Building a Stellar Online Reputation: Reputation Management Tips for Skilled Trades Businesses

As a tradesperson, your online reputation can hold significant sway over your success. Customer trust and perception play a crucial role in attracting and retaining clients and helping you stand out from the less reputable tradespeople in your area. Whether you are an electrician, builder, plumber or any other skilled trade, growing and managing your reputation will set you up for success.

In this blog, we are exploring the importance of online reputation management for skilled trades businesses. We have plenty of actionable tips for effectively monitoring, managing, and leveraging customer feedback to build (and maintain!) a stellar online reputation.

The Importance of Online Reputation Management for Skilled Trades Businesses

The reputation of your skilled trades business is a cornerstone of its success. Once achievable through in-person word-of-mouth, online reviews and customer feedback have become essential to keep your business thriving in a competitive marketplace.

Your online reputation shapes how your potential customers perceive your business. With so many people wary of low-quality or untrustworthy tradespeople, you have to prioritize showing them that you are a dependable and professional option.

Studies have shown that most consumers now rely on online reviews to make informed purchasing decisions. From grocery purchases to home extensions, people now rely heavily on the opinions of others to help them make good choices.

A Professional Home for Your Business

If you’re not tech-savvy, you may not have considered the importance of a beautiful and slick website. You may feel your business is the antithesis of tech, an old-fashioned get-your-hands-dirty endeavour… and you’re right! But that doesn’t mean your customers can relate.

Before you imagine a sprawling website with constant content and upkeep, don’t panic. As reputation is the primary driver of your business, a simple few pages, put together in a stylish and evergreen way, could be all you need.

If you don’t have a website yet, we’d recommend you look at a small site with a homepage, about page, services information, contact information and any awards and press coverage you have received. Add an appointment system and some testimonials: you are ready for business!

Find out more about our digital marketing for skilled tradespeople.

Monitoring and Managing Customer Feedback

You can’t manage your online reputation if you don’t know what is said. Ensure you keep an ear to the conversation by actively monitoring customer feedback across various online platforms to help you manage the online reputation of your skilled trades business.

You can use a variety of tools and techniques to stay informed about customer sentiment, but nothing beats simply reading the comments that people make, whether this is on your social media platforms or via email.

Regularly monitoring these will let you address issues promptly, capitalize on positive feedback, and maintain a positive online presence.

PRO TIP: Set up a Google Alert for your business name, your name (if different), and anything that is directly relevant to your business. These alerts will come straight to your email when you get mentioned online.

Responding to Customer Feedback

Responding to customer feedback, whether positive or negative, is an essential practice for all business owners, particularly a skilled tradesperson. And do it as promptly as you can.

Acknowledging positive feedback expresses appreciation for customer support while addressing negative feedback demonstrates a commitment to resolving issues and providing exceptional service. The latter can be tricky, especially if it is something untrue or out of proportion, but remain calm and remember that everyone is watching to see how you handle it.

Crafting professional and constructive responses to customer reviews, regardless of their content, showcases your dedication to customer satisfaction and can positively influence potential clients.

Leveraging Customer Testimonials and Case Studies

If you are getting great customer testimonials, use them to your benefit. Testimonials and case studies hold significant weight in building credibility and trust in the service industry. Collect and showcase customer testimonials on your website and create social media posts to promote them on your channels.

Testimonials show the quality and reliability of your business, so don’t be too shy to let the world know!

Case studies may take a bit of extra work to put together, but having a couple of solid examples on your website can tip the scales when someone is undecided. If you work both B2B and B2C, we recommend a case study of each to showcase your versatility. It also ensures that no matter what a customer searches for, they can find a relevant example of your work.

Encouraging and Facilitating Customer Reviews

You’re busy and have lots to do, so streamlining your testimonial collection is essential to an effective reputation management strategy. Make your review process as easy and convenient as possible for your customers, and they will be much more likely to submit the feedback you need.

The answer to both is to automate requests. Add a link to your Google Business review page (the most powerful tool in your Local SEO toolbox) to your invoice or an automated follow-up email sequence.

If you want to do something more face-to-face, why not try leaving your business card at finished jobs with a QR code to leave a review?

PRO TIP: Don’t be afraid to ask and emphasize the importance of a review to your business. You may feel embarrassed, but the customer will feel valued, so let them know that your business depends on reviews and you would appreciate any feedback they can give.

Addressing Negative Feedback and Online Reputation Repair

Inevitably, your skilled trades business will encounter negative feedback. Sometimes this is genuine, and sometimes it is spam. In either case, addressing and resolving negative feedback (where possible) in a timely and professional manner is crucial for mitigating its impact. Implement proactive measures for online reputation repair, such as reaching out to dissatisfied customers within 24 hours to seek a resolution. This is essential for rebuilding trust and restoring a positive reputation with the person in question, but also displays that you are unphased, keen to help and listening to feedback. Good information for others who may be watching!

Integrating Online Reputation Management into Overall Marketing Strategy

Reputation management shouldn’t be an isolated element of your business. Integrating it into your broader digital marketing strategy is key to the success of your business. Align reputation management efforts with content marketing, social media, and customer engagement initiatives ensures a cohesive approach to maintaining a strong online presence and fostering customer trust.

Lean into things customers highlight as your strengths, head off frequently asked questions and hesitations through information campaigns, and keep your language and branding en pointe throughout your customer feedback procedures. Every element of your online presence should feed into the others, creating a growing, cohesive awareness of your business.

Your Online Presence Matters

The online reputation of your skilled trades business is a pivotal asset that requires careful management and nurturing. By actively monitoring and managing customer feedback, responding to reviews, leveraging customer testimonials, and integrating reputation management into your overall digital marketing strategy, you will build and maintain an online reputation that will have customers finding and engaging you as their contractor of choice. Not only will it help to foster trust and credibility, but your reputation will also contribute to long-term success and growth of your business.

Missing a piece of the puzzle? Whether you need a website, social media content or assets and automation to collect feedback, we are happy to help. Talk to us and discover why so many skilled tradespeople have trusted us with their digital presence.

Cyber PR Army Solutions Inc. Digital Marketing Made Easy.

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