Getting website reviews for your window treatment company offers numerous benefits, and reviews should be managed to ensure the happiness of your customers. My purpose of this article is to help you increase service reviews on websites like Google, Yelp, and Yahoo! Local, in addition to explaining how to ask your customers for their opinion, and what to do if you receive a bad review.
The Benefits of Reviews
Online reviews have been shown to affect the shopping behavior of a potential customer. If you would like to increase your brand’s image, consider including the opportunity for recent and past customers to review your services on popular and important sites like Google My Business, Yahoo! Local, Yelp, Houzz, and more.
Reviews are becoming a basis for buying decisions.
Consumers are more willing to trust the opinions of other customers over any testimonials that your company may post. According to a survey by BrightLocal, 88 percent of consumers “read reviews to determine the quality of a local business” and trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Consider this: Most online shoppers trust the opinion of a perfect stranger in determining the worthiness of a purchase.
So what does this mean as a marketing opportunity for businesses?
Well, ignoring the potential of user reviews could mean alienating 88 percent of your buying population, forcing them to go elsewhere.
“For local businesses in all sectors,” the survey explains that this result “underlines the importance of reviews and the priority that business owners should put on managing their reputation and ensuring their online reviews are plentiful, positive and fresh.”
Put bluntly, reviews are crucial to your phone ringing.
Positive (and negative) customer reviews can positively affect your company’s organic search rankings.
First, having an optimized Google profile with pictures, hours, and even parking information is going to boost your exposure because Google will know what you do, when you do it, and how their customers (searchers) can interact with your business.
This higher relevancy means your pages are more likely to be ranked by Google, Yahoo! And Bing.
Plus, your business has a higher chance of showing up in the ‘map pack’, which is above the organic search results anyway. Your business can actually show up twice on the same search results page, and have up to 5 yellow stars next to it, drawing a searcher’s eyes to your listing over your competitors!
The more reviews a site has, the higher the potential conversion rate.
We all get poor reviews from time to time. It’s a part of business. But even bad reviews can positively affect conversion rates because shoppers consider negative reviews a show of honesty and transparency. That is, assuming your business also has a larger number of sincere good reviews.
So Why Manage Reviews?
It’s important not only to encourage reviews from your customers but also to monitor the existing reviews across these sites. Unanswered bad reviews can ruin a company’s reputation in the same way that a lack of positive reviews will.
Understanding how to manage and respond to online reviews – both positive and negative – is an important part of a window covering company’s online presence.
Encouraging Customer Reviews
It’s important that you have a mechanism in place to ask for feedback and make it easy for individuals to rate their experience with your company. Prominently feature calls-to-action in natural locations, like your email footer/signature area and even the literature you leave after a design consult.
After a purchase (typically after the installation is complete), follow up with the customer as quickly as possible. Many of our clients use a program that requests a simple review via text message as soon as the designer or installer leaves the residence.
Companies also are sometimes successful in obtaining reviews from their social media followers, although we don’t recommend it.
It’s also important that reviews are prominently placed on product pages for use by potential buyers. Some window treatment companies aggregate total reviews into a rating score for easy consumption and quick, yet informed decision-making. This is typically done with an additional page on their website called ‘Reviews’.
Responding to Reviews
Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, can be a two-edged sword, so be careful. When responding, you need to be sensitive to your customers’ emotions, particularly if they’ve had a bad experience. If someone is frustrated with your company, it is an opportunity to turn the problem into a good impression. Respond positively and don’t make light of someone’s complaint. Take the opportunity to apologize and make it right, turning a dissatisfied customer into a contented one, and a skeptical review reader into a new lead.
For positive reviews, a simple thank you is appropriate. Just don’t use the same phrase every time you get one. Switch your thank-yous up a bit.
Regardless of whether you receive a positive or negative review or comment, find the time to respond. Someone took time out of their day to post a review of your company and your reply is evidence of a dedication to customer service and support.
Make It All Simple
Putting the time and effort into asking for and responding to reviews is worth it. Individuals who arrive at a site from searching reviews are more likely to become paying customers than if they arrived through social media sites or other avenues.
Getting customer reviews can seem like an insurmountable challenge, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Put a system in place and make it a routine part of your customer experience, and you’ll have success.