According to a BrightLocal study, 87% of customers consider reviews when selecting a local business to use. Painting contractors should also expect customers to be active in leaving you reviews - as 72% of US Consumers have written local business reviews.
Google Business Profile reviews are the most effective way to gain good reviews. Google utilizes reviews and your star ratings as a ranking factor for local businesses in its local map results -- "More reviews and positive ratings can improve your business's local ranking". You can be certain that other review sites on the internet are also evaluating the number and quality of ratings ranking factors.
You've probably already noticed that your painting company is listed on many different websites without your knowledge or consent. Third-party websites are allowed to list information about your company and collect reviews for your company. If you ask these companies to remove your listing and to stop collecting reviews, you will be ignored.
Your focus needs to be on getting customer reviews. As you finish a painting job, ask the homeowner for a review. Make this part of your process as you're collecting payment. As you collect more and more great reviews across the various review websites, you'll have a better chance to convert prospects into customers. Having a consistent review collection process in place can be an amazing marketing opportunity for your business.
It is crucial to collect as many customer reviews as possible. It is important to note that this has to be done within the guidelines of the review platform. Reviews can be requested for specific review sites, like Google. For companies like Yelp, you aren't able to directly ask for reviews, according to their terms.
Based on the platform for review, you'll need to decide what type of review collection actions are available for you to use.
There are many ways that customers can leave reviews for review services. Here are a few of the most popular ways to obtain reviews for the your painting business.
Perhaps the most effective method to convince your customers to leave a review on your business is to send them a text message with a link to your business review page on an online review platform. It's simple for them, and quick for you. You can ask the client for their consent and whether they're willing to leave with a review on a text message before sending them a text.
When you've already wrapped up your painting job, it is time to ask your customer for a review. The great job you just did is still fresh in their mind, and it will greatly increase the chances of getting an individual customer to leave reviews.
The best place for you to get reviews is your Google Business Profile. Google offers a step-by-step method to enable you to receive reviews 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 to your customers. From this link they'll be able to easily leave you an honest review of your work.
Another option is to email your customer a link to review your painting. It's likely to get far fewer responses than a text message. Your email could get deleted from their spam filters or they may be too busy to finish the review when your email arrives.
Many review sites allow you to automate the collection of reviews for your business.
GatherUp provides review collection and review services which start at $99/month for as many as 3,500 clients. This includes both the email (3,000/mo) and texts (300/mo) options to collect reviews.
You'll also get an online review widget that you can use on your painting website. GatherUp has all the reporting you need, and they'll even monitor your reviews on different websites across the Internet.
GatherUp provides a 14-day no-cost trial.
Grade.US is $110/mo. It is targeted at marketing agencies. However, you could enroll your painting business to receive the service and handle it yourself. The service offers texting up to 200 customers per month for an additional charge. You can also embed and install a review slideshow carousel on your website which will cycle through your reviews from various review websites.
Grade.US offers a 14-day free trial.
Getting real reviews won't be difficult if you have an established review collection procedure that employs the strategies described previously. There's no need to artificially inflate your review count or review ratings by employing questionable techniques such as generating fake reviews.
Don't ask anyone to write an untrue review of your painting business. Don't encourage people who aren't customers to post reviews on Google or elsewhere.
The FTC is imposing penalties on fake reviews as they are a shady business practice. Don't let relatives or friends write reviews for your business. Only ask your actual painting customers to leave you reviews. This isn't limited to reviews. False endorsements, even a simple "like" on Facebook are seen as deceitful business practices.
Encouraging Review Submission with Rewards attached is another prohibited practice according to FTC. This could land you in severe trouble with both FTC and the review platforms. Review platforms want to ensure that their reviews are authentic so that people to continue using their websites.
What this means for your painting company is that you can't offer any kind of kickback, prizes, contest, or chance to win as part of leaving reviews. These strategies aren't necessary for a business that provides a high-quality service.
It's important to be responding to reviews as often as possible - weekly at least for most companies. A majority of the review websites mentioned in this article offer review monitoring that allows you to track what reviews have been posted on different review platforms. You're going to have to consistently monitor and respond to customer reviews for your painting jobs.
You should respond to reviews posted by your customers on review sites. It indicates that you're engaged and are open to feedback from your customers. It demonstrates a level of openness and responsiveness that your competitors probably don't possess, and could make you stand out.
It is easy to respond to reviews that praise your company. Reward them for their work and let them know what it was like working with them.
The technician or the owner of the business need not be the one responding to reviews. It is possible to instruct your team members to write a reply.
You're going to get negative reviews from time to time, and you need to respond to these negative reviews.
You can manage these bad reviews properly to keep them from becoming major headaches. Negative reviews are an unfortunate side effect of being a business owner. But they aren't all bad - one or two here or there can actually be a good thing. If an organization has only good reviews, it can look fake to potential customers.
