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How To Boost Online Reviews for Your Roofing Company

How To Boost Online Reviews for Your Roofing Company

Why Are Online Reviews So Important

It is no big news that online reviews are more essential than ever to local businesses.

 

If there’s any doubt, a study made by BrightLocal shows that more consumers are reading online reviews than ever before. In 2021, 77% ‘always’ or ‘regularly’ read them when browsing for local businesses (up from 60% in 2020). As if that wasn’t enough, different studies show that over 90% of prospects claimed that positive online reviews influence their buying decision and 86% said that their decision is influenced by negative reviews.

 

The truth is that, whether you like it or not, your prospects care about your reviews and will consider reviews as a deciding factor to do business with you. It’s not about what you think or believe, but what customers and prospects really care about. Let that sink in.

Now, You Might Be Asking: “Okay, so how do I get online reviews for my roofing business?”

Before we get into the actual steps and process that you should follow to boost your online reviews, let’s cover the basics to make sure you have a clear understanding of what’s involved, instead of simply knowing what to do.

 

The single most important thing you can do to get great reviews is to deliver an amazing customer experience. The purpose of reviews is not simply to have more reviews, but to create happy clients.

 

It all starts with having an online presence and being responsive. Meaning, you must answer the phone right away and at the very least, call them back as soon as possible. Be courteous, listen to their problem and promptly provide them with your solution, if you can help them, and then send someone to visit their property and sit down at their kitchen table as soon as possible. Also, always be ready to provide an estimate on the spot, emailing estimates rarely works. This is where great customer service begins.

 

See, happy clients help you grow your business in multiple ways. For example, one American Express survey found that, on average, happy clients tell an average of nine people about their experience. Those are nine potential referrals!

 

Focusing on customer service isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s a critical part of growing your business by building the foundation you need to ensure that you get your customers saying great things about your roofing business online.

Where should your reviews be posted?

Many years ago, it was common practice to have a “Testimonials” page on your website dedicated to collecting, well… testimonials! However, nowadays, users are savvy, and they learned that these were often cherry-picked and sometimes even made up, after all, it was only the website’s owner who was responsible for approving said testimonials and although your testimonials might be 100% legitimate, your prospects don’t know that. Today, things are quite different.

 

Online review sites are where your reviews should go. This is where your competition (the smart ones) is having their reviews posted, and it is where you will get the most benefit out of your reviews for the simple reason that prospects trust these reviews sites more than your website and, most importantly, it is where your potential clients are anyways. But don’t worry, you can embed your online reviews on your website. Apart from that, having multiple positive reviews on certain review sites can help your website to rank better on Google, this is especially true for Google reviews posted on your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business.)

 

Online review websites have their own methods to prevent fake reviews and they will also show negative reviews, which allows prospects to make their own conclusions about a business. This doesn’t mean that fake reviews aren’t real. They are. Nothing is bulletproof, but these are minimal and shouldn’t keep you from reaping the great benefits of collecting online reviews on said platforms.

 

With that said, let’s dive into what platforms should you use to get your reviews. Even though this guide is meant for residential roofing companies, every company is different, and your target audience can vary with that of other residential roofing companies, so this is something for you to figure out, depending on where your ideal customers are.

 

Based on my experience in helping roofing contractors scale their business through digital marketing, your Google Business Profile is where your reviews should go. Google is usually where most prospects are looking for roofing contractors and it is where most will naturally look for reviews. Also, having multiple positive reviews coming in frequently (and promptly responding to all of them) will help your business rank better on the local map pack (Google’s top 3 map listings at the top of the organic search results page) and can even help your website rank better on Google organically.

 

However, there are plenty of other websites where your clients can review your business, such as Houzz, Yelp, Angi, Bing Local, Facebook, etc. etc. As mentioned above, this will depend on your business and your target audience.

 

Know your audience and choose wisely. You can’t realistically manage all review sites efficiently and you will not get the most benefit if your reviews are scattered throughout multiple review sites, that’s why I encourage you to pick one review platform and stick to it.

How To Pick the Right Online Reviews Website

I know it can be difficult to decide which reviews website to go with, so allow me to give you a few tips to help you move in the right direction.

