87% of customers use reviews as part of their process of hiring a local service provider according to a BrightLocal study. Customers place a heavy emphasis on recent reviews - with 73% of customers only looking at the most recent month of reviews. Your restoration company needs to be continuously collecting new reviews from your customers.
Google Business Profile reviews are probably the most important place to stack up favorable reviews. Google makes use of reviews as one of the ranking factors to determine how you will be displayed in the local map results - "More reviews and positive ratings can improve your business's local ranking". You can be assured that other review sites consider the number of reviews and ratings that you've given as ranking factors.
Nope. You can't remove your business from third-party websites. There is no choice for which review sites collect reviews on behalf of your company. Other websites are able to list your business and collect reviews about your business. The review platforms will not take down your business from their site or cease collecting reviews when you ask them to do so.
As a result, you'll have to "play ball" and use reviews as a method to effectively promote your business.
It is crucial to get as many customer reviews as you can. Remember that this must be done within the guidelines of the platform for reviews. Reviews can be requested for some review platforms like Google. Yelp and other review platforms do not permit you to directly request reviews.
You'll have to be aware from the review platform of what kind of review collection tasks are permitted.
There are many methods that customers can employ to leave reviews on review websites. Here are a few of the most commonly used methods to obtain reviews for your damage restoration company.
The best method to convince your customers to write a review for you is to send your customers a text message with links to your company's review page. It's easy for them and easy for you. Before sending an email, confirm with the customer that they're ok receiving a text from you to leave a review.
This should be done as you're finishing your restoration services for this customer. You've helped them recover from disaster. You've done a great job and they will more than likely be happy to provide you with a review. Asking when you're wrapping up at their residence will increase the chance that your customer will write them a review because your services are still fresh in their mind.
The most trusted source for reviews is Google, and they provide a step-by-step process to help you get 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 to at you can give to your customers in order to get more reviews.
The second option is probably to email the customer a review link as part of your restoration and recovery services. It is likely to get less response than a text link. Your email could get missed in their spam filter or they could not have time to complete the review after your email comes in.
There are many online review platforms that can make the review collection process easier for your business.
Grade.US starts at $110/mo and is geared towards marketing agencies. However, you can also sign your restoration business up for the service and run it on your own. You can text 200 customer review requests per month for an additional fee. Additionally, it comes with an review carousel widget you can install on your website.
Grade.US also has a trial offer for a free trial option that lasts for 14 days.
GatherUp provides review collection services which start at $99/month for up to 3,500 customers. This includes both email (3,000/mo) and text (300/mo) options to collect reviews.
You'll also get an online review widget is available on your company website. GatherUp provides robust services for reporting and review monitoring online.
GatherUp has a no-cost 14-day trial offer.
If you've got a solid review collection process using the methods above, getting real reviews won't be an issue. It's not necessary to generate fake reviews or provide evidence to back your reviews.
Do not ask anyone to leave reviews that aren't real. Never encourage those who haven't been actual customers of your service to write an online review on Google or on any other website.
The FTC is trying to crack down on fake reviews since these are deemed highly deceptive business practices. Do not allow family members or friends to leave reviews for your company. Don't find disreputable third-party services to leave you fake reviews. These practices aren't restricted to reviews. False endorsements, including something that seems as harmless as a "like" on Facebook from someone who isn't a customer, can be interpreted as deceptive to consumers.
Another technique that is forbidden by the FTC is to encourage reviews. This has the potential to be a source of trouble for you not only with the FTC but also with the review platforms themselves. Review platforms must make sure that they contain mostly authentic reviews in order for users to trust and continue using their websites.
That means your damage restoration company shouldn't provide any kind of rewards like a prize, competition, or chance to win something in exchange for writing a review. If you're able to provide an excellent service, these tactics are unnecessary.
It's important to be responding to reviews on a daily basis if you can - and every week at a minimum for most businesses. A lot of review websites mentioned in this article offer review monitoring that allows you to track the time and notify you when reviews were posted across different review sites. You're going to have to consistently monitor and respond to customer reviews for your restoration services
You must respond to reviews posted by your customers on review sites. It shows that you're an active business owner that you welcome comments and suggestions from customers. Being open to feedback like this can set you apart from your competitors - most of whom probably don't track and reply to their reviews.
It's easy to answer favorable reviews of your business. Let them know it was an honor to help themand thank them for choosing your restoration company.
It doesn't need to be a business owner or technician who responds to good reviews. A team member can be instructed on how to adequately respond.
Even even if you're the most diligent business owner and provide the best restoration services available, negative reviews are bound to occur. Some customers are difficult and are nearly impossible to satisfy.
It's good to know that a negative review isn't the end of the world for your restoration company when handled properly. The occasional negative review is an unfortunate side effect of being a business owner. If your company has nothing except positive reviews, it can even appear fake to prospective customers.