According to Search Engine Land, 90 percent of people surveyed will not look more favorably on a business if they adequately respond and resolve the problem responsible for the negative review. In many cases, if you address the issue properly, people are likely to update their negative reviews to be more favorable if you, as the business owner, respond appropriately to the negative review.
Marketing Opportunity geared towards prospects
It may seem counterintuitive, however, when you respond to a negative review of your painting services your response is more for your future customers as opposed to the customer who wrote the negative review. Certain customers are a lost cause and won't ever be happy, therefore the response you give to their negative review must be crafted with potential prospects in your mind.
Your prospects will see the negative review as well as your response. If your customer was ranting and acting like a lunatic - the prospect will likely understand that it is a problem with the customer - and not your business. If you match the customer by getting irate and making things worse, the prospect will probably not want to do business with you.
Be measured, rational, and thought-through in your response. If possible, you should try to find a solution. Show compassion. Don't engage in arguments online. Ever.
You Made a Mistake and Received a Bad Review
You can't be perfect all the time. Accept it. Take responsibility for any miscommunications, and be considerate. Resolve the problem with the business or homeowner owner, if possible. Go back and fix whatever was inadequately painted (or anything you may have missed painting).
If you want to be really optimistic, view negative reviews as an opportunity to learn. Use it to improve your systems and process to improve the overall quality of your painting services.
You Were Perfect - But Still Received a Bad Review
There are times when, despite providing incredible service, you'll receive negative reviews. They are likely to be the most difficult to respond to. You don't want to be in a heated argument with your customer.
Thank them for their comments. Be as understanding as possible of their issue and do your best to reach them directly if possible to come to an amicable resolution.
Handling fake negative Reviews
Online, fake reviews are extremely common. There are actually fake review networks that submit fake reviews to help or damage businesses. It is possible that you received a review from a "customer" who you are sure you've never served.
It is possible that you'll be the victim of an unscrupulous competitor who will employ companies to leave negative reviews about your business.
You'll need to take several steps when dealing with fake negative feedback.
1. Contact the Review Platform
Let the review website know that the supplier of the fake review was never a painting customer of yours.
In the highly likely event that you don't get an adequate response, you should:
2) Respond to the Review
If your review platform permits business owners to respond, do so. In your reply to the review, make it clear that the original reviewer was not a customer. Make sure you state that your business is committed to providing customers with the best service possible. It might be helpful to note that in the event a customer is not initially happy with the service, you make every effort to make it right.
It is vital to keep an eye on the reviews you receive for your painting services on the various review websites.
Review sites can help you find reviews online for your company by entering the name of your painting company as well as the term "reviews". In the screenshot below, I've searched for "harmony painting reviews" Harmony Painting is a painting contractor in Colorado with who I have no affiliation.
As you can see below, there are reviews and references to Harmony Painting on many other websites. They appear on the top results page. You'll likely see something similar when you search for your company followed by "reviews". You must maintain and check these pages. Here's a quick breakdown of what's happening:
Google Reviews (A in the screenshot above) are the most important. Your prospects will see your company info and reviews as shown above when they search for your business. Monitor and respond to Google reviews, as they're highly visible, and you'll probably have more reviews on Google than anywhere else.
(B) in the screenshot above. Yelp will likely appear on the first or second page of results for your painting company. It is found more often than not on the first page of the search results. Make sure you create and maintain your Yelp Business page, and then respond to reviews.
Your Yelp star rating is highly visible to users. You'll notice that the star rating appears right in the search result listing for Yelp - users don't even have to click through to see your rating.
(C) in the image above. Your painting company may have listings as well as reviews for both of these sites (which are owned by the same company. Your star rating, like Yelp's, may appear right on the page as you can see in the angi.com result. It is, therefore, crucial to monitor your listings and offer top-quality service.
(D) in the screenshot above. The surprising thing about the BBB is that according to the Bright Local study cited at the beginning of this article, your prospects are likely to trust BBB reviews more than Google reviews - therefore you're going to want to keep an eye on those BBB reviews.
(E) in the screenshot above. Facebook review and star rating is displayed right in the Google Search results. You don't even have to click the result to go to Facebook to see your rating. As a result, you'll want to set up your Facebook business page and monitor your reviews and recommendations closely.
Other review sites you might discover when searching for your business include:
For each of the above, register your business and monitor your reviews.
Your painting business is going to be listed on several websites that are not of your control. This includes review websites. You won't be able to remove your company's profile from these websites.
These review websites can be considered as a means to promote your company. Add your business's listing to every major review site. All reviews, positive or negative, will be accepted to be replied to.
Do your best to rectify any negative feedback left by customers. Prospective customers can see your reviews and judge your professionalism. They'll also be able to evaluate the way you deal with difficult situations. Though negative reviews may occur it's a common part of the business. But, responding to reviews in a professional way can help your business shine in their eyes.
Try to resolve conflicts offline, if you can, and avoid arguing with your customers online.