Why online reviews matter for contractors
by Billy Stutz
Customers referrals are just as important for promoting your business today as they’ve ever been, but the way your customers are making referrals has changed. Consumers now depend on online reviews posted on websites like Google My Business, Yelp and Facebook to help them make purchasing decisions. This is especially true for local businesses.
97 percent of consumers check online reviews in order to help them find a local business.*
88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from someone they know.*
These stats point to a simple fact: If you’re not giving your customers the option to post online reviews of your business, you’re missing out on opportunities to gain new customers. See why reviews matter and learn how you can use online reviews to promote your local contracting or trade business.
4 reasons why reviews matter for tradespeople
Reviews make it easier for customers to find you.
When a customer searches online for a phrase like “plumbers in my area” or “local HVAC contractors,” it’s safe to say that you would want your business to show up at the top of the results page. While there are many factors that determine how a listing ranks, online reviews are one that matters. Because online reviews show trust and establish credibility, the presence of customer reviews is important for search engine optimization, or SEO. Whether or not there are online reviews of your business can make the difference between your listing showing up on the first search results page or being buried on the second page.
Pro tip: Claiming your listing on Google My Business is an easy first step to take in order to establish your online presence and allow customers to post reviews. See why you should use Google My Business and follow these basic steps to claim your listing.
More reviews can lead to more revenue.
One study found that you can gain one new customer for every 10 positive reviews that are posted about your business. Keep in mind that online reviews are a virtually free marketing tool, so that’s a significant return on investment. But how do you get your customers to leave a review of your business? You simply have to ask. In fact, about 70 percent of people provided an online review of a business after being asked to do so according to the same study.
Pro tip: Creating a profile on the social media platforms that your customers use will make it easier for them to review your business. See how to pick the best social media platforms for your contracting business.
Reviews can give you the competitive edge.
Checking the reviews that your customers post is like looking at your business in the mirror. You can see what’s making your customers happy and look for opportunities for improvement. Plus, it’s likely that your local competitors allow their customers to post reviews. Pay attention to what your customers are saying about your business as well as other trade businesses in your area that offer similar services to help you provide the best possible experience for your customers.
Pro tip: First impressions matter, especially for trade professionals. Learn how you can make a positive first impression on service calls to ensure repeat business.
Reviews are a human resources tool.
In addition to attracting new customers, online reviews can help you attract talented workers. Having a strong online presence can make it easier for potential employees to find you and apply to work for your business.
Online reviews can also help you motivate your existing employees. Often times, a customer will post a review about their experience with an employee and not just the business itself.
Pro tip: Encourage your crew to ask customers to post reviews on every service call, and offer a reward for the worker with the most positive reviews during a given period. Not only will this increase your business’s number of online reviews, but this will ensure that your workers are providing the best service on each job.
If you’re not sure where to start with building your online review presence, companies like ReviewBuzz are an excellent resource. ReviewBuzz helps trade professionals and contracting business like yours to get great online reviews. See how you can leverage ReviewBuzz as a marketing tool for your contracting business and grow your bottom line.
Ferguson is dedicated to helping trade professionals to grow their businesses through quality products, service and support. Explore the Ideas & Learning Center for more tips to help you compete and better serve your customers.