Solar Companies: Getting & Responding to Reviews Online

Solar Installation Prospects Look at Reviews Before Picking a Contractor

As a solar installer, you need to be providing great services to your customers - because your work is always being analyzed and reviewed online. 87% of customers pore over reviews when deciding what local business to hire for home services according to a BrightLocal survey. If you have a four-star rating or below, there's bad news according to this same survey - only 48% of prospects will even consider using your services. Providing your customers with an extraordinary experience and collecting reviews from those customers is essential to your success.

Getting a lot of very good (4 and 5 stars) Google Business Profile review ratings is extremely important for solar installers. Google makes use of reviews as one of the ranking factors to determine how you will show up on the map results - from Google - "More reviews and positive ratings can improve your business's local ranking". You can be certain that other review sites on the internet also consider the number of reviews and ratings to rank your business on their own site.

Do I Have the Ability to Remove my Google Business Listing?

You can't remove your Google listing or your listing on any other review website. They're allowed to list company info and even collect reviews for your company. Requests to take your company off of these third-party review sites will be denied.

Instead, focus on doing exceptional solar installation work and collecting reviews. Have frequent communication with your residential customers before, during, and even after the completion of the install. When you're done with the install and going over the system, ask them for a review. The more high-quality reviews you're able to obtain, the better your chances are to bring in more solar installation customers.

How Solar Company Owners Can Get More Reviews

It is essential to get as many customer reviews as you can. It must be done in accordance with the terms and conditions of the particular review site you're targeting - not all review websites operate in the same manner.

For some review platforms like Google, You can ask for reviews. For services like Yelp, it is not possible to directly ask for reviews according to their rules of service.

There are a variety of ways customers can provide reviews to review services. Below are the top ways to obtain reviews for your solar installation company.

Text Your Customers with a Link to Review Your Solar Company

Make it easy for your solar customers to provide you a review by sending them a text link to your review page on Google

Most likely the best method for your customers to leave a review on your business is to send your customers a text message with links to your company's review page on an online review platform. It's quick for them and it's easy for you. Before you send them a message, ask the customer if they would be willing to write a review.

The moment your solar installation job has been completed is the best time to ask for a review. This will increase the chances that the client will leave them a review because your service is still fresh in their mind.

The most important place for you to pile up customer reviews - Google - has an easy step-by-step procedure to help you get reviews to 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 to get more reviews.

Go to Your Google Business Profile and select "Share Review Form" under the Get More Reviews section
When the solar installation job is completed, send this link to your customers via text to get a review on Google

Email a Review Link

You can also email your customer the link to a review of your solar installation services. It is likely that you will get less response to this than the text message. Your email may get hidden in their spam filter, or they may just be too busy to complete the review when your email is received.

Use the Review Service

There are a variety of review sites that can automate the review collection process for your company

GatherUp

GatherUp offers review collection services starting at $99/month, which can be used for up to 3,500 customers. To collect reviews, you can choose to collect both email (3,000/mo) and text (300/mo).

You'll get an online review widget that is available to display on your solar company's home page (or multiple web pages). GatherUp provides robust reporting as well as reviews that can be monitored online.

GatherUp provides a free 14-day trial offer.

Grade.US

Grade.US starts at $110/mo and is geared towards marketing agencies, but you can also sign your solar company to use the service and manage it yourself. You can also send 200 words per month at an additional cost. You can also add a review carousel on your site.

Grade.US also has a trial offer for a free trial option for 14 days.

Fake Reviews

Reviews that are genuine will not be an issue if you've developed an established review collection procedure that uses the techniques described previously. There won't be a need to make fake reviews to back up your reviews.

Never ever convince someone else to create a fake review for your solar installation company. If someone wasn't a customer, don't encourage them to leave your company a review.

