Over the years, as home service businesses earn more reliable leads through the world wide web, Google reviews have increased in importance for businesses to be the popular choice when someone looks up their services or products on the search engine.
Usually, buyers start their buying process by becoming aware of a problem that needs to be solved, so they’ll rely on a simple Google search to find a solution. When they do this, Google reviews will immediately pop up.
It’s the first point of contact between a customer and a business, so it’s obvious that reviews contribute heavily to the first impression. Hence why about 72% of customers say that positive Google reviews make them trust a local business more.
In this post, we’ll go over how to collect reviews and manage them effectively so you can get the most value out of Google Business Reviews.
What Is a Google Review?
Google reviews allow customers to directly post reviews on the platform about their experience with a business and its service and products.
Whether someone looks up your business on Google search or requests Google maps for directions to your business, Google reviews are the first thing they see. This is why Google business reviews have higher visibility than reviews posted on other platforms.
For service contractors, reviews like these are much more effective than traditional advertising. From a local SEO standpoint, it enhances your click-through-rate and directs more traffic to your website. No matter what the size of your business, if you collect as many positive reviews as you can, it can help your website climb higher in the search results since Google’s algorithm is designed to deliver the best results to its users.
How to Collect Reviews on Google
There is no doubt that reviews are largely important for all kinds of service-based businesses. According to a Google Reviews Study, the average local business has 39 reviews on Google My Business.
And if your field service business only has 1-10 reviews, it’s time to start placing more focused efforts into your business’s online presence and ethically request reviews.
When done correctly, you will be surprised how effective it is for businesses to reconnect with customers and build value out of those relationships. Here are some helpful ways to encourage reviews from your customers.
Verify Your Google My Business Profile
The first thing you should do is claim and verify your Google My Business profile. Verification helps ensure the accuracy of your business information across Google, and verified businesses are twice as likely to be considered legitimate by users.
Remember that this is where all of your Google reviews will live. After you verify your profile, it will assure customers they’ve got the right business to post their experiences with your business.
Be honest in what you’re trying to achieve and ask for feedback.
You must let your customers know they helped you build your business and how you make it your priority to value their opinions. Make it clear that their reviews are crucial for you and by doing so, it helps you make informed decisions to make the experience better for them should you earn their business again.
Drive your customers with convenience.
If you want your customers to take action on developing your online reputation, you need to make the entire process easy for them. Send short and sweet review requests through well-designed emails, surveys, and/or texts with a short readable link for them to click and leave a review. It’s simple, quick, and easy. BirdEye, a review management tool would be ideal for something like this.
Understand why timing matters.
Timing is productive in generating honest, accurate feedback. Whether your customers are busy or can’t remember things as easily, we recommend you send requests for reviews soon after a customer interacts with your business. That way, their experience with your services is top of mind and the reviews are more accurately recalled.
How to Manage Online Reviews and Foster Trust
Google reviews are important mainly because it plays an essential role in helping your home service business build trust with potential customers.
And because it seems more trustworthy, more people are likely to visit your business solely on the fact that your business has more reviews and a higher rating than other businesses in your industry. For this reason, having a positive online reputation encourages customers to trust businesses, converts searchers into leads, and boosts local search rankings, according to an Online Reputation Management Survey.
The best approach for home service businesses to manage their reviews is leveraging review management tools like BirdEye, which helps businesses gain visibility and control over their customer feedback across various channels.
Additionally, BirdEye seamlessly integrates with Service Fusion so it’s easier more than ever for your HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and other general contracting businesses to send review requests to your customers automatically after a job is completed.
Here’s an overview of Service Fusion’s integration with BirdEye:
- Send out survey requests to get in-depth customer feedback via email and SMS automatically
- Get new reviews on 150+ review sites including Facebook and Google
- Manage reviews within one comprehensive dashboard on desktop or via a mobile app
- Get alerted about each incoming review via email and SMS
- Respond to reviews using auto-response templates and rules and manage customer loyalty
If you want to grow more trust around your business and run dynamic field service operations at the same time, then it’s probably time to consider a field service management software with advanced integrations to review management tools like BirdEye to drive growth, increase customer satisfaction, and get better utilization out of feedback to influence decision-makers.
What Should Service Contractors Do About Google Reviews?
Google reviews are a great repository of feedback for your business that can be used and converted into smart business decisions. Think of it as the land of information about how a business is doing in meeting the needs of its customers.
For example, service contractors that interact frequently with their customers, and the general public should be on the lookout for reviews from customers and respond promptly to them.
In fact, Google confirms responding to reviews improves your local SEO and rankings. Not only does responding to reviews generate trust with your customers, but it fosters trust with the search engine itself. Again, Google only wants to recommend the most credible businesses to their customers.
Finally, what you shouldn’t do is—buy reviews. It’s off-limits in terms of Google’s stance against review solicitation. Keep in mind that there is a big difference between soliciting and asking for reviews. In short, review solicitation is the act of requesting customers to leave a positive review in exchange for a discount or freebie. It’s almost like a transaction because you’re giving something away for something else in return.
The important point here is that if anyone suspects you are paying for Google reviews, you’ll lose business credibility with your customers. Plus you are risking a possible penalty by Google if the platform discovers you’ve bought reviews. Not only will your business plummet in search rankings, but your reviews will also be removed as well.
The power of Google reviews is indisputable. From a benefits standpoint, Google reviews are compelling in terms of acquiring testimonials that can be useful for both online and offline marketing and enables you to understand and analyze the do’s and don’ts of your business.
Google reviews are beneficial to your business because it simply makes it easier for people to find you and provide you with valuable feedback. Using reviews is one of today’s most effective methods for converting leads and growing your business. Be sure that your business is taking the right steps to both collect and manage reviews on Google.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one field service management solution with integrations to collect and manage Google reviews, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team and learn if Service Fusion is a good fit for your business needs.