For every landscaping job you perform, you need to be focused on providing excellent work. If you weren't already motivated enough to do amazing landscaping work, you must assume your customer will leave you a review. 87% of customers rely on reviews as part of their process of hiring local services according to the BrightLocal study. 72% of consumers have written a local business review. Providing high-quality landscaping installations and collecting customer reviews needs to be built into your process.
Your Google Business Profile reviews are probably the most important place for you to have good reviews. Google's Ranking factors for local businesses include Google Reviews and can help to determine where your Landscaping business falls within local map result rankings. According to Google -- "More reviews and positive ratings can improve your business's local ranking". It is safe to assume that other review sites on the Internet also consider reviews and ratings as ranking factors on their own sites.
You can't delete your Google Listing or your company listing on other review websites. Third-party companies are allowed to list your business and collect reviews for your business. They won't honor your request to take your business off their site.
The good news is that you can use all of these review websites to your advantage.
Provide amazing landscaping work and ask each and every customer for a review as you're wrapping things up. Over time, you'll have great reviews that set you apart from your competitors. These great reviews are a great differentiator and can be very effective at turning prospects into customers.
It is crucial to get as many customer reviews as you can. This must be done in conformity with the terms and conditions for the review platform. For some review services like Google, you can request reviews.
Yelp is more of a pain when it comes to reviews. They don't allow landscapers to ask for customer reviews on Yelp.
Based on the review platform, you will need to determine the kind of review collection activity that can be done.
There are many methods that customers can write reviews for review services. Below are the main methods to get reviews for your landscaping services company.
Probably the best way for your customers to write a review for you is to send them a text message with a link to your business review page on an online platform for reviews. It's simple for them, and it's easy for you. Before sending them a message, ask the client if they would be willing to leave a review.
This should be done while you're concluding your landscaping installs for the client. This can increase the probability that the customer will leave you feedback since your services are still fresh in their mind.
Google is the best platform to get reviews. It is possible to follow these steps to obtain the review link 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 to at you can give your customers to get more reviews Google provides you with a link for you to give to customers so they can easily post their review.
You may also send an email to your customer your link to write a review of your landscaping services. It is likely that you will get a lower response rate to an email than a text message. Your email may get flagged as spam - or they may not feel like giving you a review by the time the email arrives. At that point, your services may have happened days or weeks ago and isn't really in the forefront of their mind.
There are many online review platforms that can make the review collection process easier for your company. Two of these are presented below:
Grade.US is $110/mo. It's targeted towards marketing agencies. However, you can register your landscaping company for the service and manage it yourself. You can also text 200 customers per month for an additional fee. You can also add a widget on your website that will automatically show reviews from various review websites.
Grade.US also offers a no-cost trial option that lasts for 14 days.
GatherUp offers a review collection service beginning at $99/month. For collecting reviews, you can choose to collect both email (3,000/mo) as well as texts (300/mo).
There's an online review widget that you can place to display on your company's website. GatherUp also offers ways to monitor your online reviews. They also have reporting to help you track your review requests and reviews.
GatherUp offers a 14-day free trial.
Getting a large amount of genuinely positive reviews isn't hard if you have an established review collection procedure that employs the methods mentioned in the previous paragraphs. It's not necessary (or allowed) to produce fake reviews or back up your reviews.
Do not ask anyone to leave a fake review about your landscaping services. Never encourage anyone who isn't a customer of your services to leave a review on Google or on any other website.
The FTC is taking action against fake reviews as they are deceitful business practices. Don't let family members or friends review your business. Do not hire companies to write reviews about your landscaping services. These practices aren't restricted to online text reviews. False endorsements, as simple as just "liking" your business on Facebook could be viewed as a deceitful business practice.
If doing something feels like it might be shady - don't do it.
Another thing that's not allowed by the FTC is to reward reviewers. This can put you in trouble, not just with the FTC but also with the review platforms as well. The review platforms want to make sure that reviews are as legitimate as they can be so that users remain on the review platform's website. Don't incentivize reviews like this - it can get you in hot water with government regulators and review platforms
This means that your landscaping business shouldn't offer any type of rewards such as a prize, contest, or chance to win in the exchange for reviews. If you're providing a high-quality service, such tactics don't need to be used at all.
It is important that you're responding to reviews as often as you can - and every week at the minimum for all businesses. Many of the review sites mentioned in this article offer review monitoring, which automatically lets you know how many reviews have been published across different review sites. You're going to have to consistently monitor and respond to customer reviews for your landscaping company.
You should respond to reviews posted by your customers on review sites. This will show your customers that you are actively involved in the process and appreciate the feedback. This shows that you genuinely value their opinion. Being active online - especially with review platforms - can really set you apart from your competitors who ignore their reviews.
It's simple to respond to reviews that praise your company. Thank them for their business and let them know what it was like to work with them.
The best part about positive reviews is that you don't have to be the one that replies. You can fairly easily train a team member to respond to positive reviews.
Responding to negative reviews is considerably harder, but it must be done.
You're going to get negative reviews now and then, even if you're the owner of the best landscaping company on the planet. There are a lot of customers who won't be satisfied with your work under any circumstances. We've all had to deal with people like that, and it certainly isn't enjoyable.
