One of the most common questions that contractor businesses ask themselves is how they can gain the attention of new leads with all the competition that is in the industry. Knowing how to generate those leads, which can lead to conversions into actual sales, makes a huge difference in the overall health of your business.
You might have a great product and your website can look great and efficient. But the fact of the matter is that clients are looking for more before they make the leap into spending money on your business. Most importantly, they want to know what other people are saying about your business and why they should entrust your business with their hard-earned money.
Most of the big online retailers, like Amazon, are already pushing their customers for reviews on their site. The idea here is that people need to see other people enjoying that product. The idea is called social proof. This is the concept that buyers are influenced by the actions and decisions of others like them.
Knowing why social proof is important
If you talk to any marketing agency out there, one of the first things they will tell you is how important it is to social proof your website. This is because social proofing is becoming one of the most important aspects of businesses online. There are a number of different reasons that social proofing your website is so essential:
- People put trust in online reviews before they make a purchase
- Testimonials generally add credibility to the services and products that a business offers
- What you might not know is that social proof can help you earn better SEO because it adds more favorable language to your online brand
- When your client base is looking to source opinions, your business can show that you care about the experience that the customer has with your brand. This strengthens the relationship that you have with clients and develops brand trust.
As you can see, social proof can have a monumental impact on the way that your business and brand are perceived by clients, both current and future. When you can develop trust in your audience, you have won perhaps the biggest battle that businesses face in reaching their audience.
Know what types of testimonials to have
There are definitely a number of ways that you can get testimonials for your business and there are even more ways to display them on your website. You don’t necessarily need to rely on one-liners from clients – they are still helpful – but there are other ways that you can use these testimonials to bolster your website and brand.
- Send surveys to new clients. When your customers use a product or service that your contractor business offers, give them a survey about a number of different aspects. Ask them how the service was, how your employees interacted with them, if they are satisfied, etc. Give them multiple avenues to provide that feedback (email, social media, direct mail form) and ask them to provide any feedback possible. You can encourage them to send in more responses by offering a coupon, a gift, or a discount for their feedback efforts. That feedback can then help you to refine your business and make improvements wherever necessary.
- Encourage social media posts. Social media is a booming avenue for businesses of all types to reach their customer base and to grow that customer base as well. You can use specific hashtags to track your customer responses for specific products or services that you offer. This allows you to respond to certain queries and interact with your customers quicker than ever before. Instagram is also an avenue to explore because this allows you to post pictures from your feed on your site as social proof. Customers can only trust a business saying how great they are so much; when you show them your work, with before and after photos, they can see first-hand just what kind of work you can provide. It is important to note that if you plan on using someone’s social post on your website, you should probably reach out to them first to get their permission. It’s just common courtesy.
- Offer services and products to people with larger followings. There are users on each of these social media platforms that are known as “influencers”. These people essentially advertise paid products to their audience and try to sell their audience on those products. By partnering with these influencers, you can potentially reach a whole new audience with your services. Knowing how to leverage these influencers to promote your service can have a huge impact on the right target and a little of patience.
- Host an event. This is a prime opportunity to get testimonials right on the spot. Setting up a camera in the event space and asking participants to provide opinions on your business and services can be an effective way to show potential customers just what you have to offer. Especially with the impact that video is now having in terms of SEO rankings, this can be a great way to improve your SEO and display your brand’s trustworthiness.
- Feature reviews from other sites. There are a ton of review-based websites out there that specialize in being a place for users to convene and discuss products and services. Places like Yelp or HomeAdvisor would be the most relevant to a contractor business, and showing those positive reviews on your website is a further way to develop that brand trustworthiness. Anything that you can do to show trust in your brand to your audience is a huge win in the long run for your business.
What you need to keep in mind here is that if you don’t ask for reviews about your business, you are not likely to get them. Customers typically don’t go above and beyond for the sake of a business unless they are asked or feel very strongly about that business.
The key is to find ways to ask for those reviews that aren’t terribly inconvenient or pushy. As stated just a moment ago, customers are not looking to go above and beyond for business. But if you have provided exceptional service to a customer, they might be more likely to answer a survey or provide some feedback.
Giving them as many avenues as possible to leave those positive reviews can be a major difference in the way that your audience views your business. When you give them real-life testimonials, they are more likely to develop feelings of trust in your business that may not have previously been there.
Developing brand trust is everything
In a crowded industry, particularly the contractor business, it can be difficult for customers to tell the difference between one company and the next. The way that they do this is to find those testimonials and reviews that we talked about and to base the majority of their opinion on those reviews.
Simply put, those reviews make potential customers feel like they can trust a brand based on the reviews that they read. Developing that trust in your brand is one of the biggest and most important factors that you can address. Getting your audience to positively identify your business and separate it from the others in the industry can make a huge difference in the number of leads that you generate and how many of those eventually get converted into sales that go towards your bottom line.
Change the way you feature your reviews
Finding a way to put your reviews somewhere on the front page of your website is important, but you have to do so in a way where it doesn’t feel forced, obvious, or out of place. The key to anything online is to make it as easy as possible for the user to find it. When they have to go through multiple avenues for something, they are likely to give up and forget about it.
When you put those reviews right upfront, you are presenting a public opinion on your brand and hoping that it is both positive and that it will be noticed. If you have a reviews page, that is fine; there should be a designated page for those types of things as well. But make sure that your audience knows what people are saying about your company without making them work for it.
When you do this, you develop that level of trust with your audience and make one of the biggest leaps to developing brand trust with your audience. When your business starts to develop that brand trust, you stand out from the rest of the competition in what is already a very crowded industry.
Make your website social proof as soon as possible. It cannot be understated just how important an aspect it is towards not only the health of your website but the health of your business as a whole.