Electricians live or die by their reputations. You’re well aware of that one GC or one homeowner who inexplicably didn’t like you or your company. It’s why the most successful companies invest in skilled technicians and commit to high standards. The really savvy companies have nice websites or social media profiles.
You are your reputation. Your employees are your reputation. Your trucks are your reputation. Everything speaks.
However, the landscape has changed over the last 10 years. It isn’t just word-of-mouth and solid relationships that build a business over time. Even 100% commercial B2B electrical contractors have clients and prospects who look up their reputations online before deciding. In this day and age, businesses that want to compete have to invest in managing their online reputations, too.
“I’ve been in business for over 10 years,” you might say. “I’ve got plenty of happy customers.” Maybe you even have some good online reviews. Sure—but consider that 73% of potential clients only pay attention to reviews written in the last month. An effective online reputation management plan requires a robust strategy for continuously generating positive reviews and minimizing the impact of negative reviews.
Having a constant stream of positive reviews online plays a pivotal role in generating new business. 85% of people—including general contractors and building companies—trust online reviews as much as word-of-mouth. And half of your potential clients will require a four-star rating minimum to even consider contracting you.
Here’s the truth: your competitors might be taking your ideal jobs simply because they proactively generate and respond to reviews on a regular basis.
“How Many Recent Reviews Do I Need?”
On average, potential clients want to read seven recent and positive reviews before putting their trust in a business or service. If you don’t have a system for getting seven new positive reviews every month, you’re leaving business on the table. That’s if you have only positive reviews—it’s likely that a handful of recent negative reviews may turn clients away before they consider picking up a phone.
However, even a negative review can be an opportunity to win potential business. The key—regardless of the review’s star rating—is how quickly you respond.
Why Responding to Reviews Can Help You Generate More Business
Google makes your business more visible when you have more “review signals,” which consist of review quantity, diversity, and velocity. The more consistent your review generation is, the higher your business will rank in local search results. More visibility means more business over time.
“Sure,” you might say. “But why respond to reviews?”
For one thing, your replies and comments are a review signal. So if you take the time to respond to every review, you’re effectively doubling the review signals Google is using to determine how to rank your business.
For another, online review replies help develop client trust, including potential clients who read your replies later. Google data says that searchers are almost twice as likely to trust a business that responds to reviews over one that doesn’t, and 9 out of 10 people will read your response. Surveys show that over half of reviewers expect a reply within a week.
Quick Replies Can Undo Negative Reviews, Study Finds
A recent study on consumer behavior found that 33% of reviewers who left a negative review changed their rating after getting a response, and 34% simply deleted their review. If you quickly and politely respond to reviews on a regular basis, you could potentially reduce your negative review count by 67%!
Anyone who works in client service knows that people just want to be heard. That’s what most negative reviews are—a demand to be heard and understood. A speedy and sincere response ensures they feel heard, and can potentially turn an upset reviewer into a client for life. Over a timeline of 10 or 15 years, you could leverage untold amounts of revenue just from careful management of your online reputation.