Contractors sometimes have a tough job making a strong statement online in a business typically earned via word-of-mouth. Because of the importance of word-of-mouth marketing, maintaining your online reputation is especially important. Most consumers will look to Yelp.com, AngiesList.com, Local.com, and YellowPages.com for information on potential contractors.
Once you acknowledge that customers will scrutinize your every move, you can find areas to focus on to enhance your online profile and focus on reputation management.
Electricians, plumbers, HVAC Contractors, and General Contractors, roofers, concrete contractors, rooters, garage door installers, handymen, water damage restoration specialists know that protecting your business from negative online reviews is critical for your business. Equally important is how you react when you receive a negative online review.
So what should you do when your small business is attacked on an online review site?
1. Respond to negative reviews: Most consumer review sites will not delete negative reviews of your business, no matter how many times (or how nicely) you ask. But most will allow you to do is respond to the negative reviewer. You can either respond publicly, or send them a private message. Always aim to fix the problem, not place blame. Someone’s mad that the paint bubbled? Offer to fix it for free. Is someone because your crew tracked in mud? Then apologize and offer a cleaning service. Not only will you fix the problem with the former customer or client who has the problem, but you will prove that you are a contractor who listens to his customers and fixes issues as they arise.
2. Highlight the positive: As you know, customers like to complain about project costs and timelines. It’s always too expensive and takes too long. To combat the negative reviews, make sure there’s a lot of positive information about you online that will fill up the first page of a Google search. Make sure your business has profiles on all major social media sites, consider blogging about your area of expertise, and buy your own domain name.
3. Ask clients to give you an online review: Another way to combat those pesky negative reviews is to get your happy and satisfied clients to write you positive reviews. These reviews won’t erase the negative reviews, but they can work to provide some balance. Promoting positive online reviews is a key part of business reputation management.
4. Hire an online reputation management company: A search engine reputation management company can help you bump up the positive reviews while burying the negative mentions of you and your company. By taking the first steps of creating optimized business profiles and developing a process for promoting feedback from your customers online, you can strengthen your positive online image.