Home Services Reputation Management: Complete Guide
Home services reputation management can help you stand out from your competitors and reinforce trust with new and existing customers.
No matter what business you’re in, the key to business success is to reach a steady stream of new potential customers. In the home services industry, these customers can give you the momentum you need to grow your operation.
Today, every home services company should use reputation management software and tools to improve visibility in online searches. After all, people are using search engines like Google to learn about businesses in their area before making that first phone call.
Unfortunately, too many local business owners are missing out on the incredible potential that reputation management offers. If you’re not using reputation management, you may be shutting yourself out of future customers, and you’re not doing your brand image any favors.
In our guide below, we’ll show you why home services reputation management is so important and help you choose the specific services that you’ll need to get the most out of this powerful digital marketing tool.
Let’s get started!
What are Home Services?
The term “home services” refers to any number of businesses that work on residential homes and may include:
- Cleaning or maid services
- Handyman services
- Landscaping/lawn care
- Home moving services
- Home storage solutions
- Heating, Ventilation, and Cooling (HVAC)
- Concrete or masonry services
- Interior decorator services
- Home inspection services
- Gutter services
- Chimney sweep services
Because these businesses typically focus on local service regions, gaining visibility in the digital environment can help small business owners thrive, even in competitive marketplaces. That’s what makes home services reputation management so valuable; reputation management strategies can get you in front of the people who matter most: your customers.
Why Your Online Reputation Matters in the Home Services Industry
Your online reputation is how people perceive your business online. Your reputation is based on the quality and quantity of information in search results, including:
- Customer reviews
- Customer feedback on social media accounts
- News articles
- Brand mentions
- Listings in business directories
- Visibility on Google Maps and other digital resources
Positive information, including positive reviews or other positive customer feedback, can help you unlock new opportunities; this positive information serves as a powerful lead generation tool.
Negative information, on the other hand, can keep you from achieving your business goals. Every negative review or unflattering customer feedback posted to the web undermines everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
To control the digital narrative and put your business in a positive spotlight, online reputation management can help your business accentuate the positive and remove or suppress the negative.
In later sections of our guide to home services reputation management, we’ll present the crucial online reputation management services that benefit small business owners the most.
How Online Reviews Can Support or Harm Your Business
In the modern digital age, online reviews are perhaps the first aspect of your business that potential customers evaluate before making purchasing decisions. The simple fact is: people are reading reviews on Google, Yelp, TrustPilot, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
People are reading business reviews at a rate of millions of times per day. The quality of reviews can either position your company in a positive light or spell doom for your chance at growing your business.
How important are online reviews? Consider the following statistics:
- 93% of consumers read reviews before buying a product or hiring a home services company.
- 91% of consumers indicate that online reviews are trusted as much or more than personal recommendations.
- 92% of customers are more likely to make a purchase after reading positive reviews.
What about negative reviews? Consider these alarming stats:
- Only 13% of customers will consider using a business with a 1- or 2-star rating on review sites.
- 94% of customers say that negative reviews have caused them to seek business elsewhere.
- One negative review translates to the potential loss of as many as 22% of customers. Three or more negative reviews means a loss of as many as 60% of potential customers.
Positive reviews mean happy customers are pleased with your services. Great reviews also build trust. Negative reviews, by contrast, often come from negative customer experiences. This negative feedback can erode the trust you’ve worked hard to build between your company and your customer base.
The main takeaway from all this talk about reviews is this: consumer sentiment in the form of online reviews can unlock new opportunities — or it can damage your company and its ability to attract new customers.
Online Reputation Management for Home Services Businesses
Online reputation management is the set of practices and strategies used to effectively manage the digital narrative. Reputation management companies offer a wide range of services tailored to the unique needs and goals of each client.
For home services businesses, these reputation management services may include:
- Content removal
- Social media presence management
- Review management
- Reputation monitoring
- Google My Business/Business listing services
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Public relations (PR)
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising management for home services businesses
Obviously, not every company will need the same services. Reputation management companies typically tailor their approach to the specific needs of your business. With reputation management software and experience in the digital marketing field, the online reputation management company you choose can help you stand out in your market.
Components of a Home Services Reputation Management Strategy
Reputation management for home services companies takes many forms. With the dizzying array of services above, you may wonder, “what are the right reputation management services for my needs?
In the reputation management strategy for home services like painting, landscaping, cleaning, and roofing, certain services stand out. Let’s take a closer look at each of them below.
