If you have read the first five articles in this substantive series, you should know by now that you can’t control what people say about your business online. Actually, you can’t control what they say offline either. You’ll probably never know about most of their offline comments. The problem is that the whole world can see what they say online.
Here’s the Upside
You can manage online reviews! Think about it. You never hear about most offline comments, so not only can’t you control them, you can’t manage them. Managing online reviews for your home improvement business is an OPPORTUNITY that your father and your grandfather never had.
Really? I never thought about it that way before.
How could they know what people were actually saying? What they didn’t know, they could do nothing about. As we have been saying throughout this series, every review, positive or negative, gives your business exposure. And that means more potential for lead generation.
Managing Begins with Monitoring
It is apparent from the first two paragraphs that the axiom involved is “You can’t manage what you can’t monitor.” The corollary is “You can’t manage what you don’t monitor.”
Do you monitor the quality of your staff’s work on customer job sites? If you don’t personally do it, Vegas odds makers say (just a hunch) that you employ someone who does. You would not be in business if every lead turned into a disgruntled customer. To prevent that from happening, you have some form of quality assurance in place for every phase of a project and you have a mechanism for receiving and monitoring complaints as the project progresses.
Just in case this is falling on deaf ears, consider this: Other people, most of whom are potential customers, are reading your online reviews. Why would you be the only one not reading them? Or, why would you not have an employee assigned to be your reputation manager? If you have a customer service manager, he or she would be an ideal candidate because customer satisfaction is already their job.
I hope I’m looking in the right place.
Where Should You Be Looking?
We’ve previously mentioned the most obvious places for reviews: Google and Yelp. We suggested that you encourage satisfied customers to post reviews there. (You won’t have to help disgruntled customers. They’ll just do it.)
Professional complainers and people who have genuinely been ripped off also file reviews at RipoffReport.com and PissedConsumers.com. Don’t forget to check the reviews on your own business’ website. You can automate the process by setting up a Google Alert for your business. Any time a new mention of your company’s name appears on the internet, Google Alerts will send you an email with a connection to that mention.
What Should You Do to Manage Your Reputation Online?
This is going to be profound, so take a deep breath, slow down, and pay close attention. Are you ready?
RESPOND TO EVERY REVIEW
Do not make the mistake of responding only to negative reviews. While that may seem like a good idea, in the eyes of readers, it comes across as disingenuous. At the very least, a simple “Thank you” is in order for every review. The fact that you demonstrate online that you are responsive can go a long way toward lead generation. Potential customers want to know if you and your staff are going to be responsive to them. Demonstrating your responsiveness publicly online gives them the assurance they need.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Your home improvement business is built on your reputation. You have the opportunity to review your online reputation, manage it, and improve it. Your business will prosper because you do.
Don’t forget that you can’t rely on reviews alone. Success is most often achieved by actively working for it. We invite you to learn how Keyword Connects works to generate qualified, highly-convertible leads exclusively for your business.