Does a bear…? You Bet! And, consumer ratings are extremely important in today’s remodeler marketing environment because homeowners who research remodelers on the web look for consumer ratings that other homeowners have given a remodeler they are considering. In today’s market, a four or five star consumer rating carries the same kind of weight as a good reference or referral. Consumer ratings are your online reputation.
So where are homeowners rating remodelers? Angie’s List, Google Places, Yelp, and a whole lot of other online local business directory and search engine places. If a homeowner is looking up a remodeler, let’s say on Google, and they find seven remodelers, three of which have four and five star ratings, but your listing has no consumer ratings, it might be that the homeowner will consider calling the other remodelers, or at least go to their websites first.
It is accepted wisdom that the people most likely to rate a business online are those who are happiest or the most dissatisfied. An unhappy experience with your firm can lead to a bad online review. While only a percentage of people who are unhappy will write an online review, you can expect it to be a poor one. I expect having a poor experience with a remodeler is more likely to result in a bad rating than a good or satisfactory experience will result in a positive review. That is unless you encourage happy customers to write positive reviews about their experience with you on specific sites where consumers rate businesses.
For the record, it is illegal to incentivize a homeowner to write a review about you unless they disclose that the review was a compensated review. However, if you have a satisfied homeowner as a client, you can explain to them how important reviews are to your business and suggest a few places they may share their positive experience with others. While not a lawyer, I am not aware of any federal regulation that would make it illegal or unethical to provide a homeowner who gave you a positive review with a token gift of your appreciation after they placed the review, as long as they didn’t know they would get anything before they provided the review. In short, there can be no quid pro quo.
If you have any questions about this post or other remodeler or contractor marketing questions, please contact us.