Marketing is a multi-layered tool for businesses, one that can be difficult to get right if you don’t have the right strategy. We’ll look at why online reviews are so important when it comes to promoting your home improvement business and what you can do to get more people to leave invaluable comments about how your company came through for them.
You don’t need to be told how important word-of-mouth is. It’s why people ask their neighbors where to go when they first move into a new area. It’s why you’re more likely to trust your relative’s opinion than a flyer you see on a bulletin board. If your home improvement company is constantly being praised by customers for service and results, now is a good time to ask those customers to share their stories online. When it comes to boosting your brand equity, you want quality reviews that highlight how the customer is the highest priority.
Search engine optimization is complex and based on a wide variety of factors. However, the underlying concept is simple to understand: search engines like Google are trying to give the searcher quality suggestions when they need information. Online reviews can go a long way when it comes to getting your business name on the first page of the search results. If a search engine wants to show people the best companies in the area, the algorithms will weigh your star rating heavily before determining where to place your home improvement business. (Just be sure that all your reviews are verifiable. Fake reviews can be quickly identified and carry major penalities on these sites.)
Where Are People Looking?
Your customers are looking across a number of different sources, but some sites are considered more credible than others. When it comes to your industry, Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor are considered to be the authority on which businesses are the best in any given area. However, people might also look at Yelp, Google reviews, or even the Better Business Bureau. The better your reputation management is on these sites, the more likely you are to pop up immediately in a related search.
Tips to Get Reviews
Leaving a review takes effort, which is why not everyone is itching to do it. Here are a few tips to get customers to go the extra mile:
- Ask immediately: Most people will be inspired to leave a review right after the work is done. So if you’re going to ask, it shouldn’t be several weeks after you’ve left the premises.
- Streamline it: Make the review process as simple as possible. For example, you might email the customer to leave a few simple comments. Standardized questionnaires can also be helpful, but you have to be careful with these. If they’re too involved, the customer might abandon them halfway through.
- Be responsive: It is impossible to make every customer happy. This means that no company can have perfect reviews — it’s just not realistic. The key is to do what you can for unhappy customers and make sure that other customers see that you tried to work with them. Most credible review sites will have a way to post a public response about a negative review, so you need to show that you don’t just wash your hands when customers are unhappy.
Brand equity isn’t just built by doing one thing. It’s a consistent series of steps that build your company up in the minds of customers. If you’re not currently capturing your customers’ reviews, it may take a little bit of investigation up front to implement. To minimize extra work, automate your review request email, so as soon as your customer’s job is complete, they’re sent the email to praise your work.