According to a BrightLocal survey, 87% of customers take into account reviews when selecting a local business to use. The same study also showed that 73% of consumers only pay attention to reviews written in the last month, so you must consistently be collecting new reviews.
Your Google Business Profile reviews are the most important place for you to get good reviews. Google uses reviews as one of their ranking factors to determine how you will appear in the local maps - "More reviews and positive reviews can boost the ranking of your business in local search". It's likely that other review sites on the Internet also consider reviews as well as your star ratings as a ranking factor.
No. Many business owners would rather not deal with the hassle of reviews and instead look for a way to get review sites to delist their business. Unfortunately, this isn't possible.
The review platforms won't remove your company's listing from their websites or cease collecting reviews when you ask them to do so. You have no choice in what websites collect reviews for your business. The review sites can display your company information and collect reviews for your business.
You're going to have to make collecting reviews part of your process.
It is crucial to collect as many customer reviews as possible. This must be done according to the terms of service for the review platform that you're using to collect reviews. Yelp and a few other review sites don't allow you to ask customers to review you on their platform - but they are the exception. For most websites - including Google - you can ask customers to leave reviews on the review platform.
It is up to you to know the rules before you ask for reviews on certain review platforms. Check out the guidelines for each review website to determine the kind of review collection tactics are permissible.
There are a variety of ways customers can write reviews for review services. Below are the primary ways that you can get reviews about your carpet cleaning company.
Sending a link directly to a review site directly to your customers is the best way to collect reviews. It's easy for them and quick for you. It is best to ask the customer for their consent and ask whether they're willing to write a review prior to sending them an SMS text message.
Don't wait - ask your residential (or commercial) carpet cleaning customer for that review before you leave. As your service is still fresh in their mind, it will improve the chances of getting them to leave a review.
Google offers a very easy method to obtain reviews. You can follow the instructions here to receive the review link for your Google Business Profile. From your Google Business Profile, you should be able to click on the "Share Review Form" box to get a link you can give your customers to get more reviews.
You may also send an email to your customer with the link to review your carpet cleaning services. This is more likely to be ignored than a text link at the time of service, but you should still get some reviews using this method. The risk is that your email could held up in the spam filter or they might be too busy to review your carpet cleaning services when they receive the link.
Many online review services can automate the review collection for your business. Two are presented below.
GatherUp provides review collection and services starting at $99/month for up to 3,500 customers served. This includes text and email options (300/mo and 3,000/mo respectively) for review collection.
You'll receive an online review widget you can use on your carpet cleaning website. GatherUp is also able to monitor your reviews on various review sites. They also offer summary level reporting so you can track the status of your reviews.
They do have a 14 day option to try out their software for free.
Grade. US is a GatherUp competitor that also offers a 14 day free trial.
Services start at $110/mo. It is targeted at marketing agencies rather than individual service providers like carpet cleaners. You can however register your company with the service and then manage it yourself. You can also send 200 texts per month for an additional fee.
Also, it has review widgets and carousels that you can put on your site.
Obtaining real reviews will not be difficult if you've got an effective review collection system that uses the techniques described previously. There's no need to artificially inflate your reviews by using questionable methods like paying for fake reviews.
Don't ever solicit people to give fake reviews for your carpet cleaning company. Don't encourage people who have never been a customer to write reviews on Google or other sites.
Due to the deceptive nature of fake reviews, the FTC is taking action and penalizing companies. Don't permit family members or friends to post reviews on your company. There are even services that will pretend to be customers and leave your carpet cleaning company reviews. Don't ever use them.
Deceptive endorsements aren't limited to fake reviews. Any false recommendation in any way including something as simple as a non-customer liking your page on Facebook could be viewed as a deceptive business method. Don't do anything shady and you should be fine.
Incentivizing Reviews is another prohibited practice according to FTC. It could put you in trouble, not just with the FTC however also with the review platforms themselves. Review platforms wish to ensure that their reviews are legit so that their users continue to use their websites. Encouraging reviews with compensation (or the potential of compensation) can get you in hot water with government regulators and review platforms
What this means for carpet cleaners is that you shouldn't provide any kickbacks or contests, prizes, or chances to win as part of leaving an online review. If you provide a great service, such tactics should not be required at all.
It's crucial to respond to reviews every day if feasible, and on a weekly basis at least for most companies. Many of the review services sites mentioned earlier in this article offer review monitoring, which allows you to determine when you've received reviews on various sites. You're going to have to consistently monitor and respond to customer reviews for your carpet cleaning services.
You should respond to reviews posted by your customers on review websites. It indicates that you're involved and welcome feedback from your customers. Show you're responsive to your customers - many of your competitors won't - this paints your business in a positive light.
It's easy to respond to positive reviews for your business. Tell them how much it was a pleasure working with them and also thank them for their business.
It doesn't need to be the owner of the company or tech who responds to reviews. Almost anyone on your team - including office staff - can be properly trained on how to appropriately reply to positive carpet cleaning customer reviews.
You could be the owner of the most perfect carpet cleaning organization in the world - and there will be negative reviews. As a business owner, you should already know that there's a certain percentage of the population that is impossible to deal with and make happy.
Fortunately getting a negative review isn't something that's a problem for your carpet cleaning business if you handle it in a timely and appropriate manner. The occasional negative review is an unfortunate side effect of being an owner of a business.
Believe it or not, negative reviews are actually a good thing in moderation. If a company has only positive reviews, it may seem fake to potential customers.
Search Engine Land reports that 90% of people don't consider negative reviews if you as the business owner address the problem properly. In that case, the majority of people reading the negative reviews won't weight those negative sentiments too heavily.
