A Guide to Responding to Online Reviews for Home Services Companies

by ThriveAdmin | July 11, 2018 | Reputation Management

While there once was a time when word of mouth was the main method of reputation management, it’s true that today, your company’s online reputation will precede it. It’s so important to encourage and manage your company’s online presence. Responding to all of your home service company’s reviews can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Today, we are going to dive into some online reputation management best practices, and we’ll even provide some review response templates that your home service company can put to use.

The Importance of Online Reviews for Consumers

Seventy-seven percent of consumers read reviews before they purchase. In fact, 84% of people report believing online reviews as much as the opinions of their trusted friends and family. The importance of not only having reviews about your company, but managing them as well, cannot be understated. The majority of consumers are researching before they purchase, and presumably also researching ongoing services that can include a commitment, like pest control or house cleaning.

Monitoring Reviews Across the Web

The first step in successfully responding and managing online reviews is to manage what your company already has. Realistically, service companies likely have reviews on multiple websites and platforms. There are some universal websites that any company can have reviews on:

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Yellowpages
  • Better Business Bureau

But, there are also some industry specific review websites that home service companies should pay special attention to:

  • Angie’s List
  • HomeAdvisor
  • Houzz

Review these websites and get an understanding of the sentiment that already exists for your company. Monitoring a large number of reviews can seem a little overwhelming, which is where an online reputation management and monitoring tool and service, like uReview.me, comes in. uReview.me continuously monitors review sites so that you can spend your time running the rest of your business.

Responding to Reviews

After you’ve monitored and identified your company’s reviews, which should be an ongoing practice, it’s time to respond. We recommend that, if possible, you should respond to each review, but you should especially respond to negative reviews.

  • Responding to reviews increases loyalty among your customers, which is remarkably important for service-based companies that rely on an ongoing relationship.
  • Negative reviews provide an opportunity for the business to learn more about the customer experience. Responding also shows that your brand cares about their reputation, ultimately creating more credibility over time.

The way that your company responds to your public reviews should depend mostly on the type of review that was left.

The Positive Review

It’s the unicorn of all reviews! When responding, thank your customer for their kind words and for being loyal to your company. There are bonus points if you can add a personal touch, like the number of years they’ve been working with you. If your technicians see these customers in the field and you have a referral program set up, it would be a great time for your technician to remind them to refer a friend. If a reviewer gives kudos to a specific employee, make sure you pass those appreciative words along.

Positive Response Template

Hi, [Name]! Thanks so much for your kind words. We’ve enjoyed working with you for the last three years, and we are happy to see that our service exceeds your expectations. – Dave (Owner)

The Middle Ground Review

If customers haven’t seen a huge impact from your services yet or are on the fence regarding how they feel about the interaction they had with your company, they may leave a review that is somewhere in between positive and negative. This is an opportunity to (hopefully) turn this reviewer into a loyal customer. Make the reviewer aware that their feedback is being heard and put into action. Give them a perk or something extra that’ll help turn their review into a positive one.

Middle Ground Response Template

Hi, [Name]! Thanks for sharing your feedback with us. We think you have a really good point, and we’d like to give your home a second visit so that we can reach the high standards that we set for ourselves as a company. Please give me a call at 000-000-0000, and we can schedule a time. – Dave (owner)

The Negative Review: Service or Employee Specific

In some reviews, customers will let you know when the service or an employees behavior wasn’t up to snuff. Before you respond, gather relevant information about the situation from your team, and have a teammate proofread before you post your response. Make sure to post something that is apologetic and earnest. It’s best to provide contact information to a manager who can help the customer feel that their concerns are being heard.

Negative Service Template

Hi, [Name]. I apologize that our service didn’t meet your expectations. The situation you described does not meet the standards set by our company. We’d like to make this situation right. Please call me at 000-000-0000 so I can learn more about your experience and we can find a solution. – Dave (owner)

Other Negative Reviews

There are all sorts of negative reviews that can come your way that aren’t necessarily going to have a template that fits them. For those cases, here are some best practices.

  • Apologize and acknowledge the customer’s feelings. Even if your team knows they did a stand-up job, you can still apologize that the customer feels disappointed.
  • Cool down before you respond. Some reviews can be vengeful and emotional. Give yourself the chance to relax before you inappropriately respond.
  • Don’t engage with reviewers looking for a fight. It’s important to respond to reviews, but if a reviewer responds by trying to pick a fight, don’t engage in the same way. Try your best to take the conversation offline and out of the public eye.

Encouraging Reviews

Responding to reviews is just one part of successful online reputation management. Generating positive reviews that reflect the best attributes of your company is equally important. Your company can launch a campaign that encourages customers to leave reviews by reaching out on social media, in emails, and during regular servicing via the technicians. You could also invest in online reputation management. uReview.me can take the hassle out of review generation by reaching out to customers on your behalf and encouraging the most satisfied customers to leave reviews on the websites that matter most to you.

Simplifying Reputation Management for Your Company

Online reputation management is incredibly important for businesses, but especially for home service based businesses that rely on ongoing relationships to drive revenue. Electricians, landscapers, pest control providers, and more can all benefit from a simplified way to manage reviews, like uReview.me.

If you’re ready to easily manage your online reputation, without having to invest a large amount of your valuable time, schedule a demo of uReview.me!