In our digital-driven world, your plumbing service is only as good as its reputation online. Many HVAC and plumbing businesses say that word-of-mouth referrals and personal recommendations are central to their marketing strategy. Today, a lot of these referrals come in the form of online reviews. In fact, nearly four in five people say they trust the reviews they read as much as personal recommendations.
Simply put, your brand reputation strategy directly affects your client acquisition efforts. And under these conditions, it’s now easier than ever to become the leading and go-to plumber in your area. With a solid brand reputation, you can compete with the best plumbing companies and plumbing contractors in your locale and emerge as the top choice.
In this post, we define brand reputation management and how it can help you become the go-to plumber in town amid stiff competition. We also cover:
- The importance of online reviews and reputation management services
- The benefits of a reputation management tool
- How to deal with negative reviews
- How to grow your business using a reputation management tool
Plumbers and Their Brand Reputation Management
It’s a fact that the best plumbing companies invest time and resources in solidifying their online reputation. A good reputation online gives your plumbing business more clout in the eyes of both your prospects and search engines. The concept of search engine reputation management may sound technical, especially to solo plumbing contractors. But with the help of dedicated reputation management consultants, you, too, can reap the benefits of this service – it’s not only reserved for big brands.
So, what is brand reputation management for plumbers, and why is it necessary? It’s the process of monitoring how people perceive your business image and taking appropriate steps to improve it. This strategy usually involves a system for checking and responding to plumber reviews. (We’ll go over the importance of online reviews in a later section.)
Consider the following benefits:
- Reputation management establishes your trustworthiness even before your first contact with potential customers. Ninety percent of consumers will first check out your website and reviews before calling you, and “first impressions last.”
- Having more reviews on your website or other platforms also increases your conversion rate. Studies show that having more than 50 local plumber reviews increases your conversion rate by 4.6 percent.
- More positive reviews mean more customers talking about your plumbing service online. It boosts your brand mentions and improves your local search engine optimization (SEO) performance in the process. Responding to reviews and knowing how to thank a customer for a review builds up your image as well. Make sure to set up Google alerts for a free radar on your brand mentions.
- It also helps attract investors and new business partners who use online reviews to do background research on your plumbing business before making an investment decision.
- Having a positive reputation online also improves your chances of hiring better employees.
Building a Reputation for Plumbers Online
Building your reputation online entails generating plumbing reviews. But there’s more to it than simply knowing how to ask a customer for a review.
Here’s how plumbers online can do it, step by step:
1. Create a Plumbing Service Website
Everything starts with a website. Say you’re starting from scratch, and you don’t want to spend months figuring out how to get one up and running. Hire a search engine reputation management expert or a web designer to get your site off the ground in the most cost-effective and time-efficient way possible.
Why have a website instead of focusing solely on social media? Everything on your website is 100 percent yours – it’s your web property. You have absolute control over your website, and it serves as the online home for your plumbing business.
2. Claim Your Google Business Profile
After getting your website started, you should also work on your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business). Your profile is free, and it gives your potential customers access to your phone number, website, office hours and other important information.
3. Know How To Ask a Customer for a Review
We can’t stress the importance of online reviews enough – they’re the foundation of your online reputation.
First, you need to know how to ask a customer for a review. First, ask for plumbing reviews from your customers. Next, create a client testimonial page on your website to post those reviews. With this manual review collection method, the process will be slow. There’s a faster way to do it: Add a review widget on your website. It’s one of the essential reputation management tools.
You also need to actively manage and monitor the reviews you get from different sources, especially on your website. You must thank a customer for every review. And in most cases, you’ll have to learn how to respond to a customer review that’s not in your favor (we’ll touch on the details in a later section). Create key performance indicators (KPIs) that your sales personnel can monitor to encourage clients to leave reviews about your plumbing services.
4. Build Your Social Media Presence
Once you have a website up and running and your Google Business Profile claimed, you can start building up your social media presence. You should do this as you continue developing your website.
Remember that all search engines place a premium on social media even though it doesn’t directly impact your site’s ranking.
Your plumbing service will benefit greatly from social media in the following ways:
- The content you post will have a longer lifespan – you can even recycle content at appropriate times and give it a fresh spin.
- It broadens your content distribution, allowing more people to access your plumbing content.
- It improves your brand recognition and increases your authority in the plumbing industry.
- It increases your site’s visibility and improves traffic.
One rule in social media is to keep things fresh. Create consistent content to encourage people to leave local plumber reviews. Determine which social media platforms your target audience frequently visits. You can post informative content via your site’s blog and plumbing reviews from recent customers.
5. Start Review Generation Efforts
Now that you have several web properties in operation, it’s time to work on review generation. Like many plumbers online, you’ll quickly learn that getting local plumber reviews isn’t easy. Even your best clients may not be too keen on leaving reviews on your site or social media.
ORM or online reputation management companies help you with home service reputation management. They perform review request collection and review generation and use powerful software to help your business get more reviews. A reputation management tool can go a long way to automate your review generation efforts, so you can focus on providing the best quality plumbing services to your customers.
6. Beef Up Your Blog
We mentioned earlier that you need to have a plumbing blog on your site to post informative content. Why give free information?
- It generates more traffic to your website.
- It establishes your authority as an expert plumber.
- It shows that you’re aware of people’s plumbing problems, and you know how to fix them.
- It shows that you listen to your customers.
Sharing plumbing tips and tricks also demonstrates your expertise.
Pro tip: Keep an eye on your competitors’ online presence. Read their positive and negative reviews. Find their weaknesses and use these customer pain points to improve your own service and your online content.
7. Consider Guest Posting
Guest posting on someone else’s blog is a simple way to get more brand mentions and increase traffic to your website. Discuss issues your clients face, like slow-draining sinks, faulty water heaters, dripping faucets and the like. Address these problems, offer possible workarounds and demonstrate that you’re a trustworthy authority in the field.
8. Learn How To Respond to a Customer Review
Knowing how to thank a customer for a review is one thing – knowing how to respond to a customer review, both positive or negative, is another.
Fifty-three percent of customers who leave negative reviews expect to receive a reply. But, unfortunately, 63.3 percent of them never get a response. If only business owners, plumbers included, took the time to respond to bad reviews, they could have turned things around.
So, how do you resolve negative reviews? Here are a few tips:
- Give a prompt response. Monitor all review sources and act on any negative comments ASAP.
- Always acknowledge the complaint.
- Apologize and empathize with the client, even if no error was made on your end.
- If necessary, provide a brief explanation and then discuss the matter offline.
- Correct any issues as needed.
Online reputation management companies can provide you with tools to help you monitor, manage and respond to negative reviews.
The Value of Reputation Management Services
The best plumbing companies work with full-service reputation management consultants. At Rize, we don’t just teach you how to respond to a customer review criticizing your services. We run the whole gamut of review management solutions to help you rise as the preferred plumber in your location. This includes:
- Review generation
- Home service reputation management
- Using the right tools and software
- Review monitoring
- Review response
Rize Reviews is the leader in ORM services for plumbers. We have extensive experience in helping plumbers build their online reputation and become the go-to provider in their chosen locations. Our goal is to see local plumbing contractors like you thrive.
Ready to get started? Call today for a FREE consultation.