Online reviews can be one of the most influential factors when making a purchasing decision. Long before a call or transaction takes place, potential customers are looking at reviews to determine if they want to use your services. According to one study, 90% of respondents said that positive reviews helped them in their buying decision; 86% even said that negative reviews aided their decision-making process. That isn’t to say that negative reviews prevented them from purchasing, rather that they helped them decide which service was right for them.
How To Manage Reviews
Reviews, both good and bad, help not only to establish trust with customers but also give them a way to share their experience with others. While many think poor reviews will hurt them, the opposite actually true. What actually matters most to consumers is the response given to the review. Here are four simple steps to help you make the most of your reviews:
Getting set up on the main online review sites for home contractors is an essential first step. These include: Facebook, Angie’s List, Yelp, Google Plus, and Linkedin. While you may get more traffic and reviews on one of these sites, it’s important to maintain an updated presence on all of them in order to ensure maximum exposure for your services. This shows that you value your customers’ preferences, and increases your online presence while also allowing you to manage and view all of the reviews of your company.
One simple way to manage what people are saying about your business online is to set up a Google alert for your company’s name. You can set up multiple alerts by going to Google Alerts: https://www.google.com/alerts . Once this service has been set up, Google will email you with websites that mention your company’s name. This is a great way to make sure you stay up to date on what people are saying about you—good or bad.
To properly manage your reviews, you’ll need more than a “set it and forget it” mindset. It is important to respond to comments posted on review sites in a positive and engaging way. This can help you in a variety of ways. First, acknowledging your positive reviews will make your customers feel appreciated. Second, managing your negative reviews in a polite and courteous manner will show your potential customers that you listen, and try to address and resolve problems. Customers will feel better knowing that they are engaging the services of a company that is willing to work for them, and address their concerns.
The best way to get reviews online is simply to ask the customers to leave you a review. It sounds simple, but it is probably the most overlooked step of all. Some small businesses and employees may feel uncomfortable asking for a review, but if the service is good, most of the time customers will surprise you with their willingness to share their good experience with others. The best thing you can do here is to make it easy for your clients. You can do this with a simple follow up call, text, or email. It may surprise you how such a simple step can substantially increase the number of reviews you receive!
Managing reviews online is fairly straightforward, but it will require a bit of effort on your part. Just remember to build a profile on the main review sites listed above, manage your reviews by maintaining your online presence and setting up your Google Alerts, respond to all reviews (there is no such thing as bad publicity as long as you respond well), and finally—ask your customers to leave a review! Don’t be afraid of what may happen. There is no reason why you shouldn’t start today!