In today’s technology-driven world, word-of-mouth referrals have a new face as online customer reviews. Big and small companies alike rely heavily on the quality and quantity of customer reviews to demonstrate the effectiveness of their product or service. The same is true for electrical contractors. In a 2013 survey by Dimensional Research, 90 percent of participants reported that positive online reviews influenced their purchasing decisions. Despite these finding, small- and medium-sized businesses still do not put enough emphasis on the importance of customer reviews. By encouraging your customers to leave reviews of your electrical contracting business and then monitoring their reviews, you’ll gain a distinct advantage over the competition.
Why Customer Reviews Matter
One of the staples that many electrical contractors include on their websites is a page with customer testimonials. While this can be a good way to put your best foot forward, testimonials with merely a first name and last initial might seem impersonal or too anonymous to a prospective client. Testimonials with reduced anonymity and a higher expert status perception fare better. A great way to take testimonials a step further is with electronic word-of-mouth, or online reviews, particularly in regards to building brand equity.
According to a March 2015 article on LinkedIn, research continually concludes that excellent customer satisfaction paired with positive, credible customer reviews increase sales and brand awareness.
Electronic word-of-mouth with reduced anonymity helps level the playing field for smaller businesses competing with larger ones. Online reviews provide invaluable feedback that allows businesses to know what customers liked best, as well as information about how to improve upon shortcomings. In forum-like settings where companies and other individuals can respond to reviews, businesses have the opportunity to address customer complaints quickly and demonstrate that they are proactively committed to customer satisfaction.
Customer Review Platforms
Make it simple for customers to review your electrical contracting business by having profiles on social media platforms and review websites that are relevant to your company. 360e, for example, has a profile on Capterra that enables customers to review and learn more about our service field management software. Platforms to consider for your business include:
- Yahoo Local
- Bing Places
- Angie’s List
- A dedicated page on your company’s website
The simpler it is for customers to leave a review, the more likely they are to provide one. On your company’s website, make it effortless for visitors to locate the testimonials page. On this page, provide links to the company’s social media and online review profiles. Many of these sites provide banners or links that you can embed on a webpage.
Other ways to make it simple for customers to find the company’s online profiles is to include them in several places, such as follow-up emails, newsletters, website sidebars, and QR codes on printed materials that individuals scan with a smartphone or tablet.
How to Ask for Positive Reviews
The average person will not leave a review about your company unless they had a negative experience. Therefore, it’s crucial to ask for positive reviews.
The next time a customer compliments your electrical contracting business via phone, email, or in person, thank them and say, for example, “Your opinion really matters to us and other customers. I’d really appreciate it if you’d let others know about your experience on (insert the name of the platform). You’ll find the link to do this on our website.” If you’re speaking to a customer in person, you could hand them a business card with a QR code that will take him directly to your preferred review site or to the company’s testimonial page. Train your employees to respond in the same manner.
Positive online reviews go a long way toward converting leads, establishing your company as a reputable and trusted service provider, and building brand awareness. By pairing great customer service with marketing tactics that encourage consumers to leave reviews, your clientele will be more than happy to share their experiences.