Before the internet revolutionized buying, selling, and communicating, word-of-mouth recommendations were American small businesses’ bread-and-butter. And while this method of getting roofing customer recommendations still works today, the internet has also made it so these reviews go a lot further. Essentially, online reviews are the modern word-of-mouth, and a good or bad review can make or break your business’s reputation.
Statistics say that after reading positive reviews, 54% of people will visit a business’s website. Additionally, 84% of people trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation. (More review facts and figures here.) Not only that, but online reviews also help boost your company’s local Search Engine Optimization (SEO). That means you’ll get found online more often when potential customers search for “roofing company near me” on Google. Online reviews can do so much for your business, but they can also hurt your business if you don’t manage them correctly. Once you have online reviews coming in, it is a common and costly mistake for businesses to ignore the reviews. In reality, it is much to your benefit to respond to your online reviews—both good and bad.
6 Tips For Responding To Positive Reviews
The first time you read a glowing review from a happy customer, what’s your initial reaction? Probably to thank the person, right? So, why wouldn’t take a quick moment to reply to your customer and thank them? Customers take valuable time out of their day to provide you with feedback, and, if nothing else, responding is common courtesy. Of course, responding to positive reviews has many more benefits than simply coming across as polite. When done strategically, your responses to positive online reviews can help bring in even more customers and maybe even solidify a loyal customer for life. Because other potential customers will see your responses, there are a few things to keep in mind when responding to positive online reviews as a business owner.
1. Thank the Reviewer
As mentioned above, thanking the reviewer for their kind words is common courtesy. It also shows the customer that you value their time. When all else fails, say thank you!
2. Respond Quickly
Again, show the reviewer that you value the time they took out of their day to promote your roofing company. By responding quickly, you show the customer that you appreciate both their patronage and their positive words. Better yet, you’ll stand out from competitors that let their reviews sit idle for months (or years!).
3. Keep It Short
Don’t be lengthy in your reply—just be authentic and brief in your positive review response. A couple of sentences will suffice.
4. Be Personal
Just like the customer was likely specific with their review (i.e. “Jeff always does a fantastic job!”), you should try to sprinkle personal details in as well. Address the reviewer by name. Perhaps you remember something about the particular job. Doing so will also show customers you’re not simply copying and pasting a generic response—that’s a big no-no!
5. Invite Them To Share
This is one place you can use positive reviews to your advantage. While thanking the reviewer, invite them to share the positive experience with their family and friends. A lot of the time, you just have to ask, and satisfied customers will be glad to recommend you (especially if you have a referral system).
6. Share Positive Review On Social
You can use positive reviews for marketing purposes, too. Share glowing testimonials on social media, and new customers will be right around the corner. Who knows, maybe a roofing blog will notice your success.
4 Tips For Responding To Negative Reviews
Although negative reviews are never fun to receive, they can be helpful for feedback and improving your service. And while you may be embarrassed about the negative review and want to ignore it, that is the worst thing you can do. Even if you receive a scathing review, you should respond to it. By responding, you open up the possibility of regaining that customer’s trust, plus you deflect any damage the bad review could be doing to potential customers who see it. There are a couple things to do when responding to negative reviews to make sure you are doing the most you can to repair your online reputation.
1. Acknowledge the Issue
Nobody likes someone who never takes responsibility for their actions. As a roofing business owner, you need to take responsibility for whatever the customer’s complaint is, because, yep—the customer is always right. Good language to use could be: “Thank you for bringing this to my attention.”
No matter what did or didn’t happen, your customer is clearly upset, and they’re scaring away potential clients by venting about it online. Diffuse the situation and apologize, genuinely, for the customer’s emotional distress over the situation. Be courteous, not snarky.
3. Explain, if necessary
Sometimes, the customer isn’t telling the whole story, and they’re tarnishing your reputation. In situations when necessary, you may offer an explanation of your side of the story. However, you should be extremely mindful of the tone of your response and the language used. Be communicative, stand your ground, and be polite.
4. Invite the Reviewer to Discuss Offline
Don’t air your dirty laundry online where potential customers can see it. Be professional and respectful of your customer’s privacy and take the conversation offline. Invite the customer to call you to discuss the matter further, or direct them to someone who can rectify the situation—offline.< Getting online reviews is an amazing way to get new roofing business in your area. However, without strategic responses to these online reviews, you can sorely hurt your bottom line. Hopefully, these tips were helpful for roofers wondering how to respond to online reviews—both negative and positive!