Before we start with our online review generation process for the Home Service Industry, let’s quickly review some statistics:
- 69% of all consumers search for online reviews.
- 72% of all consumers trust online business and product reviews.
- 84% of all consumers read an average of 4-6 reviews before trusting a business.
- Products with positive reviews sold 200% more than those with no ratings.
With nearly all consumers (97%) using online media to shop locally, it’s more important than ever to have a review generation strategy in place (BIA/Kelsey and Constat study). Having an online review strategy in place is essential for nearly all businesses, especially home service companies. People want to know what others think about you, particularly if they’re going to allow you into their home and around their family.
Actually getting people to leave online reviews is a different story. It seems that the only people with the will and motivation to write about you online are disgruntled customers, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a slight prod here and there, you can get your most satisfied customers to leave reviews online and be happy about doing so.
Here at VitalStorm, one of the most frequently asked questions we receive is how to generate more reviews and how to respond to reviews in the best way.
Because of these client concerns, we are currently working on a review generation service, which will be a combination of remarketing and reputation repair strategy. We will let you know once it is ready!
I would also encourage you to read our recent blog post about attaching Google Reviews to your PPC ads.
Quick Tips for Generating Reviews for Home Services:
- After service, follow up with the customer and thank them for their business. This can be done with a phone call, email, personal letter, text message, or some sort of combination. Customers will be more likely to leave a review when they trust who they’ve done business with.
- Direct customers to Google My Business, Yelp, Angie’s List, and any other sites you wish to use.
- Place links and star review images/icons on all documents: invoices, web pages, email signatures etc.
- Respond to every review, good or bad. This shows customers that you care about the people who use your business and it instills trust in your brand.
- See this blog post for information on garnering more Google+ reviews.
Never pay for reviews and do not offer incentives only for good reviews. It may turn off some customers and they will openly state in their review that you offered money or a discount in return. Read this Yelp blog post for their suggestions for responding to reviews.
Email is the easiest way to keep your customers up-to-date on new promotions. These emails should be focused on following up with their service, asking if they are satisfied, and thanking them. If you provide links to your social media sites on the email, customers have easy access to provide a review if they wish to.
Start an automated email program using something like MailChimp or Constant Contact to email customers after they have received service. Setting up a post-service email system could generate reviews naturally! Just make sure that you make it as easy as possible for them to write a review.
- Gather an email subscriber list and send periodic promotions with links to your social media sites.
- Send a personalized “Thank You” email within 24 hours. That personal touch could generate a review for your business.
- Set up a post-service, automated email system using MailChimp or Constant Contact.
Other Review Generation Methods
Business Cards: Rather than use your default business cards, create a new set of business cards that are used solely for getting reviews. Take one of your review site URLs and generate a QR code (“Quick Response”) by using QRStuff.com. Print the QR code on your business card and use accompanying text like, “Scan this QR/bar code to leave us a review.”
In-House Incentives: Offer benefits to your employees for generating reviews as they work. You can even offer a cash bonus for any reviews or an overall reward for the technician who garners the most reviews (1 review=$20-30 for instance or most reviews for the month=$100). You can try a handwritten note or a phone call to check in with the customer after their service. It may seem awkward at first, but this one-on-one request can produce the greatest effects. People respond really well to these personalized touches!
Follow-Up Calls: Following up with customers is great idea for customer service in general. Calling after a service to make sure everything went well is much appreciated by your customers. They want to know that you care about their satisfaction.
If they are satisfied, then have a short script ready, like: “That’s great to hear! If it’s not too much trouble, would you mind taking a few minutes to write a review for me? Your comments will help others know what to expect…” You can even try the angle, “We have a contest here to see which technician gets the best reviews at the end of each month. I would really appreciate it if you could take the time to leave an honest review for me on ReviewBuzz…” Don’t forget the magic words, “Thank You!”
Learn about VitalStorm’s Social/Local Program
This highlights the increasing need for good reviews on Google+ and across the web. If you need help setting up and optimizing your social media and local listings, garnering more positive reviews and managing negative ones, you may be interested in becoming a Social/Local PRO member.
Social/Local PRO membership includes:
- On-page and off-page SEO
- Local listing optimization and synchronization
- Original blog articles every week
- Reputation response and repair – control and generate reviews
- Access to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest ads
- Community engagement and monitoring
For more information about how to generate reviews for your home service business, feel free to send us a message or give us a call at 1-877-311-5695.