For a new homeowner, nothing is more exciting than the moment the deal goes through, the escrow is closed, and the key to their new home is in hand. It’s at that point when the work of turning a house into something that truly feels like home can begin.
But homeownership comes with countless responsibilities.
Without a landlord to tend to repairs, renovations, or maintenance, a resident will likely need to call on home services professionals during the first year of living in a new home. In the past, finding reputable companies would have simply involved asking family and friends for a recommendation.
But these days, most people turn to the internet first. Which is why online reputation matters.
Why Online Reviews are the New Word of Mouth
With so many home services companies vying for prospective customers’ attention on the web, it’s no longer enough just to have a professional-looking website. For your home services company to thrive, you must have plenty of good online customer reviews.
Essentially, online reviews serve as the modern-day word of mouth. To confirm that a company is truly legitimate, the first thing a searcher does is read online reviews on local listings. In fact, most people search for reviews on a couple of different platforms before they settle on who to call.
A strong online reputation is what makes your business stand out from your competitors. In fact, you can be the very best at what you do in your local area, but if former customers on the Internet are saying something else about you, the consumer will likely choose a competitor.
Even having no reviews at all can hurt you more than just a few bad ones.
Keep Customers Informed with Your Google My Business Listing
Another effective way to build your online reputation is with Google My Business (GMB). This is usually the place a searcher goes after they’ve glanced at your reviews. Your GMB profile serves as an introduction to your business and your main website. If your website is your foyer, your GMB profile is the porch! Therefore, you need to make sure your GMB listing is as filled out as possible to answer all the questions searchers may have about your business. For instance, it is common for people to look for your license number, so make sure it is included in your local business listing, along with your business hours, the services you provide, etc. The more information you present, the more comfortable people will feel reaching out to you.
The First Phone Call: 30 Seconds to Choose
So, an interested customer likes what they see and decides to call your business. Great! But this is only the beginning. What happens in the next 30 seconds will determine whether this potential client will choose you or one of your competitors. One main determining factor is whether someone actually answers the phone when they call. If the call goes to voicemail or if they are put on hold for more than 30 seconds, you have likely lost the opportunity to secure an appointment with them.
During their initial research, the searcher has no loyalty to one particular business and they will quickly move on to the next company on the list if they are not able to make immediate contact.
One thing to remember is that whether it is that day or down the road, someone will get their business, so it might as well be you! However, this will only happen if a pleasant person answers the phone and provides a great client experience. Your customer service representatives are critical to your business’ success.
Sealing the Deal with New Customers
Once the appointment is made, the responsibility of delivering a great client experience transfers from a customer service representative to the technician. At this stage, there are some important things to consider:
When they show up at the homeowner’s door, are they dressed in a clean uniform? Do they wear a badge? Do they pull up in a branded vehicle with your business name on it? Are they polite and knowledgeable? All these factors can determine if the homeowner will call your business again or refer you to someone else.
The online experience is crucial in building trust, but the in-person aspect of service will cement a customer’s impression of your business.
Be a Leader Online
So, take time out of your day regularly to invest in and manage your online reputation. It’s simply too important to ignore. And it pays off when done properly.
Your company will stand out from the competition with a strong online presence, and online reviews help build credibility with potential clients and secure more jobs. When you are intentional about these efforts, you will be able to get more people to see your home services company as a known leader in your local market.