Good online reviews humanise your companies digital presence.
82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses
Online reviews (the good and the bad) can help you win more clients.
They provide backup to your claims.
Are you the quickest and friendliest plumber in the South West?
Jake in Bath thinks you are too! And your prospective clients are listening to Jake: did you know 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses?
In fact, 88% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as if they’d received a personal recommendation.
Online reviews persuade customers to use your services
When a customer discovers your business online, they are unlikely to purchase your services based on the copy on your site alone.
People want to know that what they’re paying for is high quality and that you’re going to do a good job. They trust other customers to tell them the truth.
Online businesses understand the value of good product reviews to be so high that certain companies on Amazon have been found to be guilty of paying testers to leave online reviews (and at ~£13 each, what an excellent and morally corrupt way to earn money).
There’s even a science to it: tests have shows a 4.7 star review is considered an ‘optimal’ rating, whilst a perfect 5 star rating for a brand, product or service may be distrusted by customers, appearing “too good to be true”.
As a tradesperson, you need to make sure you’re displaying your online reviews
Essentially, it is very important you have a way of displaying your reviews online.
Hosting them on your website is good. Hosting them on an external site where customers can submit them is better (it looks more honest!).
For instance: if you set up a Google My Business account, you can add your business to local listings.
This includes the map that pops up if you search for ‘[service] near me’.
Customers that have used your company can use this to leave a Google review of your service.
Now, when a customer discovers your company online, they can easily see all your important information: your availability, contact details and online reviews.
Facebook is also a good platform on which to have customers submit reviews. Most internet users are familiar with it and trust honest testimonials to have been left by real people.
Negative online reviews offer you an opportunity to be authentic
As a tradesperson, having a 5 star rating is great (and kudos to you if all your customer interactions have been overwhelmingly positive).
However, it is often difficult to escape negative reviews.
This doesn’t have to be a problem: receiving (a few!) bad reviews gives you the opportunity to demonstrate the depth of your customer service skills.
As the volume of positive reviews online outweighs the volume of negative ones, consumers pay a greater amount of attention to negative ones when they stumble across them.
You can take advantage of this by showing prospective clients you’re able to professionally handle a bad outcome and can do so in a well humoured manner.
Win more clients by responding to your online reviews
We recommend you respond to good and bad reviews. Of consumers who read reviews, 97% will also look at a businesses responses to them!
Replying to good reviews makes your brand look approachable and friendly and inspires customer loyalty.
Our top tips for publicly responding to a bad review:
- Be professional! However annoyed you are, grit your teeth and try to understand what the customer is saying and reply to their issues
Acknowledge and apologise (tuck your tail between your legs if you have to). Try to avoid saying things like ‘I’m sorry you feel…’ as this makes it look like you’re blaming the customer.
Ensure the reader understand this is not a common occurrence (slip in a little marketing) and tell them what it is people normally love about your service.
Offer to follow up the conversation offline and state that you are keen to turn the situation around
The start of your online journey with Shake & Speare
The average consumer reads 10 reviews before deciding to trust a business. Most of these then read a company’s responses to the reviews.
If you’re trying to fully optimise your online presence, this means you may have your work cut out for you collecting, managing and replying to reviews.
This is where we come in (if you want!). We can manage review campaigns for you, integrated with your local listings and social media.
Interested? We recommend checking out our websites for trades page, or shooting us a message on email@example.com.
We’re always open to a chat, and if you’d like to meet up then consider the beers on us!