Customer reviews are a part of marketing your home inspection business that you shouldn’t ignore. You may not relish the idea of setting up a Facebook page for your business and monitoring reviews, but neglecting this important tool for growth can cost you customers.
Studies show that 72 percent of consumers trust online reviews more than a personal recommendation. Further, 52 percent said that seeing good reviews makes them more likely to use a business.
A U.S. News & World Report article titled 8 Tips to Find the Best Home Inspector tells consumers to check their reviews.
Today’s Home Inspection Business Expectations
In the old days, word of mouth was often all you needed to succeed in business. Some larger businesses might have had an advertising budget, but many small businesses relied on the name painted on their truck and a spot on the local diner’s placemat to get their name out there.
These tools are still effective in getting your business noticed, but the first thing a potential customer does when they consider hiring you is to check your online reviews. They want to know what everyone else thinks of you before they hire you.
For this reason, you should make sure you have some online reviews posted. The three most important places to get reviews are Google, Yelp, and Facebook.
Potential customers might search for your business on Yelp to read your reviews, but anyone who merely Googles your business will see right under your name how many review stars you have, and you don’t want it to be one or two.
Make asking for a review a standard part of every customer transaction. Whether you submit your home inspection report in writing or via email, you likely offer to answer your client’s questions about the report in a follow-up meeting. The time to ask for a review is at the end of this meeting (assuming it goes well).
Even if people love you, they likely won’t be highly motivated to go online and leave a review. That’s why it’s critical to send them a reminder they can click on. Make it easy for them. Email them with a link to your Yelp, Facebook or Google review pages. Since you’re in the home inspection business, you might also want to add Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor.
Help with Home Inspection Reviews
No doubt this takes up time. Entrepreneur suggests using software to automate this process for you. Or you may want to consider employing a company to manage your reviews. If you go with the latter, you can get the option to screen out any negative reviews you might get.
Don’t stress about negative reviews though. It’s better to have a few negative reviews in the bunch than not to have any reviews at all. Consumers think that a company with no reviews is too new or doesn’t have many customers. Also, a 100 percent positive review rating looks suspicious, like the reviews might be fake.
A Zendesk study shows that 87 percent of people share a positive experience while 95 percent share a negative one. Everyone knows consumers are much more motivated to go online to complain about a business than to give it kudos.
The bottom line is: You need reviews. Good, bad or ugly, you need them. So set up those pages and write up a generic request with links that you can send to all your customers. You don’t have to hound them. Just ask politely. Your home inspection business will thank you.
For more information about a career as a home inspector, check out our website today