Then you know it’s not taken for granted actually to get one. Even customers who show high satisfaction levels with your service may turn you off, show themselves as technophobic, or just forget about it as soon as you walk through the door.
The truth is, getting home service business reviews can be tricky, especially considering competitive home service markets. The average home service business only gets one review for every 20 jobs they complete. That’s probably because before you even get to ask for a review, you need to have the customer book your services, which can be difficult if you don’t already have an abundance of positive reviews in stock. This can be twice as hard if you only started running your business, which means that you’re struggling to build a reputation from the ground up.
The good news is that reviews are worth it. 91% of 18-34-year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 93% of consumers say that online reviews influence their purchase decisions. That means that reviews (which come for free) are the best ads you possibly put out there. They’re sure far more effective than handing out flyers or posting an ad on the paper. Even better, customers are willing to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews, which means you can afford to increase your rates as your positive reviews pile up.
The even better news is that beating the competition is easier than you might think. Contrary to common belief, the main objective you should aspire to is not just one or two positive reviews but a high ranking on search engines and reviews websites, preferably with dozens of positive reviews and fewer negative ones. Most businesses actually fail to do, for example, by not responding to customers’ reviews, which costs them plenty of money. If you have a consistent work method, you can achieve that goal in a few weeks to a few months.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make this happen, plus a few pro tips for moving even higher up the ranking ladder.
Step 1: Build
You can’t ask your customers to rate your services if they don’t exist online. Before asking for a review, make sure your online presence is up to date. That means having a website alongside social media accounts, a Google My Business page, and preferably some entries on Yelp, Yellowpages, and such. Remember that even one positive review, no matter where can make a real difference for your business. However, if your customers ask where you would rather have a review, it’s better to refer them to Google, as their positive review may rank you higher on search results. You can always send them the direct link to your Google My Business page to make things easier.
Step 2: Ask
Don’t assume that customers will be so grateful to look you up online and leave a review just because you have an online presence. Get over being shy and simply ask them to do so.
However, this strategy may backfire if the job isn’t over yet or the customer isn’t fully satisfied. Better be safe than sorry. Take at least 5 minutes out of each home visit to simply ask the customer, “Is there anything that we do well or could be doing better?”. You can also throw in, “Can I leave you any feedback on Google? If so, what would you like me to put down exactly?” but don’t lead them too much. You can even shorten it by telling them that they may get entered into a drawing for some awesome home appliances if they leave an online testimonial about their home services experience with you.
Many home service providers will also leave a business card with a review request attached to it. You can easily do the same (and save some trees) using Workiz’s review request automation via the Automation Center.
Step 3: Reply to negative reviews
This is perhaps the scariest part for every business owner, which might explain why so many businesses prefer avoiding it. Reading negative feedback, which can often be offensive, is not an easy experience to go through, but it’s essential to your business reputation more than any positive review you’ll ever get.
In fact, many customers will look at your negative reviews first just to see how you handle them. Suppose you reply respectfully while making sure the problem is addressed and solved. In that case, you’ll create the impression of excellent non-compromising customer service, which is priceless in terms of the business’s selling point.
Pro tips: how to climb up the ranking ladder higher and faster
- Avoid the bots
We don’t think bots are capable of writing bad reviews, but who knows? Anyways, be mindful of sites’ rules regarding buying or incentivizing good reviews. This is a common mistake among service business owners looking for a shortcut to enable more reviews in less time.
If you already have genuine reviews with fluffy adjectives like “amazing,” “wonderful,” and “perfect” that normally suggest the use of bots, at least avoid removing negative reviews, as they may help make your positive ones look more authentic.
- Automate your requests
Why try so hard to get a review every single time? Just send an automated message once a job is done. You can set such automation using the Workiz platform and even change the message to make it sound like you. Here are some easy-to-use templates we created with our partners at Signpost to get you started in no time.
Then again, automating a review request comes with the risk of getting a negative review. Include a survey in your review request to identify any problems before your customers post them online. Even a short line saying “we appreciate you leaving feedback” or “we would love to know how was your experience with us” can make a big difference for customers who may have some issues with you. Note that you can always create detailed surveys using tools like Google Forms or SurveyMonkey.
- Handpick the customers who will review your services
Don’t ask for a review from anyone. Better not bother someone who is having a bad day with a request that may drive them to take out their frustrations on your business. Also, don’t ever ask for a review before a job is done. It’s best to wait with the request for a review until after you have fixed the problem or returned to the customer’s residence the next day so you can be confident of your work.
If you genuinely want to save time and build your reputation with minimum effort, we suggest giving Workiz’s review request automation a try. Just enter the Automation Center, select the “Review Request” automation, and personalize the message however you like. And if you’re new to Workiz in general, why not try all it has to offer? Get Started with a 7-day free trial to see how it can take your business to the next level. We believe you’ll be amazed at how it makes service business management so much easier.