Word of Mouth: How Online Reviews Can Boost Your Business

March 22, 2019
Jon Feagain Jon Feagain

Reviews have always played an integral role in a company’s success. As society evolves, we uncover new ways to spread the word about things we love and things we don’t. Today, reading online reviews before choosing a company is almost second nature for many people. In fact, 92% of consumers look online to read reviews before considering a company. With that in mind, online reputation management is an integral component in digital marketing for home services.

This is especially true when it comes to home services providers. One’s home is their sanctuary, a place of rest and refuge, and they must be able to trust the company they’re letting into their home. Consumers searching for home services companies are paying attention to what others are saying about your company, whether on Yelp and Google Reviews or Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor. Don’t let this scare you, though. Reviews can be great for businesses. We’ll go over how online reviews benefit your company, how to generate positive reviews, and how to handle negative reviews.

Benefits of Online Reviews

Online reviews do more than just let you know how customers perceive your company. They also:

Help you get noticed

82% of smartphone users say they use search to find local businesses, so if your business isn’t ranking on Google, you could be missing out on potential customers. Though many factors play a role in how a company ranks, having plenty of good reviews on a Google My Business page lets Google know you’re a trustworthy local company with a great reputation—which can boost your local search results.

Give your business legitimacy

If homeowners search for an electrician and find one with no reviews and one with 25 reviews, which one do you think they’re more likely to pick? A study by BrightLocal showed that 88% of consumers read customer reviews to help them decide if they should choose a company. So having no reviews at all could lead customers to question the validity of your perfectly qualified professional services. Not sure where to start? We offer tips for getting good reviews below.

Offer insightful feedback

Feedback is important for every business, even if you don’t want to hear it. Learning from mistakes is how to grow and improve, and what’s most important is that you work to remedy them. View criticism as a tool that can help you provide an even better experience for future customers. And if the customer is willing to give you the chance, you may be able to make it up to them. Yes, you will get customers whose complaints are without merit. But the best thing you can do is be polite and address their concerns as best as you are able. Being the bigger person will only improve your image in the eyes of other customers.

How to Get Good Reviews

The foundation for getting good reviews is pretty basic and simple: Provide excellent service. Without this, it will be hard to convince customers to sing your praises.

Even if your customers love you, they often don’t take time to let others know. That’s why it’s important to have a plan in place to encourage reviews. First, make sure you claim your business listing on Google My Business. You can encourage customers to leave Google reviews, which is simple for anyone with a Google account. You’ll also be notified anytime someone posts a review, so you can respond directly to customers or address any issues that may arise right away.

While reminding customers to leave reviews is always a great tactic, especially for home services companies, there are reputation management services and software that can help you with unique ways to solicit reviews, including email and text campaigns. You can encourage customers to continue to post reviews by acknowledging and responding to reviews, which shows you value their opinion.

Dealing With Negative Reviews

Customers who have a bad experience are 2 to 3 times more likely to post a review than those who had a positive experience. But don’t fret—negative reviews happen. The truth is, most people are skeptical about places with only excellent reviews. Someone will inevitably not be completely satisfied with a company’s service. The important thing is that you respond to them and work on remedying the problem, if possible. Don’t reply with snarky or sarcastic comments, and don’t be defensive. Users will be judging your reaction as much, if not more, than the review.

In fact, negative reviews can be a useful tool in helping you do better in the future. Some people like to complain and may never be satisfied, and there’s nothing you can do about that except try to alleviate their frustrations. But less-than-stellar reviews of your business can sometimes shine a light on areas that could use some improvement.

Even if you don’t want to hear it, feedback is essential for growing and improving, especially when optimizing digital marketing for home services. People are going to have opinions about your company, so it’s wise to take a proactive, positive approach to handling them. Having a solid reputation management plan will encourage transparency and help solidify you as a brand that can be trusted.