20 years ago, if someone told you that in order to have a successful business, you would need to have great online reviews, you probably would have laughed in their face. In this time, everyone would have laughed with. In 2020 however, not only is this some serious advice, but it’s a vital piece of information that can dictate your business.
The past 20 years have seen a digital revolution that will likely go down in history. At first, it was easy to brush off the internet and things like social media as nothing more than a fad or just a passing trend. Many leading market analysts and lead professors did just that, only to be highly embarrassed as the use of both of these things exploded and change the way we do many things, including business. Some think that there are still certain industries that have not yet been touched by technological advancements. If that is true, I can promise you that The Home Service Industry isn’t one of them.
Where do digital products fit into the home service business exactly? Well, you may not work with them every day, but your customers do. Today, when people want to work with someone, they will likely look for reliable information, starting at the review section. The Home Service industry is no exception to this rule.
What the Statistics Tell Us
One of the gifts the internet has given us is the ability to reach a massive audience for surveys and data collection. These numbers all give us shocking insight to as to what reviews look like and how often they are used.
Did you know that Home services is tied in second place for the most reviews for a business sector on Yelp? In total, 17% of all yelp reviews are for the home service business. Shopping (as a general category) is its current challenger for second place. Unsurprisingly, first place (with 18% of all yelp reviews) goes to restaurants. It’s also worth noting that both the restaurant and the shopping industry have been heavily impacted by COVID whereas the home industry may see an increase in sales as people are forced to spend time in their homes.
When it comes to buyers, there are a few generalities. Did you know that 90% of all buyers look at the reviews before purchasing a product? Of those buyers, many trust reviews just as much as they would trust a personal recommendation, if not more. Of the 90% of those who look at them, 96% of consumers rate them as extremely valuable to the buying process. Many consumers note that they are willing to pay more to businesses with good reviews.
When we look at 90% for the home service industry in particular, we see that 68% of consumers say the reviews are extremely valuable to them. They actively use them as a guide to pick out the best option for them.
87% of consumers looking at the home industry service will check the reviews for quality references. This can be a little troubling. Past customers who’ve had a bad experience are more inclined to go leave a review than those who have had good experiences. There are ways to turn this around though, and some of them will be talked about below.
78% of consumers check online reviews for price references. This may shock you, since your prices are most likely on your website, but a lot of them aren’t looking for the flat rates. Do you have any hidden fees? Do you competitors have better prices? Is the work you do with the price? Does the competitor have a better deal than you do? Many reviewers who have shopped around will have answered these questions for them.
With those things in mind, we can see some of the things that are the most important to customers. There is still one more point that many reviewers have noted. A total of 56% of consumers look for recent reviews. These people want to see the newest reviews on your work, not a review from a year ago. Consumers are highly likely to only look at reviews from the last two weeks to get an idea of your business. There are also several people who have noted that they don’t trust reviews that are more than a month old. If you have a pile of reviews, that might not be enough. You also need to look at how recent they are.
Finally, let’s talk about where to focus. There are many different sites to leave reviews on and it’s impossible to keep track of them all. If your thinking about what areas to focus your efforts on, you need to look at yelp. The reason why? 74% of consumers look at yelp when they’re reading the online reviews. If all of your positive reviews are on your Facebook page, then you are missing about three-quarters of potential customers.
All of these statistics are unbelievably high. Today, it’s seemed impossible that anyone in the world would agree. They fact that they agree on this is a signal that we should pay attention.
Maybe you haven’t been focusing on your reviews, and that’s okay. There’s no time like the present to get started. Below are some tips to help you build up your platforms.
Quick Tips and Tricks to Bring Home Those Reviews.
Ask Customers if you can put out a sign
There are multiple bonuses to this strategy. First of all, it’s free advertising, especially if the service you provided was outdoors. But don’t just stick a sign with your logo in the dirt. Ask for a review right on that sign. Your customer will see it every day as they pass by and be reminded to write that review.
Leave your customers with a business card
Much like a sign, a business card is a visual reminder that they need to leave a review for the service. Include all of your company information on the front. Then, on the back, make a flashy design that can’t be missed, and ask your customers to leave a review that way.
Send out Emails
Today, many things require an email. If it’s a part of your service, then you already have a database to go on when it comes to emails. Use this to your advantage. When you’ve finished a job with a customer, send them a review request via email immediately. Let the job be fresh in their minds. A week later-send them another one. Then, send on final one about two weeks after the job was initially done. Don’t send anymore after that. By sending them three emails, you’re being persistent, but you’re not bugging them. By doing this within two weeks, your keeping the job fresh on their minds. If you ask them a month from now, most of their experience is forgotten.
Use a review generations software
There are more ways to reach your customer than just an email, but if you tried to do them all singlehandedly, it would take hours. One way to get around this is to use a review generation software. This will allow you to store customers contact information, such as an email and a phone number, and use it to contact them about reviews. In order for it to work, the person who completes the job for the customers would enter in the details and the system will take care of the rest.
Respond to your reviews
Whether they are good or bad, responding to your reviews will drive your site traffic and leave you with more happy customers.
Responding to good reviews will acknowledge that person and make them remember you, likely earning you a repeat customer.
Responding to bad reviews should be done carefully, but it should always be done. When you look at a bad review, give your self a second to breathe before you type the response. Don’t accuse the customer of anything. Try to resolve their issue. Even if they don’t respond, future consumer who are looking at your review page can see that you did at least try to work things out.
Finally, if you suspect a review is simply a fraud, handle it carefully. Respond to it in a manner that doesn’t outright accuse them of leaving a false review, but that does say something about not having them in your system. You should always try to get these reviews removed if you can. They won’t help your business.
Make Use of a review management platform
Your reviews give you an insight as to how your company is doing. They also provide testimonals you can use on social media. That all being said, how do you go through every single review and figure out what would be good for social media? A review management platform can help you with this. It will organize all of your reviews for you so that you can see what you need. Furthermore, it can also help you find the bad reviews so you can respond to your customers as needed.
The reason review responses are so important is because google actually pays attention to them. The more you respond, the more it reads the activity for your page. Therefore, you will come up higher in the search engine. Reviewers who see that you are actively responding reviews are also more likely to leave one themselves.
The home services business isn’t going away anytime soon. There are many people who need things done. But consumers have a lot of places to look when they are choosing the right company. It’s up to you to stand out.