According to Search Engine Land, 90 percent of the people surveyed don't put too much stock in negative reviews if you as the business owner respond appropriately and take action to address the problem. If you're able to properly respond, people can change their negative reviews to be more favorable.
Marketing Opportunity that is geared toward prospects
It may sound crazy, but when you respond to negative feedback about your restoration 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 won't ever be happy, therefore your response to their negative review needs to be designed with prospective customers in your mind.
If a customer is unreasonable and is ranting about their experience in their review, it's likely that prospects will see and recognize that the issue could be with your angry customer and not you. Reacting emotionally to an angry customer in a kneejerk, angry manner will make you look bad.
Be measured, rational, and well-thought-out in your response. Try to make the situation right if possible. Show that you care. Avoid arguments.
Responding to Bad Reviews When it is Your Fault
Accept it. Be sorry for any mistakes and be contrite. If you are able, set it right with the homeowner/business owner. If there was something that wasn't done right with the restoration process, it is your responsibility to fix it.
If there was a legitimate communication or service issue, you should address it to ensure that you don't run into the same situation later on. Sometimes these negative reviews represent an opportunity to learn and improve your damage restoration processes.
Responding to Bad Reviews When it isn't Your Fault
Even when you provide excellent service, you may receive an unfavorable review. They are likely to be the most difficult to reply to. Just remember that it isn't a good idea to be in a heated argument with your customer.
Thanks for their comments and sympathize with their experience and do your best to contact them directly if it is possible to reach an amicable resolution. It could just be a misunderstanding. Take the conversation offline if at all possible.
Fake Negative Reviews
Online fake reviews are quite common. If you've been in business for any length of time, you likely already have a negative review or two from customers that you're certain you have never dealt with.
Sometimes, competitors who are not ethical will even hire a service to leave your business negative reviews.
There are several steps if you're certain that you are confronting fake negative reviews.
1. Contact the Review Platform
Be sure to inform the review service that the person who wrote the review wasn't a customer of your restoration company.
Unfortunately, the review services are oftentimes not very responsive and likely won't act based on your objection, therefore I suggest that you:
2) Respond to the Review
If the review platform you use allows it, respond to the review and state clearly that the negative review wasn't from an actual customer. Make sure you state that your business is committed to providing the best customer service available and that the event cited by the customer didn't actually happen. It may be good to emphasize that on the rare occasions that someone isn't fully satisfied with the services you provide, you make every effort to make things right.
You'll need to keep track of the reviews you receive for your restoration company from the different online review platforms.
Reviews can be found online for your business by typing in the name of your company and the term "reviews". In the screenshot below I typed in "Servpro Denver of Commerce City Reviews", a local franchisee of Servpro located just north of Denver, CO.
You'll notice that there are mentions and reviews of the company on various other websites which appear on the first page of results. It is important to keep track of and monitor these listings. Here's a quick summary of what we see:
Google reviews are shown as (A) in the screenshot above. These reviews are the most important. Google reviews are visible when prospective customers are searching for your business. Respond and monitor Google reviews since they will likely get more reviews than any other review source.
(B) above. Yelp is usually listed near the top of the search results when someone searches for reviews for your business. Be sure to create and maintain your Yelp page and also respond to reviews. The star rating will usually be displayed right under the Yelp listing in the search results (although not in this case). Users don't even have to click on the Yelp link to see your rating. It is extremely important you do your best to keep an eye on those Yelp reviews.
(C) in the screenshot above. While not as many people will see your BBB review these are trusted even more than Google reviews. Spend the time to keep an eye on your BBB listing.
Much like Yelp reviews, usually Facebook reviews and recommendations are displayed right on the Google Search Results page (D) above. This means that the searcher doesn't have to click on the Facebook link to see your rating. Create a Facebook business page and collect reviews from your restoration clients.
(E) in the screenshot above. There are many local sites that will have your business listing. Know who these sites are - especially when they appear on the first or second page in Google when someone searches for your company.
These review sites are also worth mentioning and you're likely to see at least some of them when you search for your business:
Every single one of them, make sure you claim your listing. Keep track of reviews
Be aware that if your damage restoration business uses Local Services Ads, Google will send them a review link through the Local Services Ads platform - which makes it a particularly simple way to gather reviews. Note that these reviews are only available to Local Services Ads and won't be included in the Google Business Profile reviews. You'll need to ask customers for Google Business profile reviews separately.
Your restoration company is going to be listed on a variety of websites that are totally out of your control. This includes review sites. These websites will not allow you to eliminate your company from their listings.
Instead, view these sites' reviews as another way to promote your company. Register your company on the major review sites. Respond to all reviews - positive or negative.
When a customer posts a negative review - whether the fault is yours or not, try your best to correct the issue. Customers who are considering working with you can read the reviews you post and assess your level of professionalism. They'll also be able to assess your response to difficult situations. Though negative reviews happen, they're a normal part of doing business.
Finally, always take any sort of conflict offline if possible and never argue with customers online.