Imagine for a moment that your offer on a home was just accepted and you now want to hire a home inspector. So, like most people you either ask for a referral or head to the internet and conduct a search. Even if you get a referral from a trusted source you are likely to check out that company on-line.
How On-line Reviews Help your Business
On-line reviews attract more visitors to your website. After all we all want the best and the company with the most top rated reviews is the guy! Even if your company is not listed first in the search results, if you have more top-rated reviews you will still receive the most visitors.
We place a lot of importance on social interactions, perceptions and opinions.
Another huge benefit to on-line reviews is that the search engines (google) factors your on-line review into your ranking and placement of your web site in the displayed search results. Businesses with more reviews tend to be more prominently displayed in the search results.So on-line reviews improve customer confidence, and better search rankings result in more website visits all of which translates in to increased inspections.
Your on-line reputation is important
One study showed that nine out of ten individuals have used on-line reviews to decide which business to hire. If you’re searching for a home inspector, and you see one with lots of positive reviews, you’re probably going to call that company because other people appear to have had a good experience with them.
So What’s Next?
This all sounds great in theory, but in practice the problem is people tend to only write reviews when they are upset and something went badly. However, if you have the right processes in place, and with persistence, you can get happy customers to leave reviews.
This said, in order to get these reviews, you must do good work and be nice to work with. In other words a Professional Home Inspector. A good start is joining a home inspector association like NCLHIA. With these attributes it’s not difficult to get customers to write reviews.
First and foremost you will need a Google Business Page. It amazes me how many home inspectors either don’t have a website or are not taking full advantage of their internet presence. Many seasoned and very good home inspectors in the Charlotte area have either very few or zero reviews. So go to google.com/business and get started, it’s free and easy.
Establish and Implement a Process
Just because you have a Google business page this still does not ensure you will get the reviews you are looking for. So here are a few tips and tools you can use to increase the odds of getting good reviews.
1. Follow up and Ask for reviews.
You know when an inspection has went well and the client is satisfied so following up after the inspection is by far the most critical and effective thing you can do to get that review. For best results send a simple email after you have delivered the inspection report. If you use a report delivery or order management system may of these services have built in CRM (customer relationship management) tools built in that will automate this process.
2. Some companies hand out business style cards to request reviews.
These cards serve as a reminder to the client and should make it easy for them to leave a review. It is essential that these cards have the link to your Google Business page so they can leave a review. Keep the cards simple and straight to the point but with the needed information. Business cards are cheap and universally accepted.
3. Make sure your website has a link to your Google Business page.
Perhaps you can place it along with client testimonials you have posted. Using an image with an embedded link is great.
4. Most inspection reports are delivered electronically so include a link in the report.
Even if you use printed reports make sure the URL address is included in the printed report.
The key here is to be consistent, implement a strategy and follow through on it. Don’t be disappointed as you will not get a review from every client in fact there will be only a few that leave a review, but those few good reviews more than make up those that don’t.
Both consumers and Google place a lot of importance and confidence in reviews. So the inspector with the best on-line reputation, and the most social proof backing them, are the ones who will attract the most on-line business.
We have talked a lot about Google reviews because they are nearly 80% of all internet searches. You should not abandon or forget other platforms or websites. A strong and diverse portfolio of reviews will provide you the best results by far. So don’t forget to set up review accounts on Yelp or Bing. If you’re a member of Angie’s List or the BBB check and ask for reviews there too.
With a little upfront effort to implement a system to ask for and obtain reviews, you can position yourself as the go-to inspector in your market, ultimately book more inspection and make more money. The truth is a lot of you competitors are either not interested or just don’t know the importance of reviews.
So if you’re a new inspector this is a cheap and easy way to boost your visibility and increase business. For established inspectors who are looking to expand their business this will give you an edge on your competition and a way to stand out from the crowd.