It’s so easy to brush off online reviews as a waste of time and energy. But online reviews are actually a tool you can use to make incredible strides in your countertop business.
First and foremost, you can use the negative feedback to inform your process going forward. We’re always looking to grow and be better. But, (drumroll, please), you can actually use reviews to increase your sales!
Here’s everything you need to know about getting more online reviews for your fabrication shop.
Why do you care about reviews?
Consumers are likely to spend 31% more on a business with “excellent” reviews. Can you imagine a 31% uptick in sales from customers who were already going to do business with you?
It goes both ways, though. Negative reviews can also impact your sales. In one study, the first negative user review had the power to reverse a seller’s weekly growth rate from 5% to -8%. That’s a 13% sales drop from a single negative review.
Would your business survive if sales dropped 13% virtually overnight?
All is not lost, though! If your online presence is already plagued with negative reviews, you can come back.
The big point here is that positive online reviews are worth paying attention to. Not only that, they’re worth fighting for!
Where and when should I focus on reviews?
There are dozens of online review websites, so which ones should amazing countertop fabricators like yourself pay attention to?
Google My Business
For starters, the No. 1 business review website is Google My Business. It gets the most traffic out of any review website online and is ranked No. 1.
If you haven’t yet set up your Google My Business listing, head on over to this post: How to Set Up Google My Business For Your Fabrication Shop.
If I type in “countertop shops near me,” the first thing I see (besides the paid ads at the top) is a slew of Google My Business listings, and guess what’s front and center? The reviews!
What sets these three countertop shops apart? Sure, the names and photos give off a first impression, but the reviews are likely going to dictate which shop I look at first. Out of these three, I’m likely narrowing it down to the shops with the highest reviews. Something else I’m taking into account is how many reviews there are.
A shop with 26 reviews that has still maintained a 4.4 out of 5 is more convincing than a shop with, say, a single 5-star review.
Have you ever heard the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”? Well, what’s so powerful about reviews on Google My Business, is that they’re likely the first reviews your potential customers will see. Most people these days are heading over to Google to find solutions to their problems. And Google is able to serve up reviews before anyone else.
While Facebook reviews aren’t as visible from a typical Google search, consumers often seek out a business’ Facebook page before making buying decisions.
Facebook is unique in that there are typically more positive reviews and there isn’t a typical 5-star rating system. Instead, reviews are called Recommendations. Users are asked if they’d recommend the business, and they click Yes or No – a much simpler process than other sites.
Then, you add your explanation, which can include photos and tags.
Facebook can be a great tool, especially since more than one billion people are active on Facebook. And I’d bet some of those folks are looking for some fancy new countertops…
Let’s face it, we’ve all looked up restaurants on Yelp when deciding where to eat or where to get a hair cut. It’s the perfect example of consumers making decisions based on other people’s opinions.
Home and local services account for 13% of all Yelp reviews, and many consumers look there before selecting which company they want to do business with.
In order to control your business information on Yelp, you’ll do the same thing you do for Google My Business, which starts with claiming your page. Once you do that, you can add photos, link to your website and other social platforms, and make sure your hours, phone number, and service information are correct.
When you create an account, you can also reply to reviews, which is key! There are always going to be one or two customer’s you just can’t please. But, with professional replies to these negative reviews you can show to your future customers that you are a quality business who cares about providing good service.
How Do You Encourage People to Leave Reviews?
If you aren’t encouraging people to leave positive reviews, you’re relying on them to do it on their own. And all too often, people only make a point to leave a review when they’re angry or dissatisfied.
There are several ways to encourage customers to leave reviews, from using decals in your showroom to sending an email at the perfect time.
Utilize Website Badges and Physical Decals
Most review platforms will provide badges and decals for your website and showroom.
The decals can go on your windows as customers enter, reminding them to visit you on Yelp or Google My Business.
Keep an eye out for new resources on Facebook Business, and many other companies sell Facebook stickers and decals – a quick Google search will take you there.
Ask for Positive Reviews In Your Email Signature
Adding a promotion to your email signature is one of the easiest (and free!) ways to get messages across to your audience.
If it’s just you or a few staff members, include a simple message like “Tell Us How We Did” and include a direct link to the review site of choice. If you have many staff members, you might consider a tool to help with standardizing email signatures.
Promote Existing Reviews
If you happen to have any reviews or testimonials, use those and promote them on your social media sites. Add them to your website. Add them to any flyers or brochures you may need.
This can be a soft touch that nudges your biggest advocates to leave a nice message.
Social proof is powerful. Customers who see others writing positive reviews are more likely to be inspired to do the same.
Follow up after completed jobs
Add sending an email post-install to your current process to gather more reviews. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or long. Tt can even be in the P.S. section like this example:
Add it as an activity in a job management tool like Systemize to make sure it’s part of your shop’s process. Following up with an email or call adds that extra level of service that your customers really appreciate. Asking them how everything went from quote to install can easily lead to a conversation about reviews or referrals.
Offer an Incentive
It could be as simple as a $5 Amazon gift card, perhaps a free coffee, or even some kind of free add-on to their existing job, like a free stone take-home gift.
Some shops offer cold-hard cash for a review because they know just how valuable they are. If you don’t get traction with some of these other methods, incentivizing could be a way to gather lots of reviews in a short time.
What are you waiting for?
Online reviews are a fantastic tool for warming up cold leads and converting them into customers. The majority of people read reviews before they ever work with a countertop business. Use that knowledge to your advantage! Try out some of these methods to generate more online reviews for your shop.
Lastly, it goes without saying that you need to provide stellar service to your customers in order to get that 5-star rating.
Moraware’s software solutions help you do that by streamlining all of your processes, from quoting to scheduling. Your customers will be delighted by their interaction with you, helping you achieve those reviews that keep customers coming in the door.