The FTC views fake review generation as a deceptive business practice and is punishing business owners who actively falsify their review profiles. Don't permit your friends or family members to write reviews for your company. Don't employ services to leave reviews about your solar installation services. The practices aren't limited strictly to reviews. False endorsements in any manner (including things as basic as"likes" on Facebook) could be viewed as a deceptive business method.

Incentivizing Reviews

You're not allowed to offer prizes or contests in exchange for reviews

Paying for Reviews is yet another disallowed method of review collection, as per the FTC. This could get you into with review websites and obviously the FTC. Review platforms wish to ensure that their reviews are as genuine as possible to ensure that customers keep using the review platform's website.

That means your solar company should not provide any reward like a prize, competition, or chance to win something in exchange for writing a review. These methods are not needed anyway - because your solar company actively asks customers for reviews after providing best-of-class installation services.

Online Review Monitoring

It is important that you're responding to reviews every day if possible - and weekly at minimum for the majority of businesses. The majority of online review services mentioned above offer review monitoring - making it simpler for business owners like you to track and be notified when they've received reviews from different review sites.

Response to Reviews of Your Solar Installation Services

In general, you should respond to every person who leaves reviews for you on review websites. It shows you're engaged and appreciate feedback from your customers. It shows a level of openness and responsiveness that your competitors won't and can set you apart.

Reacting to Positive Reviews

It's easy to reply to positive reviews about your business. Let them know that it was a pleasure to work with them and thank them for their business.

It doesn't need to be the business's owner or technician that responds to reviews. Just about any member of your team could learn the proper way to respond to these positive reviews. It is quite difficult to make a mistake when responding to a positive review.

How to Handle Negative Reviews of Your Solar Installation Services

There's no shortage of miserable people out there who just can't ever be satisfied. Even when you're the most responsible business owner and provide the best installation services in your state, negative reviews are still going to make your life interesting.

You shouldn't panic when you receive that inevitable negative review. By handling the situation professionally and promptly, it shouldn't be an issue. Getting negative reviews periodically is an unfortunate part of being a business owner. I'll go so far as to say that having a few negative reviews is actually a positive for your business. Having only positive reviews and no negative reviews could appear fake to potential customers.

90 percent of the people who were surveyed by Search Engine Land don't give a lot of credence to negative reviews if you, as the business owner take the time to address the issue. In many instances, if you respond properly, people will update negative reviews to appear more positive when you respond appropriately to the negative review.

Your Response to Negative Reviews Must be Targeted at Your Prospects

It may seem counterintuitive, but when you react to a negative review about your solar installation services, your response is more about your potential prospects rather than the customer who wrote the bad review. Certain customers are a lost cause and will never be happy no matter how astonishingly awesome your services are. Therefore, your response to their negative review should be crafted with potential prospects at the forefront of your thoughts.

Reacting emotionally to an angry review in an off-the-cuff and impulsive manner can make you appear unprofessional. If the customer is ranting and irrational, don't stoop to their level. Prospects are like you, if they see a customer ranting and responding in ALL CAPS, they'll probably have serious doubts about the reviewer's credibility.

Be sure to have a rational, measured well-thought-out response. If possible, try to work out a solution. Show compassion. Do not get into arguments.

Sometimes You'll Make a Mistake and Get a Bad Review - Here's What to Do...

Take ownership of it. Accept the responsibility for any miscommunications and show kindness. Make it right with the business or homeowner owner if you can. Repair any issues with the solar installation if possible.

If there was an actual communication or service issue, you should address it in order to avoid having to run into the same situation later on. Use the negative review as an opportunity to improve your overall processes so that the same mistake doesn't happen more than once.

You Were Great - but Received a Negative Review Anyway...

There are times when, despite providing fantastic service, you may receive a negative review. They are among the most difficult to handle. You don't want to get into it with the reviewer.

Thank the person who provided feedback and be empathetic towards their feelings. If you can try reaching out to the person directly for a solution.

