Emily B,Dec 17, 2018 @ 5:36PM
Online reviews play a huge role in building a successful home service business.
After all, homeowners want to hire professionals they can trust to come into their home and get the job done right.
Whatever your field of expertise, every home service business owner needs to think about where and how to get customer reviews that matter.
That’s why it’s so important to establish a presence on popular review sites. The more reviews you get, the more people will discover your business online and read reviews that convince them to hire you.
Which sites should you start with? While it’s good to diversify, there are a few key players that deserve your focus.
But before we talk about which specific websites matter most for your home service business, let’s talk about why you should care about online reviews in the first place.
Reviews help build your online presence. The more customer reviews you get on popular websites, the more visibility you receive and the easier it is for new customers to discover your business online.
Customer reviews are the ultimate form of social proof. It always sends the right message when your customers are willing to publicly vouch for the quality of your work and professionalism. In fact, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family.
By the time someone is checking out your customer reviews, they’re actively looking to hire a home service business. BrightLocal found that 92% of customers read online reviews when researching local businesses and 68% trust your business more after reading positive reviews.
It’s always a bummer to get a negative review. But here’s a silver lining: people view positive reviews as more believable when there’s a negative comment in the mix. Leaving up bad reviews shows readers that your reviews are unbiased, which instills a greater sense of trust in potential customers.
There are tons of places to ask for reviews online, so how do you decide where to focus your efforts? Start with these four review sites that matter most for home service businesses.
(Note that these are listed in alphabetical order, not ranking.)
Over 6 million people across the country use Angie’s List to connect with trusted local service providers. The site collects and displays detailed customer reviews for over 720 different services.
Angie’s List goes out of their way to ensure the legitimacy of their reviews. For instance, reviews cannot be made anonymously as users must create an account before they can participate. To protect businesses and customers alike, each user can only review a particular business once every six months.
In addition to leaving reviews, customers can assign your business a grade from A to F. So, even if someone is just skimming reviews, they can get a sense of how previous clients feel about your business.
There are plenty of reasons to create an official Facebook page for your business – including the opportunity to collect tons of customer reviews. The site is a marketing goldmine for home service business owners, especially because most of your customers likely already have accounts.
It’s easy for homeowners to ask for recommendations, research, and contact local businesses directly through Facebook. So, it’s important to encourage happy customers to write reviews and rate your business. And since anything posted on Facebook is attached to the user’s account, there’s an extra layer of credibility and transparency built into customer reviews.
For most of your potential customers, Google is the go-to search engine for just about everything. That means they’re turning to Google when they need to find local home service professionals like you.
So, not only do you need to create and claim your Google My Business profile, but you should also encourage customers to leave reviews here.
We can’t talk about customer reviews without mentioning Yelp. The site publishes a whopping 26,000 new reviews per minute.
So, it’s no surprise that many homeowners use Yelp as a trusted source of information about local contractors and businesses. In fact, 82% of the people who visit Yelp do so once they’re ready to make a purchase or hire a service provider.
You can also reply to customer reviews on Yelp, either privately or publicly, which makes it easier to address negative comments and thank positive reviewers for their kind words. This helps you build stronger customer relationships and prevent readers from being swayed by unfair comments.
Once you’ve established a healthy presence on the core sites mentioned above, you should consider expanding your focus to even more review sites.
Not only can you grow your business and connect with customers on Thumbtack, but it’s also a good place for home service businesses to collect reviews. After a job is completed, customers can leave public reviews on your profile – which can boost your credibility and help you land new work through Thumbtack.
Another option is to ask your best customers for testimonials that you can share on your own website. You should also pull and display reviews from the sites listed above. This allows anyone who checks out your site to see what customers are saying about you across the web.
Do a quick Google search to see what sites show up when someone looks for local HSBs in your area. For example, you can search for “Sacramento plumber” and see what comes up. The top results give you a good idea of where your business needs to be listed and which review sites you need to build a presence on.