Did you know that 91 percent of consumers read online reviews on a regular basis? Not only do the majority of people read online reviews before choosing a business, but 74 percent of consumers say that positive reviews increase their trust of local businesses.
If these statistics weren’t enough to convince you of the importance of online reviews, then you should know that 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as they trust the recommendation of a family member, friend, or colleague. In other words, if you want to grow your plumbing business, then you need to take the time needed to gather positive online reviews from your existing customers.
Where Should You Have Online Reviews?
The three “big hitters” for online reviews are Facebook, Google, and Yelp. In fact, the majority of consumers often turn to these three sites to determine if they want to purchase products or services from a local business. While you might be tempted to only focus on one of the three sites, studies show that all three offer different advantages.
Facebook reviews can help you to:
- Increase your social media following, which is especially beneficial if you want to complete any social media advertising campaigns.
- Create transparency and inspire trust in your plumbing business.
- Improve your digital footprint. A larger digital footprint makes it easier for new customers to find your plumbing services.
Google reviews can deliver the following benefits:
- Build trust and credibility, which are two vital components of the consumer’s decision making process and buyer’s journey.
- Make it easier for vendors to connect with you, so that you can have access to the latest and best plumbing tools like the whole line of WHEELER-REX tubing cutters, threading machines and hydrostatic test pumps.
- Increase your SEO ranking. Google reviews play an important role in determining where your website will rank for both national and local searches.
- Expand your local business by providing “social proof.” Whether it is through an online search or GoogleMaps, Google is the first place where many of your potential customers will see your plumbing business. The number and quality of your reviews will greatly increase the likelihood that prospects will choose your business.
Yelp reviews can introduce you to a different customer base, while simultaneously offering the following benefits:
- Positive Yelp reviews will lead new customers to your site to deliver higher click-through rates and an increase in the number of unique visitors. While the intricacies of Google’s search algorithm are a bit of a mystery, it is widely known that high click-through rates, coupled with a high number of unique visitors, leads to a better search ranking. Ranking higher in search results can and will lead to an increase in customers.
- Yelp has been shown to increase annual revenues for various types of businesses. In fact, a recent study showed that business owners who actively advertised on Yelp and managed their Yelp pages saw an average of $23,000 in annual revenues from Yelp.
How Can You Ask For Customer Reviews?
If you don’t ask, then you won’t receive. In other words, if you don’t actively encourage your existing customers to leave reviews, then they probably won’t do so on their own. With this in mind, the numbers are on your side; 70 percent of people are typically willing to leave online reviews simply because a business asked them to. This means that you must not only be proactive, but you must also make it easy for your customers to leave reviews.
Whenever you complete a residential or commercial plumbing job, ask your customer to leave either a Google, Yelp, or Facebook review. You can then remind them of the importance of their opinion with a follow-up email or on the paper invoice that you deliver at the end of the job. You can make it even easier for your customers to leave reviews with a step-by-step guide on your website, as well as the necessary links. Finally, if you send out a weekly or monthly newsletter, then don’t forget to include a call to action that asks for customer reviews. No matter how you choose to do it, make sure that you ask your customers for their reviews so that you can successfully grow your plumbing business.