Review Marketing: Why Reviews Matter So Much

by | Feb 5, 2024 | Capturing Demand, Doing Work, Finding Work, Workflow & Getting Paid

We’re now at a point where the overwhelming majorty of customers (99.9% by some reports) read online reviews when shopping online.

For your heating & plumbing business, this is a hugely important statistic. There will always be customers who find you through more traditional methods, but more and more people are searching for gas services online.

In short, reviews have huge influence over the success of your business and how many jobs you book.

Online reviews also happen to be the perfect antidote to the distrust that comes with online shopping. Sites like Google offer a consolidated place for customers to read about real-world experiences with a business. A recent study even suggests that customers now value reviews more than other factors – including price

The good news in all of this is that heating & plumbing businesses can spin this to their advantage. We call this review marketing, and it’s one of the most impactful things you can do for your business.

Read our full marketing guide for gas engineers: How To Get More Jobs

What reviews do for your business

  • Trust & reputation building. Reviews are how people judge the reliability and quality of a service when they’re comparing options online and have no personal recommendations to go off.
  • Better online visibility. Google wants to connect its users (web searchers) with the best products, services, and information out there. Its algorithm has been carefully fine-tuned to do this, and will therefore take the number and quality of reviews into account. 
  • Increasing the number of jobs you get. When a customer sees a business with lots of glowing reviews, they’re much more likely to choose them. Shopping around for a gas engineer isn’t quite like shopping for a designer handbag or a new watch. Most people just want an engineer who just gets the job done. Reviews are often all that’s needed to convince them to ring up, as long as your prices reflect your work.
  • A way to differentiate from competitors. Compared to product-driven businesses, it’s a little harder for service businesses to stand out from the competition and do something unique. Where a customer might choose a new phone based on design or a unique set of features, they only really have price and reviews to base their judgement of your business on.
  • Give you an insight into your service quality. This is perhaps the most obvious point. A review is a review after all, and if nothing else they’re a way for you to understand what your customers think of your service quality. Are they happy with your workmanship? Your customer service? What do you do perfectly and what could you be doing better?

Where do you want to collect reviews?

Most of the places your customers might find you online allow them to also leave and read reviews. The most common places would be Google and lead gen websites such as Checkatrade.

Below is an example of Google reviews for a heating and air conditioning company. If you were a customer reading these reviews, it’s easy to see how they help build trust and authority for the brand.

Example of Google reviews

How to get customers to leave reviews

Nearly half of internet users post reviews each month, meaning there’s a good portion of customers you could be getting reviews from. More often than not, purchasing a product online will be followed by a reminder to leave a review for it – and it’s for virtually the same reasons listed above.

There’s no reason you can’t take the exact same strategy with your customers. When you finish a job, ask them if they wouldn’t mind leaving a review. You could do this in person after the job, via email a few days later, or even together with your invoice. People are forgetful, and a gentle reminder can make a huge difference.

Tip: Make the last thing you say to a customer before you walk out the door a small request to leave a review. People are much more likely to remember the last thing you said (similar to the psychology behind first impressions).

Remember to respond to reviews

Reviews are an opportunity to engage with your customers. Responding to reviews, if even just to say thank you, is a great way to connect and get them to remember you.

For potential customers reading the reviews, this shows that you’re an active listener and business that truly cares about its customers. It will also help amplify whatever positive review was left. 

What happens if you get a bad review?

Bad reviews, despite what some might think, are not the end of the world. And, as long as you’re genuinely offering a good service, they should be few and far between. 

But when it does happen, the best way to handle it is to turn it into an opportunity. Respond politely and helpfully (even if they’ve been unfairly rude), and try to offer a genuine solution to the problem. Engaging in a virtual argument in a public space presents your business in an extremely negative light, even if the customer is in the wrong.

Tip: Try to inject some personality into your responses, or you could end up sounding like an automated reply.
It’s also worth remembering that an average rating of 5/5 isn’t necessarily the best thing to have. As you start to get more reviews (we’re talking 30-50+), a rating of 4.8 or 4.9 has proven to be more effective as it appears more genuine and trustworthy.

How to guarantee you get good reviews

As mentioned above, asking for reviews can be very helpful – but you can’t dictate to your customers what they should write. 

The simplest and most effective way to get good reviews is simply to make your customers genuinely happy. This means following all the basics of good customer service.

Use reviews as marketing content

If you’ve been working on marketing, quoting reviews or using them as testimonials is an ideal source of content. Just be sure to get the reviewer’s permission before using it.

Get customers to leave raving reviews & manage jobs with Gas Engineer Software

Providing top-notch customer service is much easier when your company has effective job management software it can rely on. Sending out quotes and invoices on the spot, keeping on schedule, and good communication is made easy with our range of features. 

As your company grows, you’ll also be able to make great use of having an optimised workflow to cut down on tedious admin & paperwork in favour of real work. Read more about it here.

Next steps:

If you’ve been thinking about implementing software into your workflow to save time, here’s what you can do next: