If you’re in the home service business, especially residential plumbing, HVAC or electrical service, you rely heavily on online customer reviews for new customers – even if you think you don’t.
Customers can find reviews on the internet for practically anything, and if you think your business is immune, think again. Local home service businesses have a lot to gain, and even more to lose, from online reviews.
According to a recent local consumer review survey of 2,354 U.S. (90 percent) and Canadian (10 percent) respondents:
- 92 percent said they have read reviews online to determine the quality of a local business, with star rating being the number one factor used to judge the business. What does this mean? If you don’t have online reviews, and specifically good star ratings, you’re missing out on influencing the vast majority of your customers before they even pick up the phone. They’re already forming a less than neutral opinion of you just because there are no reviews.
- 40 percent said they form an opinion based on the first one to three reviews, with 44 percent saying a review must be less than one month old to be relevant. What does this mean? If you’re not generating new reviews on a consistent basis, you’re missing out on customers who will move on to a more relevant competitor with up-to-date reviews. You might offer better service and even better pricing than that competitor, but because your reviews are old, you won’t even get a chance to prove it to your customers.
- Only 13 percent said they would consider using a business that has a 1 or 2 star rating, with 68 percent saying positive reviews lead to more trust. What does this mean? Accidents happen. So do mistakes. While sometimes you can make good with a customer, and you try everything you can do to so, some customers are going to complain and have a problem no matter what you do to try and make things right. The first place they’ll go: the internet to write a review. The more positive reviews you can generate with satisfied customers, the more you’ll be able to counteract any unfortunate negative reviews that may surface.
If you want to generate more leads for your home service business, you need to encourage satisfied customers to write online reviews. As a home service public relations agency, we can help you develop a plan to engage with satisfied customers to consistently leave positive online reviews, boosting your value to new customers and generating more leads for your business.