Contractors need to drive online reviews to match increased use of reviews by consumers

May 4, 2017 - By Aaron Hockel for AltaVista Strategic Partners

Do Online Reviews Matter to Contractors?

Reviews are more important than ever for residential and commercial contractors. They are being used more frequently by consumers to make informed purchase decisions, with the importance of the purchase directly influencing the amount of research performed. This means consumers will read more reviews before hiring a roofing contractor than they will about which restaurant to choose for dinner. Consider these 3 powerful stats from a study released by Bright Local:
  1. 91% of consumers regularly or occasionally read online reviews in 2016
  2. The average person checks 2 or 3 reviews sites
  3. 92% of consumers will choose a business with a 4 out 5 star rating
On top of these stats, Google reviews are now influencing local search results when users include words like "best or "outstanding". If you do not have positive Google reviews, it can now impact your organic SEO. When you put all of this together, it is clear contractors need to drive positive online reviews about their services. Here's 4 ways they can do it:

4 Strategies to Generate More Online Reviews

Develop a plan to generate reviews:
Consistently driving online reviews requires developing a plan and committing to it. The elements of the plan are less important than having one in place. Whether it is a phone call, email, third party company, or paper survey, the important part is having something in place.
Ask and you shall receive:
Every contractor will organically receive online reviews, but the only way to truly generate them on a consistent basis is to ask customers. It is important to ask within a few weeks after the project has been completed. The ask can come in person at a final job walk through, via follow email or phone call, or even in a follow up thank you card sent via snail mail. Many contractors are surprised by how many people are willing to write positive reviews just by asking them.
Use online software:
This is a way to really merge the first two strategies into a simple process. Reputation Stacker is an outstanding software that allows contractors to upload recent customer lists, then ask for reviews via email and text message. Even better, it includes a screening feature to keep less satisfied customers from going online. This 2 minute video does a great job explaining how it works:  
 
Run a sales team contest:
Your sales team can be one of your greatest assets when it comes to driving online reviews. They typically have a read on how satisfied their customers are and working relationships where it is a natural ask for them after a good well done. Incentivizing them with a contest around who can generate the most reviews over a quarter or sales cycle is a great way to begin driving more positive online reviews. Have questions about your online reputation or your strategy to drive online reviews? The team at AltaVista works with all types of residential and commercial contractors to help them build and execute marketing plans to protect your digital brand and generate reviews. Schedule a free consultation today by filling out the contact form on this page, calling us at 1-800-313-2168, or by sending us an email.

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