Contractor Marketing Blog

The digital marketing blog for home improvement contractors covering the latest trends in web design, SEO, online advertising, and all things Google.

How a Contractor Builds a Positive Online Reputation

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 by Richard Fencil

What people say about you on review sites counts more than what they tell their neighbors.

That's because there are so many more places online talking about you: Yelp, Google My Business, Facebook, Angie’s List, Yahoo Local & a multitude of other review sites.

Word of mouth is exponentially more far-reaching online.  And people are learning where to go to research how a company performed in the past. Fortunately or unfortunately, for better or worse, the work your company does – not just you, but everyone in the company – is slowly but surely becoming documented online.  If you’re not prepared to train your receptionist, your crews, your service techs, your salespeople, and yourself on performing great work and providing great customer service every time, then you are going to have problems going forward.

Here are reasons people complain about contractors:

  • Shoddy work (this one is obvious and you might have thought I was going to stop there).
  • Rudeness from
    • Receptionist on initial call during a really busy time
    • Salesperson about competitor’s concern with your products
    • Production crew when questioned about their work
    • Service tech when a customer claimed it was your product’s fault (even though it wasn’t)
    • The owner when the customer said they wouldn't pay because work wasn’t completed (even though you think it was)
  • Price too high (even though the customer didn’t buy)
  • Price misquoted too low, the customer signed the contract, company re-quoted a higher price, and the customer complained that it was a bait and switch
  • The salesperson didn’t follow up with a quote when they said they would
  • Product or installation different from what customer expected
  • The crew didn’t return on the day they said they would
  • The crew didn’t start on the day the office said they would
  • Call center keeping the customer on hold too long
  • Etc. … Just look online and there are lots and lots of reasons that consumers have complained about a contractor online.

And the customer is always right!

Sometimes it’s because of a mistake the contractor made with the work, or that the contractor was really not reputable and did something unethical or even illegal, but most of the time it’s a communication issue.  A miscommunication so to speak.

1. Train ALL Your People on How to Communicate with Customers

Give your staff leeway to do the right thing.  Train them to put themselves in the customer’s shoes.  Have your staff read the book, Raving Fans and/or The Nordstrom Way. Never allow communication with a customer to break down.  Sometimes the customer will want more than is fair, but you have to either educate them or capitulate.  But the most important thing is not to let a miscommunication occur in the first place.  Understand where all the sticking points are and work with your team to head these off.  Never overpromise either to get the sale or to make the customer happy during installation.

2. Build a Great Reputation Online

Ask your customers to help you.  Don’t rely on them to just mysteriously go online and write a good review about your company.  Ways to ask for the review:

  • The salesperson calls to see how everything went and then asks.
  • Office person calls to check if the warranty is understood and then asks.
  • Marketing person or owner calls to see how the whole experience with your company went and then asks.
  • Production manager visits job after work is done to inspect, and then asks.

You can be creative here.  If the job is large enough, maybe a thank you gift with a note that asks (Real Estate agents are great at giving gifts to a new homeowner).

Be sure to follow the terms of any review site.

3. Let Your Website Get 5-Star Reviews for You

All BigNet Leads, companies have two widgets embedded into their websites – Star Power PRO and the Crew Review.  These tools help contractors maximize their ability to get great reviews from their customers. If you’re looking for a website that can help you build and protect your online reputation, getting you great reviews on third-party sites, then sign up for our free 30-minute webinar and learn how BigNet Leads can help your business.

BigNet Leads works with local contractors to improve their online reputation, bolstering the ability of their sites to generate leads even more effectively. We provide the best internet marketing available for fencing, deck and siding companies by building sites that dominate local markets. Learn more about our exclusive lead generation program for fencing, deck, and siding contractors.

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