Because so much of your online reputation is tied to the quality and quantity of online reviews, review management must be considered an essential part of your reputation management campaign.
Review management is the process of understanding what others are saying about you, then removing the negative reviews that are harming your business prospects. Anyone can post a bad review, even if the information is false, misleading, or defamatory in nature.
Review management consists of four parts:
- Review generation
- Review response
- Review removal
- Review monitoring
Review generation on Google or other review sites helps to keep your business at the top of search results. You can make a review request with each point-of-sale purchase or encourage your customers to leave positive reviews. As you collect reviews, this review volume propels you to great visibility in online search engine results.
How you respond to reviews can make or break your business. Every negative review is a learning opportunity. By developing a consistent response — even responding to bad reviews — you are restoring trust between you and your customers. This response also gives you the chance to debunk unreasonably negative reviews.
While not every unflattering review can be removed, there are certain customer reviews that represent unfair or inaccurate feedback. By managing your review profiles, you can flag false, fake, or defamatory customer reviews for removal.
Finally, review monitoring allows you to spot problems before they can cause damage to your online reputation. Automated tools scan the web for recent reviews, giving you insights into customer feedback and potential shortfalls in your service delivery. Constant monitoring is one of the most proactive ways for you to manage reviews and ultimately results in achieving business success.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the set of principles and practices that optimize webpages for maximum visibility in online searches.
SEO use on-page factors like keywords, image optimization, visual assets, title tags, and meta descriptions to help search engines accurately categorize and index relevant websites based on a user’s search query.
For home services businesses, developing positive content using SEO principles and publishing it to company websites, blogs, and social media not only helps you build a powerful brand image but also propels you to the top of search engine results for your branded keywords. This increased visibility improves “discovery,” or the ability of potential new customers to find you first.
As mentioned earlier, most home services companies rely on local customers for their business. Consumers in your service area are the ones searching for you on Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Local search has become a dominant force, so it makes sense to leverage this tool to your advantage.
Local SEO helps your company stand out from the competition — and consumers in your area are the ones most likely to find you. First, reputation management experts claim your Google My Business (GMB) profile, which is the most critical step in the local SEO process. The profile is populated with the details consumers need: physical location, contact information, services rendered, etc.
Claiming your GMB profile also puts you on Google Maps, offering customers another way to discover your business in the online environment. By managing your local SEO, you will attract more customers, reviews, and more sales.
Social Media Management for Home Services
Social media has become a game changer not just for personal communication but also for business as well. The two previous points above apply to the context of social media. Whenever negative feedback is given as a comment, tweet, or other similar methods, this could affect how other viewers will see your business or brand.
Thus, it is important to include handling this feedback in your social management strategy. In fact, social media management has quickly become a vital part of your overall online reputation management campaign.
Social media is also good for actively gaining positive reviews, nurturing customer relationships, and even building a healthy brand reputation.
Home Services Reputation Management Software for Monitoring Your Reputation
Review monitoring is not the only monitoring solution you need to protect and preserve your reputation in the digital environment. An online reputation management firm can help you actively monitor all web channels for brand mentions, new reviews, social media activity, and more.
These firms use reputation management software to scour the web. As a proactive approach, this monitoring lets you get ahead of any negative content or feedback posted by customers. Remember, your online reputation is an essential part of your digital footprint; with monitoring tools and strategies, you can protect what you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Collecting More Positive Reviews for Your Home Services Business
As an online reputation management tool, taking control of your review profile on Google, Yelp, and TrustPilot can help you build a positive digital footprint and foster trust between your business and your customers.
Here are some tips for collecting more great reviews for your business:
- Respond to every new review, no matter how negative. By responding, you’re telling your customers you care about their feedback.
- Take ownership of any mistakes or problems your customers face. Be honest and transparent with your response to each review and offer to make things right on the next visit.
- Encourage your customers to leave reviews at point-of-sale or after visiting your company’s website. Review requests need not be forced; simply ask nicely for a review of your business and you’ll be surprised at the enthusiasm.
- Don’t take customer reviews personally. Instead, treat them as a learning opportunity, helping you to improve your business and your service delivery.
Contact InternetReputation Today
There are multiple benefits to using ORM services. You don’t have to manage your online reputation on your own. Managing reviews and all the other aspects of your digital presence can be challenging, not to mention time-consuming and frustrating. We can help.
To learn more about home services reputation management and what a reputation management firm can do to help you, call InternetReputation today at 941-259-4554, or check out our blog for details.