 

Are you already getting online reviews? If you are already getting online reviews coming in naturally, your first option should be to stick to that platform and increase your reviews there. However, that will depend on factors such as how easy it is for a client to leave you a review there and if that’s a place where your ideal clients “hang out” while online, meaning if it’s a site that’s popular within your niche market and if the lead quality on such site is generally good and aligned with the type of customers you are after. Be selective and think about your ideal clients, not just any client you could possibly work with.

 

Be where the crowd is. This applies to your target audience, but also your competition. Know your audience and analyze your competition. Again, for roofing contractors, this will be Google, in most cases. Combine Google reviews with Google Local Services Ads and you have a winning recipe.

 

Be where you can effectively get the best leads. Quality over quantity is a rule that can be applied to almost every aspect of our lives, and business is no exception. Make sure that you are putting your efforts into getting reviews on the right platforms. There’s no real benefit of getting reviews on a site where you can get leads, but perhaps those might not be the best leads. Maybe they are not your ideal type of customer.

 

An effective way to figure out where your best leads are coming from is to make sure you are tracking your leads, so you know where every phone call and service/quote request is coming from. If you are not doing that, look into doing it or at the very least, do it the old-fashioned way and simply ask your best leads how they found you. Make sure to make a habit out of this and keep track, do not trust your memory.

Let’s Get Reviews!

Now that you know the importance of online reviews, the main factors to have happy clients in the first place, and how to choose the best platform where to collect reviews, let’s dive in into the actual steps you should take to make collecting reviews into a habit and a build it into a non-negotiable business process.

 

This is essential. Most business owners say they want something, but they lack the direction and consistency to get it done. That’s why building it into a process is crucial and for that, you will need an SOP.

 

Being that Google Business Profile is one of the most popular review platforms for roofing contractors, I will use it as an example for this SOP. You can easily adapt this into most other platforms if you decide to use other than Google Business Profile to collect online reviews.

 

Here it is:

 

SOP On How to Increase Online Reviews for Roofing Companies

  1. Get a review link from within your Google Business Profile. This will allow you to text or email that link to your clients and have them effortlessly leave you a review. You can get your Google Business Profile link here.
     
    If you don’t yet have a Google Business Profile, you should create one first by going to https://google.com/business and signing in with a Google Account, then follow the steps to create a free Google Business Profile for your business and make sure to make it as complete as possible, adding photos and filling up all corresponding fields.
     
  2. Provided that the client is happy with the job provided. Start framing the scenario to ask for a review. The best time to ask for a review is as fast as possible, customers are less likely to leave you a review as time passes.
     
    Identify the peak of your customer’s happiness with your service and genuinely thank them for their trust and the opportunity to serve them.  Make sure they know that you are grateful. Then, create a frame for a review and uncover any hidden issues. Here’s a sample script you can use:
     
    “Mrs. Johnson,
     
    Thank you for the opportunity of working on your house. I am truly thankful that allowed us to protect your home with a new roof.
     
    I think it came out great. As you probably know, I strive to offer top service, so, let me ask you, is there anything that we’ve done that has fallen short of your expectations?”
     
    Now, close your mouth and listen. If there are any issues or concerns. Address them ASAP. If they are happy, continue. You can use the following script:
     
    “Thank you! Customer satisfaction is our top priority and that means a lot to me and my team.

    Would you mind taking a few seconds of your time to share your experience in a review on Google? This is very important to us, and it will help other great customers like yourself find the right company for their project.”

    They will most likely say “Yes, absolutely!”
     
  3. Now, tell them what to expect next. Give them instructions on how to leave their review. Here’s the script:
     
    “Thank you.

    Within the next 5 minutes, I’m going to send you a text message with a link that, once you click on it, will let you type your review directly on Google.

    Is that okay with you?
     
    They should respond positively. If there are any objections, address them right away and proceed to send them the link. After they agree, show your gratitude, and let them know you will be looking forward to their review. Use the following script:
     
    “I really appreciate it. It means a lot to me. I’m looking forward to your review.”
     