Dealing with fake negative reviews

Fake reviews are rampant across the Internet. Even for products, the percentage of fake reviews is quite high - as many as 61% of electronics reviews on Amazon are fake according to Review42.com.

Fake reviews are coming your way if you haven't already received some. This can happen by accident when a customer meant to review your competitor and instead gave you a bad review. There are even unethical competitors who will hire services to leave negative reviews about your company.

You'll need to take several steps to ensure that you are having false negative feedback.

1) Contact the Review Platform

Inform them that the person who wrote the review wasn't a customer of your solar installation company.

These review websites are quite awful from a customer service standpoint. There's a strong chance your request will be ignored.

This is why you should pursue the next step if you don't receive an adequate response....

2.) Respond to the Review

If your review platform permits you to reply to the business's owner, ensure it's clear that the individual who left the review was not a customer. Keep in mind that your solar company is committed to providing you with the best service possible and that you have no knowledge about the origin of the fake review. Also consider mentioning that in the extremely rare circumstance when one of your customers isn't happy, that you take every step to rectify the situation.

Best Review Platforms for Solar Installers

You should be monitoring regularly the reviews that you get from your solar business from various review sites. platforms.

One way to discover where people leave reviews for online reviews for your business is to enter your business name followed by "reviews". In the image below, I've searched for "sunrun solar reviews". Sunrun has is headquartered in San Francisco, but apparently has a presence in multiple locations in the United States.

It is likely that reviews and mentions of the business are found on other websites, that will show on the first page. These listings must be maintained and maintained. This is a brief summary of what we see:

Search engine results for a search for a solar company's reviews

Google Reviews

Google reviews appear as (A) in the screenshot above. This listing is the most important and will be displayed to potential customers when they search for your company. Respond and monitor Google reviews, because these most likely be seen and reviewed by more of your prospects than any other review website.

Industry Review Sites

(B) in the screenshot above is for a website called solarreviews.com. This website provides a lot of information related to installing solar panels for homeowners. It also has reviews of companies by zip code. You'll want to keep a look out for sites like this and claim your solar installation company's listing if possible. You'll of course want to monitor the reviews that your company receives on sites like this. You can see that a star rating for the company appears within the search results.

(D) is for a website called EcoWatch.com. It apparently provides reviews for solar companies - but it goes way beyond just solar, and covers a variety of health and eco-related topics. As with any other website that discusses your company, you're going to want to see how your company is displayed and reviewed - and if possible claim your listing.

General Review Sites

(C) in the screenshot above is for a website called consumeraffairs.com It also shows star ratings for companies within the search results as did Solarreviews.com. This is more of a general review site that goes beyond just solar installers. Be sure to monitor reviews and claim your listing if possible.

Yelp

(E) in the screenshot above. Yelp appears on the search results page for most local services companies - usually, quite a bit higher up than you can see in the screenshot. You must claim your Yelp business page and respond to any reviews that appear as part of your Yelp listing.

Online review management

Solar companies will be featured on many websites that aren't controlled by you, such as review websites. These websites won't permit you to remove your company from their listings.

Review sites can be considered as a means to promote your company. Register your business listing on every major review site. Respond to all reviews - this means both the good reviews - and the not-so-good reviews.

If you can, resolve conflicts offline, and never get in a bickering match or feud with those customers who have given you a bad review.

Do your best to rectify any negative reviews left by your customers. When you respond to reviews, future customers will be able to read the review you wrote and be able to assess your professionalism as well as how you deal with difficult situations. Even if you have negative reviews, they are expected by your prospects. It is how you handle those negative reviews that matters. If you respond in a professional way will place your business in a positive light in the eyes of potential customers.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I've been helping small businesses - including home services contractors - get more business online for over 17 years.

About Me

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I've been helping small businesses - including home services contractors - get more business online for over 17 years.

This website is dedicating to helping home services contractors to grow their businesses by implementing effective marketing, systems, and processes. 
Learn More About Me

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