Customer satisfaction is largely reflected in your online reviews, which is why it’s important for your contractor business to have plenty of them.
Reviews are also important because:
Top-rated contractors are more likely to appear higher in online search results, leading to more business
Online reviews are social proof of the quality of your services
Customer feedback allows you to continuously improve your business
A high number of stellar reviews often makes the difference between getting booked for a service or not. Customers spend a significant amount of time reading through reviews before deciding which contractor they want to give their business to, giving you more reason to gather as many as you can.
Below are five steps your contractor business can take to secure more positive online reviews that set you apart from the competition.
Ask for reviews in person as soon as a service is complete.
One of the best ways to ask for a review is face-to-face. All it takes is thanking your customers for their business, asking for a moment to leave you a review, and explaining how much it would mean to your business. This works especially well when customers have already expressed satisfaction or gratitude for your service.
A convenient option is to give customers a business card with a QR code to scan, or clear instructions on how to best leave you a review.
Giving your customers adequate face time also allows them to ask you any questions they might have about the review process. Take this opportunity to address any concerns and offer guidance on how they can give you the reviews you need. This helps them with any hesitations they might have about navigating the review process
By talking with your customers in person, you have the opportunity to build a deeper personal connection and foster a sense of trust.
Utilize social media to encourage customer engagement and gather reviews.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are great places to grow your reputation and engage with your customers, especially since people tend to flock to these online spaces to ask their friends and family for recommendations.
When people tag you in their suggestions, make sure that you follow up by thanking them and possibly even then asking them to leave you a review.
Gather more reviews through your social media platforms by posting things like:
Written or video testimonials from satisfied customers to encourage other customers to share their own experiences
Explaining how reviews are important to your business, and directing customers to your review page by sharing a link
Share before and after photos or videos of a completed project to encourage praise and feedback in the comments
Posting consistently is key to staying relevant to your audience’s needs, growing your social media presence, and attracting potential customers down the road. The more you post and engage your audience, your satisfied customers will be inclined to join in on the conversation and sing your praises in online reviews.
Send email review requests.
Asking for reviews through email is a tried and true practice that businesses have traditionally relied on. Email review requests should be sent after a service has been completed, with enough time in between for the customer to fully gauge the satisfactory job that was performed. That way they can write you a fair and thoughtful review.
The key to a successful email review request is to keep it short and sweet—you want your message to be as simple as possible while respecting your customer’s time. Your email should also include personalized, key details about how you’ve helped them and a clear link to your review page. Additionally, the email request should come from the contractor who worked directly with the customer.
For example, you can write something like:
Your feedback helps us improve our ability to provide you with the best service possible. Here’s the link to our Google review page: [link].
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us at [number].
Thank you, and we look forward to serving you again soon. — [Contractor Name]
Experiment with different subject lines to see what works best for you. Sometimes it helps to have the customer’s name in the subject line, or to note the specific service you provided.
Text review requests to your customers.
Get your review request seen almost instantly when you text it. Text messages have a very high open rate, which gives you an easy way to connect with customers after you’ve completed a job for them.
Get customers opted in to receive texts by:
Advertising keywords—like PLUMBER—which customers can text to receive discounts or updates
Putting an SMS Chat widget on your homepage—customers can use it to start text conversations with you that continue on their phones
Adding a section for phone numbers on your contact forms with a clear disclaimer that you’ll use the number to send texts
If customers have opted in to receive texts from you, send a quick “thank you for choosing us” message with your review link attached. Like email, it’s best to keep your texts short and to the point so customers know exactly what you’re asking for. Pre-made text templates come in handy here, so you don’t have to draft a message every time you send a review request.
That can look something like:
Hi, [First Name]! Thanks for choosing [Your Contractor Business]. To best serve you and others, would you mind leaving us a review? Here’s the link: [URL]. Thank you!
A well-equipped business texting software with review management capabilities can help you connect with your customers and manage reviews all in the same place.
Respond to all reviews—both positive and negative.
One of the most important things you can do as a business owner is to actively respond and engage with all reviews, regardless of whether they’re positive or negative. This signals to other customers that their reviews will be acknowledged, which can prompt them to share their own experiences and increase your overall amount of reviews.
When responding to reviews:
Use an appropriate, professional tone of voice
Offer resolutions, if needed
Note valid criticisms to further improve your services
You’re bound to leave a lasting impression when customers see you’re focused on resolving their concerns. This demonstrates that you care about their opinions and value their business. It’s also important to vary your responses so that customers know that a real person is acknowledging them behind the screen.
When responding to a positive review, thank your customers, use personalized language, and recognize what you’re doing to make them happy.
With a negative review, you should also thank the customer and acknowledge their frustration. Demonstrate that you’re willing to work with them until a resolution is found. When customers see you respond to feedback, it’ll encourage more of them to leave you reviews.
Ready to start gathering more reviews for your business? Find a reputation management software that’s right for you.
Jessica Ayre is a content marketing specialist at Text Request, a business texting solution. If you want to start texting with customers from your business and getting high-quality reviews, Text Request can give you all the tools and resources you need to create a safe and successful text messaging strategy.