How to Manage Your Online Reputation — and Why It Matters
Get to the Point
- The Internet Has Changed the Way Customers View Service Businesses — One bad review can hurt your business, even when it’s not justified.
- Make a Habit of Looking at and Responding to Every Review — For negative reviews, reach out to try and resolve the problem.
- Make Sure Your Team Is Asking for Reviews Every Time They Do a Job — Making it personal makes it more likely you will get a review, and more likely it will be positive.
The internet has dramatically changed the way that customers view companies. One bad review can hurt your business, even when it’s not justified. This means maintaining a good reputation is crucial for any service business.
The best way to maintain your reputation online is to work every week to keep up with reviews and to encourage customers who have had a positive experience to leave a review on your Facebook page, Yelp or home service sites (we’ll get to some examples of these below).
Let’s take a look at why to check for reviews, how to respond to them, and why you should be encouraging your techs to ask for them.
The first step is looking at your reviews. This can be difficult — after all, no one likes to read negative things about themselves. It can also be time-consuming, especially if you haven’t been reading your reviews regularly.
However, going back to look and analyze reviews is extremely important. You can learn a great deal about the public perception of your business and your employees.
One useful idea is to create a short checklist of sites to keep track of — perhaps start with Facebook, Yelp, Google My Business, Amazon Home Services, and Angie’s List/HomeAdvisor (The latter two fall under the ANGI Homeservices, Inc. portfolio of digital home service brands.) With a checklist, you’ll never forget to check a site, and can also keep track of what sites your customers use most. Here’s a downloadable checklist for you to print out and update.
You should respond to every review, whether it’s positive, negative or neutral.
Responding to Reviews
There’s no getting around it: You should respond to every review, whether it’s positive, negative or neutral. Sometimes you'll get a four-star review with no explanation. It is still respectful to thank the contributor, and asking why you received the review might strengthen your credibility.
If a customer has left a positive review, thank them and express how much you appreciate that they noticed whatever aspect of your company they focused on — responsiveness, timeliness, friendliness, etc. Very rarely will a homeowner rate you on the quality of the work, so don’t take that personally.
For negative reviews, express your concern about the issue and tell the customer you’ll reach out to them to try and resolve the problem. Immediately call them and — this is very important — do not escalate the conversation on the review site.
Instead, work it out on the phone, and when the customer has been satisfied, ask them to update their review to mention that you quickly resolved the issue to their satisfaction. It’s often better for a company to have a review that shows you listen and made things right than it is to have only positive reviews.
If you haven’t been responding to reviews, go back and respond to any received in the last couple of months at the very least. This will usually notify the reviewer, which may prompt them to make a referral they might not have otherwise made.
The easiest way to handle responding to reviews is to define a dedicated responder on your team. Each week, this person should be responsible for responding to all reviews that come through. Remember the checklist idea above? Here is when that can come in very handy.
Ask for Reviews
Make sure your team is asking for reviews every time they do a job. It’s particularly effective if your techs express to the homeowner how the reviews help them personally, as opposed to just helping the company. (Check out this post for tips on how to ask customers for reviews.)
Making it personal makes it more likely you will get a review, and more likely it will be positive. Additionally, knowing they need to ask for a review means that techs will put a little extra focus on their interactions with the homeowner.
Another idea to consider: You may choose to incentivize your techs to get reviews. It’s one way to get your techs on board with the concept that reviews matter, and that good ones can make a world of difference.
Clearly, there is much to consider when it comes to reputation management, and knowing where to turn for answers can help. Unlimited business coaching is an essential component of Pointman PACT, and discussing these concepts — responding to reviews, asking for them, how best to incentivize for reviews — can be part of your coaching calls. Your success coach can even analyze your responses, and offer suggestions for your approach and what sites to focus on.