You offer HVAC services to homeowners and businesses and you want the whole world to know. You always put your best foot forward and you provide service to your customers that is always above and beyond their expectations. The customers you serve are always pleased with your work and you want to parlay their happiness into more business for your company.
Word of mouth is an effective way for your past customers to help your business grow, but these days, there's nothing better than online reviews. Almost every consumer looks at online reviews before making a purchase or hiring a service. In fact, 93% of shoppers say that online reviews influence their purchasing decisions, and a whopping 97% of people say they read reviews of local businesses.
It seems clear that a major key to drawing new customers to your business is through the publication of online reviews. But how can a business get more reviews on the websites that potential customers visit?
Read on to find out how to get online reviews for your HVAC business. Although some reviews will happen organically, there are strategies to encourage your happy customers to take the time to write a review and techniques most are easy to apply.
How to Get Many Excellent Online Reviews for Your Business
When strategizing ways to get online reviews for your HVAC business, there are two crucial things to keep in mind: quantity and quality.
When it comes to quantity, the more online reviews that your business has, the better. This is important for two reasons. First, people tend to gravitate towards businesses that have the most online reviews. A large number of reviews suggests that a particular company has been in business for a while, that it is reliable, and that it is well-liked. Second, on the rare occasion that you have an unsatisfied or picky customer and he or she leaves a negative review, many good reviews will cancel those bad reviews out.
You also will want to seek out high-quality reviews. You want the online reviews that are posted about your business to sing high praises of your work, your products, your staff, your costs, and your end results. If you provide positive offerings in all of these areas, then this part should take care of itself.
- Ask For Reviews
One of the best ways to get more online reviews is simple: just ask for them.
It may seem strange or uncomfortable to ask a customer to write an online review for you, but this practice is common today. In fact, it's likely the reason that some of your competitors have so many reviews.
Of course, you don't want unhappy customers to leave reviews, so you will want to make sure they are satisfied with your work before making your request. In order to accomplish this, ask them open-ended questions about their thoughts on the quality of service, the ease of communication, and other factors. If their responses are positive, thank them and ask them to write you an online review.
And if they are not happy with your work, you will find out and have the opportunity to correct it. We a saying here: "If one person speaks up, they are like 5-10 more who have the same question/problem, but are not yet speaking up." Remember this multiplier as steel yourself for hearing the bad with the good.
This practice is helpful in two ways. Not only will it give you a great lead-in to ask for a review, but it will give the customer ideas of what to write about when he or she sits down to pen the review.
- Reach Out
After you've completed work for customers, it doesn't hurt to reach out to thank them for their business. This type of contact is most effective when it is personalized. A thank you note via postal mail or email is a great way to close out a business relationship until you are needed again. Sending a note of this sort will help to remind the customer to leave you online feedback.
If you contact your customer via email, you will have the opportunity to include a direct link to an online review site. This will make reviewing simple and a happy customer will be more likely to complete that review right then and there.
Be sure to never offer any form of payment or gift for a review. That taints the whole process and is not a best practice.
- Create Lots of Options
There are dozens of places to leave online reviews for businesses. Different people use different sites and few take the time to check reviews on more than one or two different platforms. To capture as many positive reviews as possible, and to make yourself visible to as many potential customers as you can, you should make sure that your business is listed on many different third-party review sites.
There are so many different sites out there for this purpose, but some of the most popular include Yelp, Facebook, Google, and the Better Business Bureau. Start with these four to reach the majority of your future customers.
- Respond to Reviews
You will probably check these sites often since you will be eager to read the reviews your customers write, but your involvement doesn't end there. It's helpful to respond to all reviews, including the negative ones. When you make a mistake or provide service the customer did not like, it's best to address the review publicly and explain what you plan to do to do better in the future.
When it comes to positive reviews, you can respond to those, too. When a customer sees that you took the time to write a short response to their thoughtful review, he or she will appreciate you and will remember it in the future.
Online Reviews Will Help You Grow Your HVAC Business
These suggestions for getting online reviews may seem simple, but if you take the time to apply all of them with focus, you will be amazed at how much your business can grow. When it comes to local business, nothing is more important than reputation and online reviews give you the opportunity to spread the word about your great HVAC business reputation to the world. In truth, it's free advertising. Why not use it to your benefit?
If you are looking for high-quality HVAC tools to help you serve your customers better and to land those great reviews, please check out the rest of our site. If you'd like to chat with us about the HVAC industry today in general, please give us a call. We'd love to hear from you.