According to a recent Qualified Remodeler survey, 65% of contractors receive recommendations from homeowners they’ve worked with. This means 1 in 3 don’t get recommended.
And many homeowners have been hearing horror stories about the home improvement industry for years.
Basically, what it comes down to – they simply don’t trust you…
So, people are going online these days to do their research before they call. They’re looking for complaints, bad reviews, and any issue they can find so they have a solid reason not to call you.
Reviews can have a huge impact on the homeowner’s decision. According to Guild Quality:
“87% of consumers say that positive reviews reinforced their purchase decision. 80% of consumers say negative reviews caused them to change their mind.”
So, how can you overcome all this distrust?
Well, you need to build up trust whenever and however you can. Here are a few tips to help you let potential customers know they can have faith in you and your business:
- Testimonials – by adding written, verbal, and video testimonials to your website, brochures, flyers, and anywhere else they’ll fit, you are showing prospects that you do good work. Don’t be afraid to ask for those testimonials and use them. Do not, however, make them up – it can seem obvious and will do more harm than good.
- Reviews – there are a lot of review sites out there: Yelp, Angie’s List, Insider Pages, Merchant Circle, City Search, and more. And there are the local pages for Google, Yahoo! and Bing. If you are listed and have claimed your home improvement business, you can direct your past customers to these sites – with direct links – so it’s easy for them to give you a review.
- Trust Badges – on your website, you need to place any logos for awards you’ve won, for associations you belong to, and for any memberships you have. For example, if you’ve won the Hanley Wood Big 50 Remodeler award or the Replacement Contractor 100, be sure to put (or have your website designer) those images on your website. Not a Big 50 or Top 100? That’s okay – if you’re a member of Angie’s List, your local Chamber of Commerce, AGC, NAHB, NARI, or any other association, they have logos that you can place on your website, you vehicle(s), and in your marketing collateral.
- Better Business Bureau – speaking of memberships, if you have an account with the BBB – and no complaints or bad reviews – then you need to put their logo on your site, your trucks, everywhere… And when you can, link to the online version so people can see that you’re in good standing.
- GuildQuality – our partner GuildQuality provides a great service for home improvement pros. They conduct customer satisfaction surveys and provide you with the ability to show off the recommendations of happy homeowners. They have a great response rate, provide you with useful tools and reports, and allow you to easily monitor reviews and make improvements.
When you can show homeowners that you do good work – in all the places they are looking today – then you’re going to get more people to hire you. You’ll have more leads and the trust you build up with help you close more deals.
Complaints, bad reviews, and negative word-of-mouth are hard to overcome. But when homeowners can see you have happy customers… it will truly help your bottom line. And it’s a lot of work to keep up with.
IMPORTANT TIP: To track what’s being said about you online, consider setting up Google Alerts – the search engine e-mails you whenever someone is mentioning your company online. If you have a generic name (like Acme Remodeling) be sure to put brackets [Acme Remodeling] around your company name. This will rule out people searching just the word “acme” and will have to include the “remodeling” word as well.