In the digital age, many contractors have been pushed to use review websites such as Angie’s list, Home Advisor, and BBB. One major question that has come up, is how to use them effectively to grow your business? Using review websites has pros, and cons, laid out below is the knowledge you will need to start using review websites as a tool to grow your business.
What Review Websites Offer
Nearly all review websites include a basic format. Contractors have a rating based on previous customers experiences, and the website sends leads to contractors. These features have their pros, and cons, but when used efficiently, can grow your business exponentially.
How Reviews Work
Reviews are a way that customers can express their opinions about your performance as a contractor. The better your reviews, the more business you will generate. They also give you an opportunity to interact with customers after a job is completed. Fixing any issues that a customer has after a project is completed can help create a strong base of positive reviews.
How to Handle Bad Review
Just due to the nature reviews, there will always be at least one negative. On sites where reviews mean so much, knowing how to address complaints is critical. General guidelines for handling bad reviews are:
Address the issue as soon as possible
Letting the issue linger for a long time will show potential customers that you lack interest in what they have to say. On the flip side responding, and fixing the issue quickly will result in a positive customer experience.
The customer is always right
You have probably heard this phrase before, but in this case it is especially true. Your livelihood on these websites is how many positive reviews you have, and arguing with a customer about whether you did or did not complete a job correctly will only hurt your business.
Be willing to go back and fix mistakes
If this isn’t already a practice in your business you should start. Going back and talking with customers and fixing mistakes, shows dedication to customers. Something like this can turn most negative reviews into positive ones.
Not everything is fixable
Sometimes the situation cannot be fixed, or the customer is unwilling to work with you to find a happy medium. This is not a complete loss. While you may have a negative review, one or two reviews will not destroy your reputation, as long as you have a strong base of positive reviews. Do your best to fix it, but know when it won’t work out and move on.
How Leads Work
A lead is a potential customer that is sent to you by the review website. Leads are crucial to getting more business, but if used incorrectly can cause waste time and money.
- Allows new customers to find you.
- Is able to be turned on and off as needed
- Fairly cheap when you have a large closure rate
- You may receive bad leads, or people not really interested in your service. (You can always call the website and get a credit back)
- Leads can be expensive if you aren’t closing
How to use Leads Effectively
When you receive leads, you have two main ways they can go. The first being they result in a client, the second being they aren’t interested in your services.
Turning leads into business generally follows a few key factors.
- Response time
- Narrowing your coverage
- Quality of interaction
Using the the four strategies, makes you more likely to get good leads. Once you get a good lead, closing of the deal is up to you. When you start communicating with the lead, it’s up to how well you can close a deal.
When to Use Leads
It is not always a good choice to use the lead service. Why? Well, when you finally get a strong customer base, you will be able to work from referrals, and reviews, thus removing the need for leads. You can always turn it back on if business starts to get slow again.
Use leads only when you are making money from them, if you are paying more for the leads then you get back in business, then stop the service. Think critically about what is not allowing you to close leads, and fix the issue.
Angie’s List, Home Advisor, BBB and other contractor review websites, when used effectively, can grow your business and/or save your business. Knowing how fix negative reviews, and use leads effectively are the first step to a successful business.