  4. Now, you are free to go your way and, as soon as you can, ideally within 5 minutes or less, text them the review link. For this, we recommend that you use a CRM where you already have your client’s information, so you can send them a predefined text message with the review link with the push of a button. However, if you don’t have that capability, you can also instruct your reps to do this manually and you should have previously provided them with a text message script that they can easily copy & paste to send it to a client’s cell phone number. The text message script should be something like this:
     
    “[Client’s first name], thank you again for the opportunity to work on your roof. Here is the review link I mentioned earlier: https://examplelink.com. Thank you, Mark”
     
  5. Your job is not over, yet. Now you must respond to this review. Be on the lookout for the review and respond within 7 days or less of receiving it.
     
    When responding to their review, thank them again for the opportunity and make it personal, instead of a canned response. Also, acknowledge your crew if they mention them and remember your reply is also about prospects that will go through the reviews in the future.

Next Steps: What about if they did not leave you a review? Follow up!

If after 48 hours of you sending them the review link, they have not left you a review. Follow up and remind them how grateful you are to have been able to serve them and how important reviews are to your business. Acknowledge that you have not seen their review yet and if there’s something that’s keeping them from doing so. You can text or call them about this, and you may have to do this multiple times. There are no instructions on this as it will vary for each case.

 

Don’t be shy to do so, life happens, and they might have simply forgotten about it, or they might be having technical difficulties. If they are truly satisfied with your service, most people will be thrilled to leave you a review and it will show them that you care about them, their opinion, and your business.

Don’t Disappear

Lastly, 4 to 6 weeks after completing the job, follow up with your homeowner via phone call.

 

To do this, you should add a note in your calendar 4 to 6 weeks in advance, immediately after asking for the review. You can use a CRM for this or manually add it to whatever calendar you use to manage your jobs.

 

Very few contractors do this. Homeowners are not expecting it, so this will create a long-lasting relationship with your clients, and you will stay fresh in their minds. Again, you are showing that you care about them and their house and this makes the customer service experience even better for them.

 

During the call, say who you are and tell them that you are simply checking in about the job. Thank them again for their review and before you hang up, if there are no objections, casually ask them for a referral. Don’t assume that because they are happy, they will immediately give you a referral, you must ask for it! You can say something like:

 

“…By the way, if you know anyone that needs our services, please feel free to send them our way. We are always looking to help homeowners and love referrals!”

 

That’s it!

 

That’s the proper way to request a review. Notice how requesting the review is only a small part of the whole process. It requires a lot more than simply asking for the review.

 

Make sure that you build this into a process and train your reps on how to do it and the importance of doing so. Additionally, you could also reward your team for every review you get. For example, you can offer them an Amazon gift card for every 5-star review they get or something along those lines. How much is a 5-star online review worth to you?

Pro Tip: Dealing with Negative Reviews

Unfortunately, negative reviews are part of the game, and they will happen. That doesn’t mean you are bad and not all is lost. Don’t let the small risk and fear of getting a negative review keep you from going after the good ones.

 

When a negative review comes your way, it can be an opportunity to show future prospects that you care and that you are a legitimate business. After all, a company with 100% 5-star reviews and no negative reviews can and will look shady. You can’t make everybody happy and that’s part of life.

 

Embrace the opportunity to improve and to show prospects the way your business handles criticism by replying to all reviews, good and bad ones.

How Should You Respond to Bad Reviews?

You should respond publicly and promptly, but not to defend yourself. Think about it from the perspective of a prospect reading your response to an angry customer. Defending yourself can make you seem aggressive or even childish. It will be a never-ending battle that will not make you look good.

 

Instead, use your emotional intelligence and don’t take it personal. Try to put yourself in their shoes. Start by thanking them for their review. Maybe it was just a misunderstanding or lack of communication from one or both parts.

 

Sure, there are people who are straight up jerks! But you shouldn’t lower your self to their level. In most cases, issues arise due to a lack of proper communication.

 

You will need to empathize with your client and put yourself in their shoes.

 

If you recognize who they are, take the time to calm down first, if you have to, and then give them a call. Ask a lot of questions and dig deep until you get the complete picture of what’s going on.

 

Once you’ve identified and understand the issue, apologize, and acknowledge that it’s a learning opportunity for you and your team and that you will make it right for them. If the issue was none of your fault, take the time to calmly explain how things work, what they should expect, and the steps that need to be taken to resolve it, without directly blaming the customer for it.

 

After you’ve fixed the issue or came to an agreement, let a few days pass and if they have not changed the rating, respond to their review by thanking them for their feedback and