’s list was created for the sole purpose of giving homeowners accurate information about local businesses. It’s worth checking if you already have a business page on there considering that consumers can open pages for businesses and leave reviews. Luckily, you can claim your profile and update your information or respond to reviews.
Online reviews mean more business
The bottom line is that online reviews are a great way to attract more clients to your home services business. They build trust around your company and reach more people than just word of mouth. Learning to ask for them promptly and be responsive online are two excellent skills to acquire that will help propel your business forward. Use the tips in this article to better maneuver your way through online reviews and maximize their use to gain more business. Good luck!