Remodeling Reviews Matter: The Value of Reputation Management

Remodeling Reviews Matter: The Value of Reputation Management

Online presence, client happiness, and online reviews are crucial for home remodeling businesses to succeed in today’s service industry. In fact, 90% of buyers are more likely to convert after reading reviews

Before even picking up the phone to schedule a consultation, homeowners count on remodeling company reviews to find out what clients have to say about the caliber of your home remodeling services, to assess your remodeling business rates, or to get a sense of the overall customer experience. Reputation Management offers a wide range of features to make gathering reviews and managing your digital reputation a little simpler, regardless of whether you run a small one-man operation or a sizable renovation services firm with numerous contractors.

A company’s reputation is the lifeline of their business

Your remodeling company’s online reputation is extremely important because 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Even a Google search showing a 1-star rating gap between you and a rival could have an impact on new leads.

The secret to effective review management begins with a careful follow-up process to solicit client feedback, followed by thoughtfully responding to both positive and negative reviews, and then swiftly resolved to turn neutral or negative evaluations into positive ones.

How to ask for client reviews

If you are just starting, asking clients for ratings and reviews can be helpful. Recognizing that about 70% of all consumers trust online reviews is an effective way to get more positive responses from clients that are likely more willing to take the time to write one. There are four ways we recommend asking clients for reviews:

1. In Person

For larger remodeling firms or companies with a strong local presence where physical communication is convenient, in-person conversations are a good way to ask for reviews. When you meet with clients, simply prepare some cards or mention that you would be grateful for some feedback after your meeting. This is easy to accomplish if you are a local contractor, working for a large firm, or have an established relationship with potential clients. This is probably not practical if you are working for a small remodeling firm or trying to start off in the business. However, there are quick and simple alternatives that can still be effective.

2. Phone

Research shows that about 70% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations; it is an effective way to get more positive responses from clients who are likely more willing to take the time to write one. When calling a client and asking for feedback, try not to make it sound like a sales pitch. Instead, use a conversational tone and focus on what you are doing differently from your competitors. You can also provide options for future service by asking for references or email addresses. If you use this method, send them an email with the client’s contact information in case they don’t call back within a couple of weeks (this is especially important with larger remodeling companies). If you are dealing with smaller remodeling firms, you can most likely work over the phone, so this is a good alternative.

3. Via Thank You Pages

Many remodeling companies have found that providing a “thank you” page for clients is a good way to foster positive reviews. Once potential clients see that you are already taking positive action to ensure they will be satisfied with the results of their remodeling project, they are more likely to write a review. This step is an easy way to help your company cultivate a positive online presence. Consider giving clients something extra if they take the time to write you a review about your services. Depending on your service type, it could be as simple as sending them home with some promotional gift cards from local businesses (restaurants, retailers, and leisure options can also be good). If your company is too large to offer these giveaways, consider giving a nice little surprise by setting up an attractive website where your clients can post reviews. This will help you develop a reputation as a client-focused remodeling business that treats customers well.

4. Reputation Management Campaign/Automation

There are many client reputation management softwares, such as BrightLocal. With BrightLocal you can “get more reviews, monitor and respond to them quicker, and showcase your success with style. Reputation Manager makes building trust and sales through customer feedback a breeze.”

How automation makes client review follow-up easier

Even in the age of technology, some remodeling companies manage client reviews manually.

This can be time-consuming; however, it may be worth it if you are starting and do not have too many client reviews yet.

Automating the process with a client reputation management software, like BrightLocal’s Reputation Management Software is easy to integrate into your existing business processes and supports your ability to follow up with clients and ask for ratings. The key advantage is automating the follow-up procedure for gathering information about clients’ customer experience and online presence.

You can personalize follow-up automation depending on a project’s status or stage of completion by directly contacting clients through emails, or SMS/text messages.

The customer satisfaction questionnaire is an effective way to learn more about a client’s experience with your company and will give you the information you need to improve and improve the overall customer experience.

How to respond to negative reviews

It is important to try to resolve complaints as quickly as possible. If a customer has a legitimate complaint, your response will determine whether you lose the client or turn them into a returning client. Try to learn from every negative review and use this information to improve your home remodeling services.

Home remodeling marketing can be scrutinized not only by clients but also by potential clients. Therefore, it is important to respond to negative reviews.

Once you have found the review and performed your initial analysis, it is time to respond. First of all, thank the client for taking the time to provide feedback and also thank them for their patience with any service delays. Next, try your best to offer a solution that will help make things right for the customer. Although this may seem common sense, many companies ignore this step because they either create excuses or don’t want to admit fault and thus appear unprofessional.

