The home service industry is growing at a rapid pace, with researchers predicting that the global market will grow by 18.91% annually from 2019 through 2026. For home service businesses like house painters, interior decorators, plumbers, and electricians, that means more opportunities — but it also means increased competition.
You can set your brand apart by responding to customer reviews and ratings: a simple yet powerful strategy whose benefits we’ll explore in this article. Read on to learn how you can boost your revenue, create loyal customers, and grow your home service business faster by leveraging a review response service, which enables you to provide 100% of your reviewers with personalized, on-brand replies — all without ever having to write a sentence.
5 Ways Home Service Companies Benefit by Responding to Online Reviews
Research shows that more than one third of U.S. consumers (34%) are “highly likely” to use a business that responds to every online review. However, that number plummets to just 8% — not even one out of 10 shoppers — for businesses that don’t respond to any reviews.
The obvious lesson is that consumers are significantly more likely to choose brands that take the time to engage with their reviewers online. That translates to more customers, higher revenue, and faster growth.
How else can responding to reviews help you grow and support your home service business? Whether you’re a landscaper, a window cleaner, a swimming pool installer, or a solar energy consultant, here are five reasons to implement a review reply strategy ASAP:
- You’ll get more referrals from customers.
- You’ll boost your local search ranking.
- You’ll grow consumers’ trust and confidence in your brand.
- You’ll retain more of your customers.
- You’ll gain actionable insights about what your customers want and need.
#1: You’ll Score More Customer Referrals
It’s common sense that customers only refer businesses that provide them with a positive experience. Responding to reviews is a simple way your business can engage and connect with its customers, making sure that they have the best customer service experience possible.
For example, HubSpot recommends “staying in touch post-sale and nurturing the relationship into a long-term connection” as one of 14 strategies for getting more customer referrals. Replying to online comments is a perfect method for keeping communication open and reminding your customers that you appreciate their business.
#2: You’ll Improve Your Local Search Ranking
Google leads the pack as the number one most trusted review platform. With over 85% of the market, it’s also by far the most widely used search engine.
If you want your business to get noticed, you need to take every action possible to improve your search ranking. And, while there are numerous variables that influence your local search ranks — including some, unfortunately, that are outside your control — one factor that you can control is how you deal with reviews.
For instance, Google Support suggests managing and responding to reviews as a way of improving your local ranking. You can also build quality links, ensure that your site is mobile-friendly, publish more content (including video content), and take additional steps to boost your SEO.
#3: You’ll Inspire Trust in Your Brand
Ratings and reviews have a massive impact on which businesses consumers decide to trust — especially in the home service industry, with one survey finding that “service businesses and tradespeople” rank alongside healthcare and automotive services as “top industries where consumers see business reviews as most important.” The same survey showed that over three-quarters of respondents (76%) “‘always’ or ‘regularly’ read online reviews for local businesses,” and that nearly half (46%) “trust consumer reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family.”
Consumers are more likely to trust businesses that respond to online reviews, because responding shows that the business is active, engaged, and has a helpful, courteous, easy-to-reach support team. When consumers trust your business, they’re more likely to hire you for additional projects, remain loyal to your brand, and recommend your service to others.
#4: You’ll Retain More of Your Customers
Diligently responding to reviews shows customers that you’re serious about resolving issues, providing support, and ensuring that their concerns are addressed. It’s critical to promptly acknowledge your brand’s negative reviews, which can actually improve consumers’ perceptions of your brand. Believe it or not, having a few negative reviews can make you seem more trustworthy to consumers — provided you follow some best practices when crafting your reply. With appropriate follow-up, the customer might even decide to update their review and upgrade your business from 1 or 2 stars to 4 or 5 stars.
#5: You’ll Gain Valuable Insights and Feedback
While we’re on the subject of customer retention, here’s another way that responding to reviews boosts your business: it shows you what your customers value most, and shows your customers that you’re actively listening to their needs.
“To ensure that you’re meeting (and exceeding) the needs and expectations of your existing customers,” says HubSpot, “it’s important that you’re regularly collecting and acting on their feedback.” Monitoring reviews allows you to continuously gather customer feedback which can then be addressed not only in your responses, but more importantly, in your everyday business strategy.
Grow Your Home Service Business with Fast, Personalized Review Responses by Shout About Us
From building consumer trust, to reducing losses from customer churn, to improving your ranking on Google, there are numerous ways that home service businesses benefit by replying to customer reviews. Shout About Us makes it easy, fast, and cost-efficient by monitoring your ratings and reviews, requesting customer feedback, and generating personalized replies on your behalf. Your business can choose between AI-powered, people-powered, or hybrid review response plans, giving you the flexibility to fit your budget and needs.
Find out why thousands of brands trust Shout About Us to engage their customers and protect their reputations. Book your demo today.
Emily Homrok is a freelance copywriter with more than seven years of writing experience. She joined the Shout About Us team as a content strategist in 2020.