When you last bought something online, did you receive an email that asked you to leave a review?
There’s a fair chance you did.
That’s because online business reviews are more important than ever so it’ll help to know the best ways to get more online reviews.
The internet has fundamentally changed how people make decisions about the products and services they buy.
Plumbing and heating businesses are no exception.
That means, these days, it’s absolutely vital to have a strategy if you want to get more online reviews as a plumbing and heating business.
Let’s explore the best ways to get more online business reviews for your plumbing and heating company:
Word-of-mouth vs. online business reviews
Before the web, most people would rely on word of mouth from peers they trusted.
They’d ask friends, family, or peers:
Which plumbing company should we use?
Do you know someone we can trust?
Are they expensive?
Today, the goal is still the same but the methods have changed and people still want to get the best value for money. This makes price, the services offered, and knowing if someone’s trustworthy still important factors in making a decision.
Of course, now, instead of friends and family, consumers put their trust in positive online reviews from people we’ve never met.
It’s now easier to find reviews than ever before and scouring the internet plays a massive role in a customer’s decision-making process:
64.4% of online shoppers trust their peers who have interacted with a company or a product more than any other influencer group (including friends and family).
These days, it’s easier than ever to find reviews. Thanks to services like Checkatrade, Trustpilot, and Capterra, you find reviews not just on products but on service companies and their specific services.
Over the years, we’ve all gotten used to Amazon and Google reviews, so much so, that a lot of us will scan websites looking for the telltale stars, numbers, and comments: even before reading about the products!
After all, how many times have you had a quick glance at the online business reviews left by other customers when you’ve been looking to buy something online?
86% of consumers say that reviews affect their decision to buy most of the time
Compare this with a plumbing business that doesn’t show that its customers are happy and you’ll see a massive difference.
This answers why it’s absolutely worth the time to get reviews from your clients not only for a specific service you offer but also for your reputation in general.
Another benefit of reviews is that they can help increase the traffic to your plumbing company’s website. This in turn helps with your SEO efforts. When you consider those review websites usually have high-authority domains, if they link to your website, Google automatically considers you more trustworthy.
On average, you need to have a minimum of six reviews to start building trust. So it’s better to start collecting reviews sooner, rather than later!
“68% of people say that they trust companies less if they have only positive reviews.”
Of course, you want more positive than negative, but research has found that people are more likely to trust websites that include at least one bad review. Having only positive customer feedback can seem fake and, after all, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
Besides, when you’re confident in the services you provide, and if you reply in a professional, measured way, a bad review can be an opportunity to rebuild rapport with a customer. It will demonstrate that you’re open to finding solutions when problems arise.
If you’d like to know more, here we have a great article on how to respond to a bad review. But it’s certainly true that having a few bad reviews can significantly increase the trust of potential clients.
Now that it’s clear how helpful online business reviews will be, the next question point to cover is: how exactly do you get customers to write a review?
There are plenty of ways to collect feedback, so let’s explore 10 great ways to get more online reviews.
Start by choosing which of your clients you’re going to ask to review you. It’s a good idea to begin with people who you know are happy with your service. Though customers with difficult situations often offer the best reviews, it’s only after you’ve fixed the issues, of course!
Next, decide when you’re going to ask the customer for a review.
Will it be just after they’ve had work completed?
After invoicing them or a week or so later?
You want to make sure that your service is still fresh in their mind so don’t wait too long.
2. Choose the best format
When you know who you want to target, it’s time to think about how you’ll ask for the review.
Should you or someone else in the office send an email?
You’ll need to schedule regular posts because the lifetime of a social media post is much shorter than a blog post’s, for example.
Try to post when your customers are most likely to see it – find out which day, week or time works best.
If you use Twitter, try adding an image or infographic to your post. Content with images gets more views than content without. You can also use your Facebook or LinkedIn account.
Always try to include a link or blog post along with the link to the review form. This lets your customers feel more engaged with your plumbing company and engaged customers are more likely to submit positive reviews.
To add a badge, simply ask the developer in charge of maintaining your site. If you don’t have someone who knows how to do this, ask the review site’s support team for assistance.
6. Don’t be afraid of bad reviews!
We cannot overstate how important it is to reach out to your customers if they leave a negative review.
They might have left a poor review because of something you can fix and by working with the customer, you might turn a bad experience into an excellent one. But responding shows you care about them and want to improve your service.
A bad review with a good response from your plumbing company can be more effective at building trust with potential customers, way more than hundreds of silent, good reviews.
Don’t forget, however, to ask the customer who left the bad review to revise their feedback after the situation has reached a happy conclusion!
7. Write a blog post
A blog post focusing on reviews and the importance of giving feedback will engage your customers.
They will feel more motivated to let you (and prospective customers) know about how your service improved their home and quality of life.
Not only this, but it will help with your SEO and bring more people to your website, as well.
8. Incentivise your customers
Don’t hesitate to give incentives to your customers for the time they spend reviewing your product.
After all, time is money.
Keep in mind, however, that you can’t offer incentives in exchange for positive reviews only and that most sites have a pretty strict legislature on this subject. Make sure you stick to the rules!
People do their research before choosing a service provider. This is why having reviews is important. These types of reviews act as a channel for word of mouth to happen.
If you offer great service from the start people might write you a review, but a small incentive can increase those chances even more.
So by incentivising your customers, you have the opportunity to increase your word of mouth (WoM marketing) and reach a ton of new prospects.