Getting reviews is an essential part of marketing your garage door business on the Internet. 87% of customers use reviews as part of their decision-making process when hiring a local service provider according to a BrightLocal survey. This will no doubt apply to garage door repair businesses.
Your Google Business Profile reviews are probably the most important place for you to have good reviews. Google uses reviews as one of the ranking factors to determine where you'll appear in the local map results - "More reviews and positive ratings can improve your business's local ranking". It is safe to assume that other online review platforms also use the number of reviews and your review ratings as a ranking factor.
Since your garage door prospects are actively using reviews, you must make sure that you're making every effort to deliver high-quality services AND get customers to review your work.
No. You have no choice in what platforms collect reviews for your business. The online review platforms can list your business and collect reviews on your business. The review platforms won't remove your business from their site or stop collecting reviews even if you request that they do so.
It is vital that you collect as many customer reviews as possible. Note that this must be done within the terms of service within the review platform. For some review services like Google, you can request reviews. For services like Yelp, you can't directly ask for reviews according to their terms of service.
You'll need to know based on the review platform what kind of review collection activities are allowed.
For the review services where you can request reviews from customers, there are a variety of ways to get a customer to give you a review. Below are the main ways that you can get reviews for your garage door company.
Probably the best way to get your customers to leave you a review is to send them a text message with a link to your business review page on a review platform. It is easy for them and quick for you. Please ask the customer for their permission and if they'd be willing to leave you a review via text link before sending them a text.
This should be done as you're concluding your garage door services for that customer. This will increase the chances that the customer will leave you a review as your service is still relatively fresh in their mind.
The most important place to get reviews - Google - has a step by step process for you to get the review link for your Google Business Profile.
The next best option is probably to email the customer a review link as part of your garage door services. This will likely get less response than a text link. Your email could get lost in their spam filter, or they may just be too busy to complete the review when your email arrives.
There are multiple online review services that will automate the review collection process for your company
GatherUp offers review collection services that start at $99/mo for up to 3,500 customers. This includes both email (3,000/mo) and text (300/mo) options for collecting reviews.
You'll get an online review widget that you can use on your garage door website. GatherUp also has robust reporting services and online review monitoring.
GatherUp has a free 14-day trial option.
Grade.US starts at $110/mo and is geared towards marketing agencies, but you can also sign your garage door repair business up for the service and run it yourself. It has texting options - 200/mo for an additional fee. It also has a review carousel that you can install on your website.
Grade.US also has a free trial option for 14 days.
If you have a robust review collection process using the techniques above, getting real reviews won't be a problem. You won't feel the need to prop up your reviews with questionable tactics like generating fake reviews.
Don't ever get someone to provide a fake review for your garage door company. Never encourage anyone who hasn't actually been a customer of your services to leave a review on Google or anywhere else.
The FTC is cracking down on fake reviews as they are a deceptive business practice. Don't have friends or family leave reviews for your business. Don't hire services to leave reviews for your garage door services. The practices aren't limited strictly to reviews - false endorsements in any way (including something as simple as a "like" on Facebook) can potentially be viewed as a deceptive business practice.
Another practice that is a no-no according to the FTC is to incentivize reviews. This has the potential to get you in trouble not only with the FTC - but also the review platforms themselves. The review platforms want to ensure the reviews are as legitimate as possible so that people keep using the review platform's website.
What this means for your garage door services business is that you shouldn't offer any sort of kickback, prizes, contest, or chance to win as part of leaving a review. If you provide a great service, these tactics shouldn't be necessary anyway.
It is important that you're responding to reviews daily if possible - and weekly at minimum for most businesses. Most of the online review services mentioned earlier in this article provide review monitoring - which makes it easier for you to know when you've received reviews on various review platforms.
Generally, you want to respond to all people that leave reviews for you on review sites. It shows that you're actively involved and welcome feedback from your customers. It shows a level of responsiveness that many of your competitors likely won't have and it can set you apart.
It is easy to respond to positive reviews for your business. Thank them for their business and let them know what a pleasure it was to work with them.
The business owner or technician doesn't even have to be the one responding to the reviews. A team member can be trained on how to adequately submit a response.
Even if you're the most conscientious business owner and provide the highest quality garage door repair service available, negative reviews are bound to happen. There are some people that due to personal circumstances have an ax to grind and are happy to take it out on you.
Fortunately getting a negative review isn't the end of the world for your Garage Door Business if you deal with it appropriately. Occasional negative reviews are an unfortunate part of being a business owner. In fact, if a company has almost nothing but positive reviews, this can seem fake to your prospects.
