Wolseley PRO Pipeline Blog
In an industry that’s largely based offline, it’s a surprise to many that contractors rely heavily on an online presence for their business. As a plumbing or HVAC contractor, referrals are key to business. People hearing about your services and people giving referrals based on their previous jobs with you is extremely important to maintaining and growing a job base. But not all of these referrals happen through face-to-face interactions. Many of these happen online between strangers who have one common goal: finding a good contractor for the job.That’s why online reviews matter for contractors!
The Reality of Online Reviews
Most people will turn to search engines to find a contractor or company for their renovations rather than asking friends, family or coworkers. It’s just a faster way to get more immediate answers. When potential clients are looking at online reviews of you and your competitors, there are both positive and negative reviews floating around. This is common for all companies, no matter how big or small.
But the reality is that people usually only leave reviews when they are negative and want to air their opinion to as many people as possible. That’s why positive online reviews are so coveted and crucial for businesses. In fact, 74% of people say that positive online reviews make them trust a business more. So how do you get to these all-important positive reviews? It begins with placing your business in the public eye online.
How To Get Your Contracting Business Online (In The Right Places)
Getting online reviews means that people should be able to find your presence online. Make sure to get your business registered on all major reviewing sites, like Yelp, Facebook and Google. You can also create a business profile on niche-specific websites, like HomeAdvisor and Houzz. The more specific you get, the more likely you’ll be visible to people who are looking for your type of work.
Why Online Reviews and Presence Matters
By getting your business on these sites, you help your name get out to the public on review forums, and build your SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization. When people are talking about your business name online and your services, it boosts your SEO score and helps your business rank higher in local search engine results. This means when people are searching for your type of industry service online, you’re more likely to show up as one of the first few companies in the search results.
SEO may sound like a secondary goal to your business, but if you can outrank competing businesses in SEO, you’ll receive more website clicks, phone calls or emails.
How To Get Reviews As a Contractor
If your business is on the sites people look at the most, then you’re already a step in the right direction for getting positive reviews. Your next task is actually getting online reviews for your contracting business. Getting these takes a bit of self-marketing on your part. If your business is smaller than some larger franchised firms, that may mean a smaller pool of potential customers that can review your work. Every review counts!
One of the best ways to get positive reviews is by asking clients for one. During the final sign-off on your projects, take the opportunity to ask for a review. A great way to do it is by saying, “I hope you can recommend me to others if you like the job I’ve completed.” If the client responds positively, it leads to the next step of the conversation: Inviting them to post a review or some “feedback” for you online on a site of your choice, like the ones previously mentioned.
You may want to give them a direct link to the website via email or leave them with a card that has the platforms they can post to. There are even platforms that can generate a review form specific to the questions you want to be answered.
Why Managing Online Reviews Matters
Keep an active effort when it comes to putting your business out there. Take a look at what your online reviews look like on a regular basis. While you do hope for mainly positive reviews, there are some clients out there that may post a negative review.
The best thing you can do with these types of online reviews is to appreciate the feedback from the client, try and rectify the situation when possible. This can involve reaching out to the client to follow up with their complaint (if the review was not anonymous) and work to resolve their negative experience. Sometimes, clients will go back in and change their online review once a situation has been corrected. This changes what was once a negative view of your business into a positive.
This reflects well on your business for a few reasons:
● It shows that you care about your clients, whether they are currently working with you or not
● It shows that you care about the quality of your work and take pride in your completed projects
● It shows that you can problem solve and provide solutions when necessary
Begin Getting Reviews
Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of why online reviews matter, how to get your contracting business in the public eye, how to get online reviews and how to manage them, all you need to do is start!
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