In many instances, if you're able to properly respond, people will actually update their negative reviews to become more favorable when you as the owner of the business provide the right response to the negative review.
Marketing Opportunity geared towards prospects
Although it may seem counterintuitive, your response to a negative review should be focused more on your prospects than the actual customer who left the bad review. Some customers are a lost cause and will never be satisfied, so the response you give to their review needs to be designed for your future prospective customers.
If a customer is unreasonable and ranting in their review, it's likely that potential customers will notice and realize that the problem might be with the angry customer, not with you. Reacting emotionally to an angry customer in an angry manner that escalates things will create a bad impression.
Be rational, measured, and well-thought-out in your response. Make the situation better if you can. Show that you care. Do not get into arguments.
When You Make a Mistake
Own it. Make apologies for any mishaps and be contrite. Make it right with the business or homeowner. If something wasn't done completely right with the carpet cleaning for their house or facility - make it right.
Resolve any legitimate service or communication issues. Change your processes to ensure you don't get into similar situations in the future. Sometimes these negative reviews represent an opportunity to gain knowledge and improve your carpet cleaning business' internal procedures.
When You Provide Perfect Service but Still Get Complaints
The situation could be that you receive negative feedback in spite of providing excellent service. These are probably the hardest to deal with. Despite possibly feeling outraged, you don't want to initiate a heated back and forth with the customer online.
You should thank the person who provided feedback and let them know that you feel their pain. If you can, try to reach out to them directly to find a solution. This could be due to an oversight of the service that was provided.
Handling fake negative Reviews
Unfortunately, it is very common for businesses to receive fake reviews. You might find that you've received a negative review from a "customer" whom you're sure you never serviced.
Many times, unethical competitors will get their employees or friends to leave negative reviews about your company.
If you're certain that you're dealing with fake negative reviews, there are some things that you can do:
1. Contact the Review Platform
Inform them that the author of the review was never a carpet cleaning customer.
While you have to take the first step and reach out to the review website, just know that review services typicaly aren't very responsive and likely won't act on your protest. I would suggest that you:
2. Respond to the Review
If the review system allows review responses from the owner of the business, it is your job to make it clear that this person (who left the review) is not a client of your company. State that your company is committed to providing quality services and the review they're writing about did not occur.
It is essential to keep track of the reviews you receive about your carpet cleaning company through the various review websites.
One of the ways to find out where people leave reviews for your business is to enter the name of your carpet cleaning business followed by "reviews".
The picture below shows the results of my search for "ZEROREZ Denver reviews", a Colorado carpet cleaning company that I have no affiliation within.
You'll notice that there are reviews and mentions of the business on a variety of other websites that show up on the first page of results. You need to claim your carpet cleaning listings across the web and check reviews on these websites regularly. This is a brief summary of what we see in the screenshot above:
(A) Google reviews appear in the right-hand panel when someone searches for your carpet company. Google reviews are the most important for your business. Encourage customers to leave you reviews and monitor your Google reviews so you can address both good and bad reviews.
(B) Yelp is frequently featured at or near the top of the search results when someone searches for your carpet cleaning company. Oftentimes, Yelp will even appear above your main company website on the search engine results page. Be sure to create and optimize your Yelp business page and respond to Yelp reviews. In this case, you can see that the star rating is displayed as part of the Yelp search result for the business.
In the image above, (C). Angi.com recently acquired HomeAdvisor and you may see listings for both Angi and HomeAdvisor for your business. Angi.com may display a star rating for your carpet cleaning business in the search results as shown above. You'll want to make sure you claim your page on Angi.com and monitor all of the reviews that you receive from Angi.com.
(D) in the screenshot above. The Better Business Bureau has listings for almost all local service providers and will collect reviews and complaints and even give letter grade ratings to businesses.
Keep an eye on your BBB activity. According to the BrightLocal study cited earlier, customers see the Google review rating more than any other reviews - but prospects trust the BBB rating even more than your Google reviews.
(E) in the screenshot above. Facebook is another place that may provide ratings or recommendations for your business - and these may appear on the search engine results page when people search for your business as shown above. You'll want to make sure that you claim and build out your Facebook business page. Also, monitor the review and recommendation activity on your Facebook business page.
You may find that other review sites also have information and reviews for your carpet cleaning business. Here are some of the other websites that you should examine and claim your business listing:
If you notice that your carpet cleaning business shows up for sites not mentioned here, go ahead and claim your listing on that site. If your prospects are seeing that website in the search results, you need to claim your listing and monitor and respond to reviews.
It is important to note that if your carpet cleaning business uses Local Services Ads, Google will automatically provide them with an email with a link to review you on the Local Services Ads platform - this makes it an easy way to collect reviews. These reviews only available to be submitted to customers who used your services after clicking on Local Services Ads. They aren't included in the Google Business Profile reviews.
If you're using Local Services Ads, collect reviews for Local Services Ads, AND collect regular Google Business Profile reviews. Both are important in the quest to get new carpet cleaning customers.
Your carpet cleaning business will be featured on many websites that are not controlled by you, including many different review sites. These websites won't permit you to remove your business from their listings.
These review websites should be viewed as an opportunity to market your company. Add your business's listing to every major review site. Answer all reviews - both bad and good - with a professional, thoughtful response.
When your customer posts an unfavorable review, whether it is your fault or not - do your best to correct the issue. Never get into an argument with a customer on the Internet. When you respond to reviews, potential customers will see what you write and will be able to gauge your level of professionalism and how you handle difficult situations. Even though negative reviews are inevitable, responding to them with a professional attitude can portray your business in a positive light.