Obtaining Customer Reviews For Your Home Inspection Business
by Inspector Media Founders Erik Gromicko & Justin Zola
As the owner of a home inspection business, it can be challenging to promote your business and find new customers. That said we are here to discuss one additional tactic that you can use to generate trust and additional business in the future.
That is the customer review.
We have previously discussed the importance of creating and overseeing a social media campaign for your home inspection business. Social media can not only help you find warm leads, but it can help you solidify relationships with current fans and customers.
Simply put, it is a cost-effective, powerful tool in your marketing portfolio.
But having said that, social media requires you to consistently produce content for your followers and potential followers. Ideally, your customers will sing your praises be consistent sources of referrals in the future. With a customer review, your customers—in effect—are doing your work for you.
Yes, obtaining positive customer reviews is much easier said than done. However, it is not impossible. Ultimately, by obtaining a positive client review on internet juggernauts like Google, Facebook or Yelp, you build some organic, free advertising to your home inspection business. And because word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful marketing strategies out there, this is something that you cannot ignore. Generating this type of goodwill on the internet can lead to a significant increase in sales.
So how do you go about it? How can you tactfully ask clients to leave an internet review for your home inspection business?
Asking for Customer Reviews: Dos and Dont’s
There is good news and bad news. Let’s start with the bad news. The bad news is that there isn’t a way to absolutely guarantee that a particular customer will leave a review. Quite obviously, you cannot force anyone to do something that they don’t to do. Even if you think a review from an “A-list” client could lead to a massive influx of sales in the future, nothing is guaranteed.
But having said all of that, there are some tactics and strategies that you can leverage that will increase the odds of a customer leaving a review for your home inspection business.
To start, it’s important to complete some preliminary steps before asking for customer reviews. A critical task is determining which websites to target for reviews. While a customer can leave a review wherever he or she likes, you will want to determine which websites are more valuable for you. We believe that some of the most important websites for home inspector reviews include Yelp, Google, and Facebook. So instead of focusing on gathering reviews on a smaller, more niche website, we recommend that you target the heavy hitters. In all likelihood, a significant amount of potential customers who are searching for your services will start at one of those three websites.
From there, find the URLs and links to the websites where you are seeking customer reviews. Gather them and place all of these URLs in a separate document. This eliminates having to go back to your profile pages and gather the appropriate URLs for every single review. You will quickly be able to link to your profile pages when asking for customers to write reviews for your business.
With all of the formalities down, you will now want to approach customers and ask them to write reviews for your business. But which customers? Obviously, you want to gather as many positive reviews as possible. So it helps to start by approaching some of your most satisfied customers—preferably after you have completed some task like a home inspection. You can also do this on a larger scale by sending an email to your business’s email list (although this increases the chances of a bad review, as explained below).
Before asking for a review you will want to gauge whether your client was (or was not) satisfied. You can do this by seeking genuine feedback in-person, asking questions like “What did you think of our work?” or “Were you satisfied with the work that you received?” If the client positively answers these questions (and you can tell that they are being genuinely positive), invite them to submit a review on your preferred website. You can even try seeking a testimonial that you can place on your website, but make sure that the client is enthusiastic about the services you provided.
If you are seeking feedback from customers who are not physically in front of you, the task becomes slightly harder. You can choose to either email your business’s email list, a particular subset of customers, or individual customers. In your message, use a compelling subject line like “Your Valued Feedback is Appreciated” or something similar.
In the body of your email, make it immediately clear that you appreciate your clients’ feedback and that you will accept all feedback. Whoever you choose to target, it is important to remember that simplicity is your friend here. Make sure that the body of your email is short and sweet. List the links of your preferred review websites in the body of the email. You want to make the review process as simple as possible for them. Keep in mind that your customers are taking time out of their day to give feedback on your business. Because of this, you need to make the review process quick and seamless.
This discussion of reviews also leads to one final, yet important point. You may be wondering whether you should offer some type of incentive for customer feedback. Undoubtedly, you have encountered these type of offers in your professional and personal life. By completing a customer feedback survey, for instance, you may be eligible to receive a large gift certificate or even a cash prize.
Whether you choose to offer some sort of incentive to obtain customer reviews is up to you. That said, you want to be careful here. Your ultimate goal should be genuine feedback. If an unsatisfied customer responds to your incentive and writes a positive review, you may receive that initial benefit, but may suffer in the long run. This is because that customer may have had negative, but constructive feedback that you could have corrected in your business. Therefore, if you do decide to offer an incentive for customer reviews, it is critical to acknowledge this reality. Don’t rest on your laurels if you see an influx of positive reviews. Continue to seek feedback outside of your incentive program.
The Power of Reviews
Due to the rise of the internet, customer reviews have become increasingly important. If a customer has not yet heard of your home inspection business, they are likely to first scan some internet reviews before contacting you. While you can’t control everything that is said about you on the internet, you can take some steps to generate reviews of your business. It may require some experimentation, but putting in the work now may lead to significant benefits down the road.
At Inspector Media, we assist home inspection business owners with tasks like these. If you would like to learn more about how we can help your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. You can click here to visit our website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.