It’s importance to marketing for contractors cannot be overstated.
According to a recent survey from Houzz, 83% of homeowners that were planning to hire a home improvement contractor said that reviews were the most important criteria when making their decision.
83% is a large number. And it shows us that generating reviews needs to be the focus of any successful contractor marketing strategy.
Why Do You Need Positive Reviews?
There are three main reasons that positive reviews are a necessary part of successful marketing for contractors. Positive reviews:
1. Protect You from Disgruntled Customers
It’s almost impossible to completely prevent negative reviews. Whether from your competitors or customers that refuse to be satisfied, having a strong positive to negative review ratio helps prevent those negative reviews from ruining your reputation.
2. They’re Necessary for Local SEO
Google is continuing to emphasize reviews when determining rankings for local SEO. If you want to be the first name potential customers see when searching for contractors in your area, positive reviews are critical.
3. They Drives More Sales
We’ve already determined that 83% of homeowners take reviews into account when deciding on which contractor to go with. If you want more sales, positive reviews need to be a priority.
The Process for Generating Positive Reviews
Now that you understand the necessity of generating positive reviews, let’s look at the optimal process for making sure your satisfied customers are creating them for you.
Discuss with Customer as Soon as Job Ends
Once you’ve completed the job, it’s essential that you don’t wait to ask for a review. Ask the customer if they’re satisfied with the results and, if they are, show them what they can do to create a review while you’re still on their mind.
Send an Email on the Same Day
The easiest way to generate an immediate review is via email. You can use a free tool like Whitespark Review Handout Generator to provide customers with the exact process for creating their review. In most cases, they can do it in 60 seconds from their smartphone.
If you’d like to make the process even easier, you can use a paid tool like Whitespark Reputation Manager. They offer fair monthly pricing and walk your customers through the exact steps necessary to quickly post a review on your preferred sites.
Where Should You Collect Reviews?
While there are dozens of review sites to choose from, the two that offer the most potential include:
With well over 1 billion active users, there’s a very good chance that your customer will have a Facebook account and will be looking at your reviews there.
Earning reviews on Google is important because they are the first thing that someone will see when performing a search for contractors in your area. In many cases, Google will rank contractors based on the number and strength of their reviews.
In addition to reviews on Google and Facebook, it’s also a good idea to build your presence on popular review sites like Yelp, HomeAdvisor, and even Angie’s List.
If you decide to use the Whitespark Reputation Manager, they allow you to choose from up to 5 sites for review monitoring.
How to Respond to Negative Reviews
Successful marketing for contractors is as much about how you handle negative reviews as it’s about the number of positive reviews you’re able to generate.
When responding to negative reviews, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. They include:
Try to Contact the Reviewer Directly to Resolve the Situation
In many cases, contacting the reviewer directly and seeing what you can do to reconcile the situation can cause them to turn their negative review into a positive one.
Respond Calmly to Any Negative Reviews
Even if a negative review is completely unjustified, it’s important that you NEVER respond in anger. While a potential customer is unlikely to write you off due to a single bad review, they almost certainly will if they see that you handled the situation poorly.
When it comes to marketing for contractors, it’s hard to imagine that there is anything more important than reputation management.
By utilizing the steps, tips, and tactics outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to developing a reputation that brings in customers.