Consumer trust is highly essential for businesses, especially to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry, which greatly depends on referrals to gain clients.
Thanks to the internet, a lot of these word-of-mouth marketing referrals have migrated online and taken the form of online reviews. And in this digital age, nine out of 10 consumers check reviews before hiring a service, according to Trustpilot.
The message is clear: Local businesses need to build a solid reputation through online reviews in order to stay competitive and profitable.
In this blog, we uncover the best online reputation management practices for HVAC contractors to establish a positive brand image and make you the go-to HVAC company in town.
If you want to know how to get HVAC customers, keep reading.
Online Reputation Management Best Practices for HVAC Contractors
A positive online reputation significantly impacts an HVAC company’s bottom line. It makes the difference between customers choosing you as their contractor or continuing to look for other service providers in your area.
How to get HVAC customers and retain them is the question every business owner has. The answer? Follow the best practices in online reputation management (ORM) – specifically pertaining to reviews – to improve overall customer experience.
Be Proactive in Collecting HVAC Company Reviews
The best way to collect reviews is to proactively reach out and express to your customers that you need their HVAC reviews. BrightLocal reports that 76 percent of those who are asked to give heating and cooling reviews go on to do so.
How To Ask a Customer for a Review
Wondering how to ask a customer for a review that guarantees results for HVAC companies?
Try these tips:
- Display calls to action (CTA) on your website: Your website is your online storefront, making it one of the best places to gather reviews. Ensure that CTAs are prominently displayed on several areas of your site, prompting your clients to leave feedback.
- Run review generation email campaigns: Email campaigns are the most popular and effective method in collecting HVAC company reviews. According to ReviewTrackers, 70 percent of reviews found online come from post-transactional review request emails.
- Direct your focus to one platform: There are many review sites available: Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc. But if you’re just getting your HVAC business marketing campaign off the ground, it’s best to focus on just one – at least for now. If you’re unsure which sites to prioritize, speak to an ORM specialist.
Simplify the Review Generation Process
Your audience won’t take any action if they perceive it to be time-consuming and cumbersome. For this reason, the review acquisition process should be as simple as possible to prevent your customers from putting off writing a review to a later date.
It’s a good practice to insert time qualifiers in your review requests. For example, adding the phrase, “It’ll only take a minute to leave us a review,” highlights the simplicity of the process.
You can also set up a review generation system that automatically asks your clients via email or social media if they are satisfied with your services. However, creating an automatic review collection system will require above-average technical expertise, which can be an issue for HVAC contractors.
If an automated system is something that you are interested in, you can employ reputation management services. Professionals from online reputation management companies know how to ask a customer for a review using the industry’s latest reputation management tool.
Respond to Reviews
Online reviews will stay up unless they are removed. Since they are publicly available at all times, they can be an excellent opportunity for you to demonstrate your commitment to providing top-notch customer service.
The benefit of responding to reviews does not end in improving customer experience. It can also have a significant impact on your search engine rankings. Businesses that acknowledge feedback have better search visibility than those that don’t engage with their customers, Google confirms. This makes review responses crucial elements for your search engine reputation management strategies.
How To Thank a Customer for a Review
When a customer approaches you in person and offers their feedback, it’s only natural to thank them. The same goes for reviews written online. If a client expresses their satisfaction regarding your HVAC services, here’s how to thank a customer for a review properly:
- Be prompt: Twenty percent of people expect a response within 24 hours when writing heating and cooling reviews.
- Personalize: You don’t have to create a unique response for every review you get, but make sure to address the customer by name and acknowledge some points mentioned in their feedback.
- Add keywords: When thinking about how to thank a customer for a review, the last thing on anybody’s mind is search engine optimization (SEO). However, it’s a vital HVAC business marketing practice to insert relevant keywords whenever opportunities arise.
How To Respond to a Customer Review
You won’t get positive feedback all the time. Inevitably, negative comments will pour in as you start gaining more and more HVAC company reviews.
So, when a customer decides to sound off about a negative experience, here’s how to respond to a customer review appropriately:
- Assess: It’s easy to get carried away when receiving negative HVAC reviews, but an impulsive, emotional reaction only exacerbates the situation. Take some time to process the comment. Is it valid? Should you react defensively? Who is to blame? Careful assessment allows you to come up with a more appropriate response.
- Apologize: Never deny the issue or make excuses, even if you think that the claims are groundless. A little sympathy can help defuse a bad situation. If a customer complains about subpar services, apologize for their bad experience.
- Converse offline: Offer to move the conversation offline to develop an agreeable resolution for both parties in a private setting.
Remember that negative HVAC reviews help in improving customer experience. They allow you to reflect on areas of your business and processes that need to be improved.
If you feel like this is too much work, you can always partner with experts. ORM specialists know how to respond to a customer review, both negative and positive feedback. In addition, professionals are much more knowledgeable about handling negative reviews to rebuild customer trust.
Hire Reputation Management Consultants
Acquiring, monitoring and responding to reviews takes a lot of time, which is a problem for busy contractors. This may result in review collection and response taking a backseat in business operations.
Don’t make this mistake: Hire reputation management consultants to handle your online reputation management methodologies. The experts employed by top online reputation management companies have years of experience growing businesses in various industries. The best ones use an advanced reputation management tool, allowing them to streamline your review generation and review monitoring processes.
Bonus: How HVAC Reviews Help You Rank in Local SEO
Google considers relevance, distance and prominence as the three most important factors in determining local search rankings. Relevance refers to how a local business matches the search query. Distance pertains to how far the company is from the user’s location. Finally, prominence refers to the establishment’s reputation – this is where heating and cooling reviews come in.
Simply put, the more reviews you have, the better your chances of climbing to the top spots on local search engine results pages (SERPs).
Contractors should be proactive in collecting and managing reviews and incorporate them into HVAC business marketing strategies. These methods require effort, but they have a worthwhile, long-term impact on your bottom line. With the proper methodologies in place, you attract the right prospects and become the most sought-after HVAC company in town.
Too busy to gather and monitor reviews? Partner with Rize Reviews and create effective search engine reputation management strategies to establish your brand as the city’s go-to HVAC contractor.
Rize Reviews is a top provider of reputation management services. We integrate the industry’s best practices into your overall ORM strategy to save you time and resources. Our team understands how to get HVAC customers using our state-of-the-art review management software that allows you to monitor and manage all feedback your company receives effectively.
Speak with one of our consultants to learn more about how we can help you establish a solid online presence that attracts your target clients.
Call 866 325 0303 or fill out this form and get in touch today!