According to Search Engine Land, 90% of those surveyed won't give much credence to negative reviews if you as the business owner adequately respond and address the issue. In many cases, if you respond properly, people will update negative reviews to be more positive if you as the business owner provide the right response to the negative review.
Marketing Opportunity Geared Towards Prospects
It may seem counterintuitive, but when you respond to a negative review about your garage door services, your response is more about your potential prospects than it is for your customer who submitted the negative review. Some customers are a lost cause and will never be happy - so your response to their negative review must be crafted with potential prospects in mind.
If a customer is unreasonable and ranting in their review, it is likely that prospects will see and understand that the issue may be with your irate customer and not you. Getting emotional and responding to an irate customer in a kneejerk, hot-tempered fashion will make you look bad.
Have a measured, rational, well-thought-out response. Try to make the situation right if possible. Show that you care. Don't get into arguments.
When You Make a Mistake
Own it. Apologize for any mixups and be contrite. Make it right with the homeowner or business owner if at all possible. If something wasn't done completely right with their garage door installation or garage door repair, fix it.
If there was a legitimate communication or service issue, address it so that you don't run into the same situation in the future. Sometimes these negative reviews represent a chance for you to learn and improve your garage door service processes.
When You Didn't do Anything Wrong
Situations will occur where you received a negative review despite providing perfect service. These are probably the hardest to reply to. Again, you don't want to start an argument with a customer.
Thank them for their feedback, empathize with their situation and do your best to contact them directly if possible to come to an amicable solution. It may just be a misunderstanding about the services that have been provided.
Dealing with Fake Negative Reviews
Fake reviews are everywhere online. You may find that you received a review from a "customer" that you know you never serviced.
Oftentimes unethical competitors will hire a service to leave your business negative reviews.
When you're 100% sure you're dealing with a fake negative review, you'll want to take a few different steps:
1) Contact the Review Platform
Let them know that the person who wrote the review was never a customer of your garage door company
Unfortunately, the review services are notoriously unresponsive and probably won't act based on your protest, so I recommend that you also:
2) Respond to the Review
If the review platform allows responses from the business owner, be sure to make it clear that this person (who left the review) was not an actual customer of your company. Continue on to mention that your company is committed to providing the highest level of service available and that what they're referring to didn't happen. You may wish to mention that in the rare instances where someone is initially not satisfied with the services that you do everything possible to make it right.
You'll want to frequently monitor the reviews that you get for your garage door business from the various online review platforms.
One of the ways to see where people leave reviews for online reviews for your business is to type in the name of your garage door company followed by the word "reviews". In the screenshot below, I searched for "Don's Garage Door Reviews" - a garage door services provider in Colorado.
You'll notice that there are mentions and reviews of the company on many other websites that show up on the first page of results. You need to maintain and monitor these listings. Here's a quick breakdown of what we're seeing:
(A) This is probably the most important listing of all and will be seen when prospects search for your business. Monitor and respond to Google reviews, because these probably get more than all other review sources combined
(B) In some cases, you'll see Yelp featured high up in the search results for your garage door company. Make sure you create and maintain your Yelp page and respond to reviews. You'll see that the star rating is shown right in the search engine results.
Note: for more information about setting up and maintaining your Yelp business page, see our Yelp for Garage Door Companies article.
(C) and (E) in screenshot above. Your garage door company may also have listings and reviews for these sites. Like Yelp, your star rating may be shown right on the page - making it important that you monitor your listings and provide quality service.
(F) in screenshot above. Like the other sites mentioned above - you'll want to maintain and monitor your BBB listing.
(D) in screenshot above. This is from a local marketing company here in Denver that has recommended providers that go through a screening process. You'll want to pay close attention to any website that lists your company - even if you don't see a star rating.
Other review sites you may see when you search for your company include:
For each, make sure you claim your listing and monitor reviews
Note that if you're using Local Services Ads for garage door repair, Google will automatically send them a review link through the Local Services Ads platform - which makes it a particularly easy way to collect reviews. Note that these reviews are exclusive to Local Services Ads and won't appear in your Google Business Profile reviews.
Your garage door company is going to be listed on many websites that are completely outside of your control - including review websites. You won't be able to remove your company listing from these sites.
Instead, view these external review sites as another way to promote your business. Claim your listing on all major review sites. Respond to all reviews - both positive and negative.
When your customer posts a negative review - whether it is your fault or not - do your best to remedy the situation. When you respond to reviews, prospective customers will see what you write and will be able to gauge your level of professionalism and how you handle difficult situations. Occasional negative reviews are a part of doing business, responding in the right way can put your business in a positive light in the prospect's eyes.
If possible, take conflict offline, and never argue with customers online.