If you’re in the home service industry, customer service is everything and both negative & positive reviews will have a direct impact on your business.
What your customers are posting on Google My Business, Angie’s List or your Facebook company page may help someone decide if they’re calling you or the other guys.
Why are reviews so important?
- 92% of consumers now read reviews online
- 88% of consumers use those reviews when making their purchasing decision
#1 – Provide Great Customer Service
This might go without saying, but if you provide 5-star customer service, you’re more like to get 5-star reviews from your customers in return.
These days, Google makes leaving a review so simple and your customers know they have the power to share their honest opinions about your business and service, good or bad, in a matter of minutes to the world.
It’s important to make a great first impression, earn their trust and let them know you’re going to do everything you can to fix their problem. And chances are, they’re looking for help FAST, so the first step would be to show them their satisfaction is your number one concern followed by the flooded basement, of course.
It starts with you, or the leaders of the company, but make sure the entire team is providing great customer service consistently, too.
To encourage this, you could set up a reward or recognition program to showcase the employees who are delivering 5-star service and earning reviews for the company. Reviews also make great content to highlight on your website—great for both SEO purposes and team morale!
Lastly, make sure the customer is happy with your service before filing them away. Scratch that. Never cut ties with your customers. They may need your help again, or even better, they may recommend you to all of their friends and family. Give them a positive, memorable experience so they don’t forget you for good reason.
Other ways to provide top-notch customer service:
- Offer a live chat feature on your website and be available to respond to Facebook messages in a timely manner
- Avoid using a call center to ensure a friendly voice and knowledge of all your services and availability
- Check-in again with your customers a few months after their service date to make sure they’re still happy
#2 – Ask For Reviews Right Away
Home service businesses usually take their work to the customer, so chances are they already trust you a great deal to fix whatever problem they’re facing if you’re stepping inside their home.
If it makes sense, ask them for a review before you leave or follow-up shortly after the job is done via email or phone with a quick survey and an easy link to leave a review on Google, Angie’s List, etc.
Make it as easy as possible for them, and do it before they forget about that great home service you provided!
If you don’t have a system in place that can handle this automation for you, consider a review management software like Rize Reviews.
#3 – Turn The Negative Into Positive
If you haven’t yet, there will come a time when you get a negative review and there will be nothing you can do to change their mind. However, you can kindly respond, apologize and learn from whatever the complaint may be, whether it was true or a little exaggerated.
Most review sites have policies in place to keep all reviews public unless they are very much spammy or offensive to you, your employees and your business.
It can be tough if there are fake reviews that aren’t being removed. We get it!
If you’re hit by a spammer, rather than respond back and say “you’re lying!” we recommend that you respond and make it clear that you are sorry they feel that way, maybe mention that you don’t have record of working with them and direct the conversation offline by providing and email or phone number they can call to resolve it.
Even if they don’t contact you and change or remove their review, everyone else can see what’s going on and appreciate you showing effort to resolve.
Need more help on handling negative reviews? We have a great post on that: How to respond to negative reviews »
#4 – Play By Google’s Rules
Google and other review sites, will take the following into consideration when deciding where to rank your business against the competition when it comes to local results:
- Total number of reviews
- The average rating/score
- The number of new reviews, or frequency
If you haven’t received a new review in a few months, try reaching back out to those customers you may have already asked to leave a review for you but didn’t, and remind them of your 5-star service. You can reach out on a personal level, or create an automated drip campaign.
With tools like Rize Reviews, you can streamline this process by sending us your email list and then sit back while we gather the reviews.
If you’re desperate for reviews, consider running a campaign and offering a $5 gift card or an entry into a larger drawing in exchange for a review. Or, ask a few of your employees to leave a review that includes a disclaimer that they work for your company. It might not be what users are looking for, but it’s still a review.
If you have a plan in place for obtaining more reviews and also responding to reviews in a timely manner and making sure your customers are happy, your business will shine above the competition in the local results.
Want more tips on responding to reviews as a home service business? Read: A guide to responding to online reviews for home services companies.