Fortunately getting a negative review isn't that serious of an issue as long as you respond to it accordingly. Actually, occasional negative reviews are a good thing. If a business has only positive reviews, it may look fake to potential customers. It may defy logic, but people have trust issues with companies that have wall-to-wall positive reviews - it doesn't seem natural.
According to Search Engine Land, 90 percent of the people who were surveyed don't put too much faith in occasional negative reviews if you, as the business owner, respond appropriately and take action to address the problem. People often alter negative reviews to be more favorable when the business owner responds properly to the reviews.
Marketing Opportunity geared towards Prospects
Your reply to negative reviews should be more focused on your prospects than the customer who left the bad review. In some cases, the customer is difficult, a lost cause, and won't change their minds. They often times won't do business with you again no matter what your reply is.
Therefore, the focus must be on the prospects - who could turn into your customers if you reply appropriately.
If a client is unreasonable and is ranting about their experience in their review, it is likely that prospects will see and recognize that the issue may be with your irate customer and not you. Responding to a reviewer like this with a measured, reasonable approach will convey to prospects that the problem may not be with your landscaping company.
Be measured, rational, and thoughtful in your responses. If possible, try to solve the issue. Show you care. Avoid arguments.
A Bad Review Because You Messed Up
Accept it. Make sure to apologize for any miscommunications. Be kind. If you can, try to make amends with the homeowner. If mistakes were made with their landscaping, fix them.
If there was a legitimate communication or service issue, take care to address the issue so that you don't encounter the same issue in the future. Your landscaping systems and processes can actually be improved in some cases by negative reviews.
A Bad Review - But Your Landscaping was Perfect
Even when you provide excellent service, you'll get a negative review. These are the ones that are the most difficult to respond to. It isn't a good idea to be in a heated argument with your customer.
Thanks for their comments, empathize with their situation, and do your best to reach them directly if you can reach an amicable solution. This could be due to an oversight or miscommunication in the delivery of the landscaping services.
Dealing with Fake Negative Reviews
The Internet is full of fake reviews. 92% of 18-34-year-olds have read a fake review online in the last year. You may have received a fake review from someone whom you've never done any landscaping for.
Many times, unethical competitors will hire services to leave negative reviews about your business.
When you're 100% sure you're dealing in fake negative reviews, here's what you can do:
1) Contact the Review Platform
Inform them that the person who wrote the review never purchased your landscaping services.
The review services aren't responsive and are likely to not act in response to your complaint. If that happens to you, I would suggest that you:
2) Respond to the Review
If the review platform you use allows users to get a response to the business's owner, ensure that it's clear that the person who posted the review wasn't a customer. Keep on mentioning that your business is committed to providing the highest level of service and the service they're complaining about did not occur. It could be good to emphasize that if a customer in the future isn't happy with your services, you will make every effort to correct the issue.
It is essential to keep an eye on the reviews you receive about your landscaping business through the various review sites online.
One way to find out where people leave reviews on the internet for your business is to enter your landscaping company's name followed by the word "reviews". In the screenshot below, I searched for "Mountain Sky Landscaping Reviews" which is a landscaping company in Denver, Colorado.
You'll notice that there are mentions and reviews of the company on numerous other websites which appear on the first page of results. These listings need to be maintained and monitored. This is a brief summary of what we've observed:
(A) in the screenshot above. This is probably the most important review site of all. It is visible when prospective customers are searching for your business. Set up your Google Business Profile and collect reviews. Monitor and respond to all the Google reviews that you receive.
Yelp reviews are shown as (B) in the screenshot above. Yelp generally shows high up in the search results for most local services providers - including landscapers. You must create a Yelp business page, claim it, also respond to reviews. It is extremely important that you have a good rating because the stars are shown in the search results as you can see in the image.
HomeAdvisor is shown in (C) the above screenshot. Angi.com and HomeAdvisor.com are now the same company, although they still have separate websites so your landscaping company may appear on either site (or both). Like Yelp, a star rating is often shown for HomeAdvisor right on the review page as you can see above. It is essential that you claim this listing, do good work, and respond to reviews (if the sites allow this).
(D) in the screenshot above. Houzz is another site that focuses on design and remodeling for residential homeowners, but obviously landscapers are also covered by Houzz. Claim your listing and monitor your ratings.
Facebook is shown as (E) in the screenshot above. Facebook reviews and recommendations (star ratings) show right in the search results. Claim your Facebook business page and respond to any reviews and recommendations as they arrive.
You can also look for these review websites when you search for your company:
Conduct a search for your business to see what sites show up. Claim your listing and monitor all reviews for your business, and respond to reviewers when you can.
Note that if your landscaping business uses Local Services Ads, Google will send them reviews via the Local Services Ads platform - making it a simple method to collect reviews. The reviews are available only for Local Services Ads.
Google Business Profile reviews will still need to be collected separately.
Your company will appear on various websites that are not under your control, like review sites. You can't take your business's listing off these sites.
Review sites can be seen as a method to market your company. Claim your listing on all the major review websites. Any reviews, whether positive or negative, should be responded to
Make sure you work to address any negative reviews written by your customers. Prospective customers can see the reviews you leave and assess your level of professionalism. They will also be able to assess the manner in which you respond to difficult situations. Negative reviews are inevitable and are a part of doing business, responding in the right manner will put your company into a positive light in the prospect's eyes.
If you are able, try to resolve the conflict offline, and avoid arguing with online customers.