I’m a Plumber… Do I Need Online Reviews?
Online reviews showcase a customer’s rating and feedback on your plumbing services.
In today’s market and digital landscape, it may not be enough to simply fix a customer’s kitchen sink or plumbing problem. The best plumbers also need to know how to increase future profits by leveraging online reviews.
Your plumbing business needs glowing reviews that act as social proof and validate its excellence.
Still in doubt of whether or not your business needs to work on boosting online reviews? Here are a few benefits to change your mind:
- Reviews make your business more visible: Customers flock to online review sites before deciding to engage with a business. Online reviews are just one way of helping businesses rank in local search engines and getting their name out there!
- Reviews are a great way to gain more customers: A customer that sings high praises for your plumbing business can attract other like-minded customers to seek its services. Reviews have a powerful word-of-mouth effect and can generate referrals.
- Reviews are a way of listening to your customers and fine-tuning your business operations: Reviews allow you to gather customer insight and constructive feedback that fine-tune your plumbing services. By revealing any blindspots your business might have, reviews can help improve your operations and help you avoid repeating the same mistakes.
- Reviews are a way of building and sustaining trust with your customers: Reviews act as a bridge and direct communication channel between you and your customers. They allow your customers to be heard and can help you build meaningful relationships with them, leading to better customer retention.
- Reviews can impact your sales: A study found that online reviews can drive an average of 18% uplift in sales. Doing a fantastic job and having a customer solidify that through a review directly improves the possibility for more and more sales!
So, how can you grow your online plumber reviews? Here are the steps to follow:
- Master your customer service experience
- List your business on all online review sites
- Follow up with your customers and ask for online reviews
- Incentivize online reviews
- Promote positive online reviews on your website and social media channels
- Respond to all online reviews (yes, even the negative ones!)
- Leverage an online review management service
1. Master your customer service experience
It’s not enough to do great work while fixing a water line or installing a customer’s hot water heater or faucet.
Great customer service goes beyond completing a basic plumbing repair. If your plumbing service is seeking more reviews, you need to do an excellent job and provide a positive, 360-degree customer experience.
Providing fantastic customer service from A to Z remains the most fundamental part of any plumbing business and related services.
What’re some ways to go above and beyond as a plumbing company?
- Maintain professionalism during your service calls and address all concerns in a timely manner.
- Walk through the process and answer questions in a clear and concise way for any homeowners who are getting work done for the first time.
- Reach out to customers the next day and ensure everything is running smoothly.
Don’t be in too much of a hurry to get up and leave when a job’s finished. Remember, top-notch customer service and attention will attract a positive, 5-star review.
2. List your business on all online review sites
Getting your business listed on popular review sites will make you instantly accessible to customers online. List your business on the following sites as you grow your online reviews:
- Yelp: Yelp is a popular review site that publishes crowd-sourced reviews with a hyper-focus on small and local businesses. Gaining reviews on Yelp can help boost your business’s visibility amongst your local demographic.
- Google My Business: GMB allows customers to get a bird’s eye view of a business’s ratings, pricing, reviews, and related comments. Google is the world’s biggest search engine, and you should not miss out on the opportunity to build reviews for your business on this platform.
- Facebook: Set up a Facebook Business Page and directly communicate with homeowners. Customers can post recommendations, tag your business, and immediately promote your services to friends and family.
- Better Business Bureau: The BBB is a non-profit organization where business listings are evaluated against a set of criteria and best practices before being displayed on the site. Important business information, as well as customer reviews, customer complaints, and a BBB grade (from A to F), are displayed to potential customers.
- HomeAdvisor: This site provides listings of service providers in the user’s local community. Businesses are ranked and categorized into their respective niche. For local businesses, HomeAdvisor is a great site to gain exposure. Whether you’re a plumber, an HVAC contractor, or general handyman, HomeAdvisor is a great place to start!
- Nextdoor: Nextdoor brings in a community approach to review sites. Its users provide recommendations of local businesses to each other and can receive instant updates from various sources. The platform provides a unique way for plumber businesses to connect with residents and neighbors.
3. Follow up with your customers and ask for online reviews
Do you have happy or loyal customers who have given you positive verbal feedback for your excellent service? It’s time to make the best of their positive experience!
Once your business is on all the right review platforms, make sure you follow up with customers who have appreciated your services and kindly ask them to leave a review.
Chances are, if they’re happy with their experience, they would be more than willing to put out a good word for your business!
4. Incentivize online reviews*
Offering incentives for reviews can help you incite customers into spreading positive feedback about your business.
Do some research into your customers and get to know them better before offering incentives. Incentives can include discounts, a free installation or maintenance follow-up, and even charitable donations in the customer’s name.
Pro-tip: Incentives should come off naturally and not be too sales-heavy. There’s a fine line between coercing your customers into leaving reviews and encouraging them. Keep this in mind as you build your incentives! And lastly, do not bribe your customers to leave a review.
*There are FTC rules about incentivizing a customer to leave positive reviews; make sure to be extra careful when carrying this out to ensure ethical practices.
5. Promote positive online reviews on your website and social media channels
So, you’ve started to gain more and more positive online reviews.
To make the best of them, promote them in the right places where the right audience will see them.
In addition to the previously mentioned review sites, ensure you have a testimonial/review page on your website. Showcase all your best success stories and positive reviews. Don’t forget to share the 5-star reviews you receive across your social media channels, too!
6. Respond to all online reviews (yes, even the negative ones!)
Your customers want to feel heard and that their voices are valued.
Respond to all the online reviews you receive, both positive and negative.
By interacting with your customers, you show them that you take their opinions into account as you grow your business. This will reflect positively on your brand, even if the review isn’t so positive.
Provide an email or phone number the dissatisfied customer can reach you with. This extra step to address their negative experience can greatly improve your chances of salvaging that relationship and retaining the customer.
7. Leverage an online review management service
Managing reviews, especially across so many platforms, can be a challenge. To ease the burden, your business can opt for an online review management service.
With Signpost’s review management service, you can keep better track of all the reviews you receive, give professional responses to negative reviews, and grow your online reputation in line with your plumbing business goals.
Grow and Manage Your Online Reviews with Signpost
Whether you’re just getting started in the plumbing industry or you’re already an established local plumber, your marketing can never suffer from more reviews!
By growing your reviews, your business increases its exposure and stands a chance to boost sales in the long run.
The effects of positive testimonials and online reviews trickle down into your profits.
So, what are you waiting for?
Get started with Signpost’s review management today and achieve your business goals!