6 Ways to Foster Positive Word of Mouth for Your Home Improvement Business
July 30, 2021
Customer service is the foundation of home improvement, making positive reviews essential to business success. Word of mouth is how you build your business but getting customers to share good experiences can feel like a big ask.
With so many review sites providing avenues for customer feedback, this is an opportunity contractors and home improvement providers can’t afford to overlook. So, how do you get homeowners to share their excellent experiences? Start here:
Step one: Ask homeowners to post a review. It really can be that simple. Don’t be afraid to ask clients to share their experiences with online reviews. The reality is most customers only post reviews when they had a bad experience, which can wreak havoc on overall ratings. By encouraging customers to share the good experience they had working with you, it will be top of mind post-project.
Once the reviews start coming in, don’t just let them sit there. Good or bad, engaging with comments in a prompt manner demonstrates you’re a responsive partner. A fast response time is especially important for any negative reviews. The dreaded one-star review or negative tweet can be a gut punch, but just like a leaking roof, ignoring it will only make it worse.
It may be difficult, but make sure to reply as diplomatically as possible. Negative comments are frequently emotional and could seem like inaccurate claims, but it’s important that you don’t get defensive. Offer to make the situation right and try to move the dialogue offline, either via an email/direct message or with a phone call. The most important thing here is that prospective customers visiting your review page see you’ve attempted to rectify the situation.
Make it easy
The number one barrier to your customer writing a good review? Not being able to find where to leave that review. Make it easy for them by providing clear access right on your website (think: links to your review page or a banner on your website asking clients to share their before and after photos on social media). Add reminders to email communications (with links) and include it on promotional content to keep it in front of customers before, during and after projects — increasing the odds they post a review. And while you can’t guarantee a positive review, providing them with the tools they need may be the small nudge they need to share their experience.
Make it worthwhile
Never underestimate the power of a prize. Sometimes clients may need a little something extra to spread the word about the excellent customer service they received. Adding an incentive not only boosts the likelihood of a review, it can add another layer of strong service that helps you stand out.
But don’t feel like you need to break the bank with over-the-top prizes. Incentives could be anything from a discount on future projects to a gift card, just something to show your appreciation for their time. And inspire more positive reviews by making home improvement projects even simpler for homeowners by providing flexible financing options likeAlly Lending's Home Improvement Financing.
Note: Keep in mind that if asking for a review, you must always imply that it be honest and reflective of the client’s experience. And if an incentive is offered that directly influences the client’s decision to leave a review, then the nature of the relationship should be disclosed with the review to remain in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines.
Social media offers contractors and home improvement providers countless ways to spread the word. One incredibly valuable, but often overlooked, method is groups. More specifically, neighborhood/community-based groups on social media. These hyper-local community chat boards are a great way to get involved in conversations happening among your target audience (homeowners in your neighborhood). So, jump in and get involved. Visibility is a huge part of building strong word of mouth.
Stay connected in real life
Online groups are great to quickly reach your larger community, but don’t forget about the power of face-to-face connections. By getting out into the community and involved in local projects and activities (perhaps even donating your contractor skills and time), you can inspire real-time word of mouth referrals and build rapport in person. It can also be a great way to get on a first-name basis with potential customers and/or referrals.
Get the word out
You’ve worked hard to build your home improvement business. You’re committed to quality work and proud of the projects you’ve completed for homeowners. Encouraging strong word of mouth will strengthen your business in an organic, conversational way for years to come.
Learn more about how Ally Lending's financing solutions help make customers’ home projects more affordable.
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