The Importance of Reputation Management for Builder Success
According to recent research, 81% of consumers research products and services online before going to a brick-and-mortar location. With so many potential clients turning to the web to compare and contrast available builders, it’s easy to see why having a positive online reputation is so important. In fact, a negative online reputation can:
- Lead to loss of revenue
- Decrease company credibility
- Drive more than 70% of potential customers away
- Lower your search engine ranking
The best way to ensure your building company is able to attract new business is by finding ways to optimize your reputation management strategy. Whether you trust a marketing team with your online reputation needs or prefer to handle things internally, keeping your finger on the pulse of your brand’s reputation will help you avoid catastrophic losses to your bottom line.
How to Manage Your Building Company’s Online Reputation
1. Monitor Your Reviews
The first step to take when managing your reputation is to read the reviews that currently exist online about your company. It’s important not to leave reviews unanswered for too long — especially if they’re negative — as this can communicate to potential customers that your team doesn’t care about what clients are saying. In fact, research shows that responding to reviews results in more positive ratings.
Make sure that you carefully review all potential sources for customer feedback. The following are just some of the most popular channels for customers to leave online reviews:
- Angie’s List
- Better Business Bureau
- Google My Business
2. Claim or Create Online Directories
Once you’ve identified your online reviews, it’s time to take charge of your digital presence by either starting or claiming pages that already exist. For homebuilders, the target audience is most active on Facebook, Google, Yelp, Yellowpages, Better Business Bureau, and Angie’s List. As such, it’s best to focus your efforts on developing profiles on these platforms first rather than building out a profile on a channel that’s not as widely used by the ideal consumer, like Foursquare or Trip Advisor.
It’s important to note that while you don’t need to have an account on Google, Yelp, or Angie’s List in order for people to start leaving reviews about your company. As the business owner, however, you can claim the page and update it for brand consistency and to begin interacting with reviewers.
3. Respond to Reviews
Like we mentioned before, it’s important not to leave reviews unanswered for too long. Responding to positive feedback is the highlight of every builder’s life, but negative comments can be more difficult to process. When responding to negative reviews, it’s important to remember the following:
- Don’t have the comment removed. Appealing to review sites to have negative feedback taken down is a waste of time — unless the comment is abusive or provably false.
- Don’t get defensive. Prospective customers view defensive responses to negative reviews as a huge red flag, so it’s best to use empathetic language and work to resolve the problem.
- Don’t dissect the review. Keep your responses brief, even if you fundamentally disagree with the statement. For instance, when responding to a particularly inflammatory review, you could say, “Thank you for your comments. While we disagree with your claims, we are genuinely sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations. If you would like to discuss the matter privately, please call us directly.”
- Don’t skip the positive reviews. Remember to show appreciation for the people who took the time to leave a positive comment on your page!
4. Solicit New Reviews
When you finish a project with a customer, always invite them to leave a review on your company’s profile — wherever that may be. This is a great way to build up a positive online reputation, especially when you know the client is happy with the work you’ve done. Try sending your customers a follow-up email asking them how they’re getting settled into the new place, including links to your review pages so they can easily click through to leave a comment.
5. Repeat the Process!
The key to a strong online reputation is commitment. Stay on top of new reviews by making sure you’re receiving notifications and remaining responsive to customer feedback. If you need help managing your online reputation, consider hiring a team that specializes in homebuilder marketing. At Quality Builders Warranty, QBW Boost offers all of the digital marketing resources that builders need to ensure continued business success. Learn more about our homebuilder marketing solutions by requesting a demo today!