Managing your Service Business Reputation
One of the primary considerations for many people when choosing a landscaping company is its reputation in the community. Pricing is usually a factor to some degree and things like the range of services play a role, but having a solid reputation for honesty and high-quality work is paramount. In the modern digital world, maintaining a solid reputation online can be a challenge. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for competitors or disgruntled customers to leave negative reviews that can affect your business’s reputation.
This is why reputation management has become an industry unto itself, and why it’s important to stay on top of your landscaping company’s reputation online. With the right tools and know-how, not only can you work to build a positive reputation, but you can also correct any damage that may have been done by any online troublemakers. Here are some tips and techniques that will help.
Get Community Feedback via Social Media
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter are must-haves when it comes to social media for your landscaping company. It can be challenging to maintain all of them, and you might favor one over the others, but your customers also have their favorites, so it’s a good idea to be well represented. Be active on all your social media platforms and feel free to ask for feedback from members of your community.
Most people don’t have an issue sharing their experiences whether they are good or bad, so this can be a good learning experience and a chance to let others see how well your company is doing. If you’re having trouble getting the type of feedback you want, consider adding an incentive like every review is entered into a monthly contest for a free service. Asking for reviews on social media also allows you to add a comment if the review is negative, and gives you a chance to make things right in front of the community, which is never a bad thing for your reputation.
You can also use your social media accounts to share valuable information, announce specials, and get to know your audience. All of this works toward developing a positive reputation. When people are looking for a landscaping company in your area or look for your business specifically, they will find a caring business that is engaged with its customers.
Ask for Reviews on Other Platforms
Along with social media, there is a range of other websites that are used for business reviews that you can utilize. Some of the most popular include Google My Business, Yelp, Amazon, Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, Foursquare and Manta. It’s not always possible to comment on negative reviews for third-party sites like these, but they can still increase your reach and help you get found online more easily. If you find that you’re getting negative reviews that are unwarranted, it may be a good idea to hire someone to take care of your reputation management for you.
Don’t Ignore Customer Complaints
Burying your head in the sand and ignoring customer complaints is one of the worst things you can do for your company’s reputation. Running into some unhappy customers is just part of the process, no matter how hard you try to do a great job. And while it’s easy to just avoid these customers, you may be setting yourself up for someone going to all of the review sites mentioned above and leaving negative reviews. Even if you feel the complaint is unjustified, make a point of answering it follow these tips:
- Apologize when warranted (and it’s almost always warranted)
- Make sure your apology is genuine and sincere
- Ask how you can rectify the situation
- Make amends by offering discounted or free services, to keep them in the fold
Maintain Your Brand
Apart from the concept of reviews, maintaining your brand is another way to stay top of mind and enhance your reputation. Consistency goes a long way toward establishing trust, and when you have logos and branding on vehicles, uniforms, paperwork and all online properties, it will help to solidify your reputation in the eyes of the public.
Be Mindful of What You Say Online
It’s no secret that many people have gotten into some big trouble for things they have said on social media. And just because you aren’t a celebrity doesn’t mean your business can’t be affected if you say things that may be perceived as offensive. Be mindful of the things you say on both your private and professional social media platforms and never argue with customers online. Even if they are in the wrong, arguing will create the perception that you are unprofessional and petty, which is not what people want from their landscapers. Take every opportunity to appear caring and fair and you will be rewarded with a great reputation.
Take Blogging Seriously
Blogging may seem like a strange way to build your reputation, but it can work wonders if you take the time to do it right. Well-crafted blogs that are useful and relevant to your audience combined with effective SEO can help make you an authority in your industry online. When people have questions or needs and your blogs are found in online searches to provide the answers, it will naturally boost trust and your reputation.
Take a Look for Yourself
If you really want to know the truth about your online reputation, you can always take a look for yourself. Go online and type in your own business name plus reviews and see what comes up. This way, you’ll be able to see both good and bad reviews and get a sense of how your business is perceived by the people you’ve done work for.
At the end of the day, having a streamlined business process combined with quality landscaping work, honesty and integrity will help your reputation more than anything else. If you’d like to find out how Arborgold can help take your landscaping business to the next level, take a tour today.