Navigating the world of the internet when you run your own business isn’t easy. There are a million things going on at once so having to stay on top of things like social media and your website takes time. Today we are going to look at one area, online reviews, that is often neglected but can really help drive more business in the door while building trust and credibility.
One thing that every single Tradie that runs their own business can do without any additional costs and doesn’t take up too much time is get more online reviews.
It wasn’t too long ago, a good review was mostly driven by word of mouth down the pub or picking the kids up at school. Now, with the incredible growth in online shopping and people turning to Google to find businesses more often it means if you don’t have an online presence you are probably missing out on opportunities.
The building blocks to successful online reviews are nearly always there in most businesses. Google and Facebook are the two most popular places for people to leave feedback on a business. In a 2018 study, it was found that 63.6% of consumers check Google reviews before visiting a business. That’s a lot.
So when you think how much people take reviews into consideration, consider this. Someone googles “Emergency Plumber Sydney”. Then a million plumbers come up in the google Business listings. Assuming all other aspects are equal, who do they pick? The business with 4.5/5 from 5 reviews or the business with 4.9/5 from 60 reviews?
Exactly. So now we know reviews are important, how do you get more into your business and make the most of online reviews?
We have put together 5 top tips that you can easily put into action to help you leverage off online reviews and get more business in the door. If you haven’t set your business up on Google or Facebook it is super easy, and that needs to be done before you do any of this. If you aren’t sure how, check out Google’s My Business here and how to set up FaceBooks listing here. If you are just starting out, maybe start with one and get it going well before you tackle both at once.
- Respond to every single online review
This one is so easy to do and has such a great impact. Not only will the reviewer feel like their business is even more valued when you respond, anyone looking at your reviews will see how much you care and begin to start forging a good opinion of your business.
It doesn’t have to be a novel, just thanks very much and we appreciate your business is more than enough. If you want to have some more fun with it, that is your prerogative but just remember, your response will begin to forge peoples opinion of who you are as a business and Tradie.
If you get a bad online review, we cover off how to handle that in point 3.
2. Don’t be scared to ask!
This can be a bit daunting at first but once you have done it a few times it will become second nature.
People generally appreciate good work. So if you have finished a job and you’ve done a good job a lot of people won’t hesitate to give you good feedback. All you need to do is ask.
On departure from the job or when you speak to them next, all you need to do is ask if they are happy (which will be yes) and if so, could they please leave a Google or Facebook review.
You can always print out a few little cards to leave behind or put it on your invoice when you print it off encouraging people to leave a review. However, nothing is more important than asking yourself.
3. A bad review is a second chance
Bad reviews appear for a million different reasons. Firstly, the worst thing you can possibly do is respond negatively and get into an argument. So, don’t do that.
If you do happen to get one.
Respond calmly and with empathy. For example:
“We are really sorry to hear you aren’t 100% happy with our service. I am the owner of the business and I will personally reach out to you to discuss.
If you don’t know who the customer is from the review, leave your contact details in the response and ask them to reach out for you to speak to them. An email is fine like firstname.lastname@example.org.
Then, when you do get a hold of them you need to be all ears. Ask them what the problem is and how you can fix it. Always let them speak no matter what and offer solutions to fix the problem. A lot of the time, you will find a way to turn the problem around.
Once you have solved the problem with the customer you will find they will be so pleased that you have gone out of your way to resolve their issue, they will often update their review to reflect the great outcome. Just, don’t be afraid to ask!
4. Be proud of them
This one is easy. Be proud of your online reviews! Share them as much as you can to spread the word of how much your customers love you. A few ways to share them even more are:
- If you have a website, put them on the page.
- If you are on social media, share screenshots of the links to the reviews and thank your customers again for such positive feedback. Even if the review is on the same platform (I.E. a FaceBook review) still share it as a post!
- If you email a lot, add a link to your reviews in your email signature.
The more you can show people how good your work is, the more chance you have of winning more business!
5. Don’t stop
Starting is tough but keeping it going can be tougher! It is so important to ensure once you start all of these good behaviors, you keep them going and build a strong presence for your business online.
A good way to stay on top of them is to download the Google My Business app to your phone so you can respond on the go. Plus if you are at a job, you can show your customers how to find your listing online.
A great reputation isn’t built overnight. Stay focused, don’t give up and before you know it you will have a solid base of online reviews to help you get more jobs!
Check out our reviews!