Have you looked at your reviews lately?
One thing I constantly see overlooked or undervalued in our industry is reputation management. Many times I see a contractor get a negative review and it just sits there. I’ve seen it justified in many different ways: I don’t remember the password to the review site, I just haven’t got the time, that person was crazy, or I have plenty of positive reviews. This is a bunch of Baloney! How companies respond to reviews, whether they are positive or negative can have a huge impact on your bottom line. You will either manage your business’s reputation on those review sites or the crazy people and competitors (I know it happens! feel free to email, click on the link and read this story) will manage it for you.
How the average consumer behaves….
When I am making a purchase I always look at the reviews, and I’m not the only one. In a recent study, 92% of consumers read online reviews. In this day and age, Americans have become almost accustomed to poor customer service. Great service has almost become the exception rather than the rule. If you don’t believe me call your cable company, bank, or even one of your competitors. Here are some fun facts about consumer reviews.
- 40% of people form an opinion of a business after reading just 3 reviews.
- When consumers were asked which type of business is reputation MOST important: Tradesmen(Plumbers / HVAC) were ranked 4th out of 19 types.
- 88% of people have been influenced by an online review.
- The Star rating was considered the #1 factor in judging a business.
How can I use this to my advantage?
Chances are your competitors are feeling the same and many will not take the time or effort to handle the business’s online reputation. No one wants customers to have a negative experience but chances are some will. Many just don’t understand the nature of the business. When someone writes a negative review it doesn’t have to be a blemish on your record. It can be the stage on which you display your business’s devotion to customer satisfaction and service. By responding to negative reviews in a creative, (this does not mean getting into an online argument) solution oriented way, you can actually boost other potential customers confidence that your company will do what’s in the their best interest.
Putting it into action
To continue to grow your HVAC Business, you must stay on top of what the customers are saying. Some strategies to give your business the competitive edge is of course responding to the negative reviews in the way mentioned above.
Also, after a negative review is left online offer a spiff to your service techs or customers encouraging promote and leave positive reviews. By doing so, this it will force the negative out of the top 3 reviews that people see on Google. Feel free to email me any questions or future topics to write about!