The top 3 actions to take in a customer review response

For negative reviews:

  1. Act quickly. If you receive a negative review, you will want to contact the customer as quickly as possible. This will do two main things for your company. First, it shows that you are professional and responsive by taking time out of your schedule to act on a client’s complaint. Second, it can help kill negative rumors about your company that is then spread on the internet. The more positive reviews you have and the better they are received, the harder it is for disgruntled clients to find other people who had problems with your services. The best way to respond is within 24 hours of receiving the complaint.
  2. Speak truthfully. Your company will want to tell the truth to avoid any chance of a lawsuit. However, if you decide to tell a half-truth, that’s not better. Remember that clients read these reviews, and this complaint could affect your credibility in the eyes of future clients. While it may be tempting, don’t just write something overly positive because you know they will not take it seriously. 
  3. Keep in mind your real audience. A critical part of your online reputation is the audience you are trying to reach. While your goal is to try to turn negative reviews into positive ones, the most important thing to remember is what other consumers will think of your response. If you’re writing this review on a review board, you are also writing it for potential clients. If a client has left negative feedback, they probably have already decided that they would not purchase services from your company, and it is doubtful that anything will change their minds. This makes it very important not to react with anger or sarcasm; this will only make things worse and leave a bad impression on future clients.

For positive reviews:

  1. Keep in mind your real audience. Imagine a potential customer reading a positive customer review about a company you want to use for a remodeling project. If the review is positive, you will be happy and want to work with that company. However, if there is anything negative, it may still be hard for you to trust this company. This means that your image as a professional also depends on how you respond to negative reviews. Our research shows that the way companies respond to customer reviews strongly impacts consumer behavior: Negative reviews increase the likelihood of customer churn (decrease the likelihood of purchase), while positive reviews have no effect or increase consumer loyalty towards companies. In other words, it’s not just what you say but how you say it that matters. And to be seen as credible, you can gain potential clients’ trust by responding promptly and with positivity.
  2. Show gratitude. While companies that get positive reviews should be grateful to their customers for taking the time to write and share their experiences, they often forget this important step. Customers will appreciate your gratitude for your response, which will help motivate them to write more positive reviews. Even if you are busy, it is critical to show gratitude towards customers who take the time to help promote your business by leaving a review for your home remodeling company.
  3. Affirm the positives. If a customer review lists or mentions a series of positive attributes about your company and the home remodeling services you provide, be sure to highlight/restate them in your response to the review. When potential customers are reading your reviews, they will be able to read the positives both in the review, and in your response.

Best methods for asking for reviews

Due to the sensitive nature and significance of customer reviews, more companies are making it a point to ask for reviews on their websites and social media pages. This provides the opportunity for the consumer to be more honest about the services, experiences, and overall performance of your home remodeling business.

Here are some ways that you can ask for customer reviews:

1. Customer feedback surveys

Customer feedback surveys can be a very effective way of asking for customer reviews. With this method, you ask your customers to combine the quality of their product or service with their experience. If consumers can rate each of these two things, they will be able to accurately assess how good your product or service is.

A survey can help to increase the number of customer reviews for your business. This can show that you are trying to improve your service quality and put you on a positive note with potential clients. The chances that potential customers will take the time to write a review after completing a survey is even greater if it’s from someone they know or trust.

2. Exploratory customer interviews

For many businesses, customer feedback surveys are not enough. This is when you want to go directly to the source and ask your customers what they would like to see improved on your service. This could be something as simple as a new feature they would like to see, or maybe you could be reviewing the design of your company website or an email newsletter that might need an update.

Once again, customers will appreciate the feedback and may be even more inclined to leave a review. According to our research, when consumers feel a company sincerely cares about their opinions and feedback, they are willing to share their experiences with others.

3. Email and customer contact forms

There is an easy way for your business website to ask for customer reviews directly on your site. This is simply by creating an email or contact form. If you don’t have a website, please see our related article for a list of popular customer review sites which will automatically collect allowed customers’ feedback.

4. Usability tests

According to our research, users are willing to share feedback when they feel that the testing process was thorough enough and the potential results significant enough to them. This means that usability tests provide customers with information on how they respond to different features and pages on your site.

5. Social media customer testimonials

Social media can be a good place to ask consumers for their opinions on your product or service, especially if you’re using Google+, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to promote your products and services. When using Facebook or other social media sites, you can use the “Share” feature to ask customers to review the service they received.

In conclusion, remodeling reputation management is complicated because it’s not just about what’s said but how it’s said. If you have had a horrific experience, you are more likely to tell your story on review sites like Yelp and Angie’s List than to the owner of the business. And although your business may be busy, it is important to not only thank your customers for writing reviews but also remember to constantly update your list of marketing assets with new reviews and respond promptly every time.