Written by Ari Greenbaum, co-founder of conXpros
Unlike the “old days”, where homeowners asked neighbors for referrals, in today’s internet driven world, customer reviews pave the path to your success. This new form of social proof is essential to home improvement pros. Ensuring sure you get quality and quantity reviews is worth your time and effort. This article will highlight some key elements of helping your company stand out from the competition.
There are 2 critical areas of focus that will serve as the foundation for your ability to benefit from online reviews:
- Quality of your work: You must have an exceptional product/service that exceeds customer expectations
- Don’t be shy: Customers do not naturally go online to write positive reviews, so you must ask and encourage everyone you do work for.
Here are some key focus areas that will help you get the online reputation you need to succeed:
- Respect the homeowners time:Set your appointments for times that work best for the customer. Provide a rough idea of the amount of time you will need their attention. Be prompt (you would be amazed at how many home improvement pros fail at this part)
- Competitive pricing based on value: Know the competitive landscape in your market for similar services. This does not mean that you need to be priced closer to the bottom to win and have happy customers, rather you must base your price on value. If your bid is higher than the competition’s, make certain that your customer knows exactly why (you may be providing better quality materials, workmanship, or a more inclusive warranty).
- Do what you say:Your work must be top-notch and match what you sold your customer on. No matter how wonderful you treat the client, if you do not do great work, getting a positive review will be tough.
- Seize the moment: Often at the completion of a job (at the walk through), your customers are smiling and the most satisfied with the work you have just performed. What better time to not only thank them, but ask them to share that feeling with other potential customers by writing a review?
- Gratitude is the attitude: Just like first impressions are important, so is the last one you leave your customer with. Are you saying thank you? In addition to the verbal words of gratitude, you should regularly use an additional written form of saying thank you. Create an email or snail mail that you send to every customer after you complete their project. Express your words of gratitude and ask for their review. When done by email, make it easy on them by providing a link to direct them easily to the site(s) you want to build reviews on.
- Get focused: Decide where you want to focus your online and direct your customers to post to those sites. It is recommended that you focus on 2-3 primary sites to build a volume of review fast. Often people first look at how many reviews you have before deciding if they want to read any of them.
- Always respond: You must reply to EVERY review! Besides it being a nice way to thank the customer for taking their time to write the review, it shows potential customers that you take your customer care seriously. Go beyond a simple thank you and try to mention something about their job that was memorable to you. Unfortunately, you will get negative reviews. Don’t ignore them no matter how crazy some of the claims may be. Do everything you can in your response to express your empathy and desire to make things right. You can’t make everyone happy but you can show everyone that you care.
Building your online reputation WILL increase your business. Every ounce of time and energy you invest will bring exponential rewards. Put the concepts above into practice and take control of your company’s future.