Do you want to make more money in less time? Tommy-Lee Zmuda, installer and founder of The Boiler Business, provides five tips to becoming a review-based business.

I’m guessing your subconscious mind has just said yes to that opening question. Now, here’s the next question; how trustworthy is your business? Or more to the point, how many five-star reviews do you have?

If the answer is somewhere between none and not many, the biggest advice I can give you is to make online reviews your main focus for 2021. Here, I will share how we collected over 500 five-star reviews and became the most reviewed boiler installation company in our region. Over time this allowed us to raise our prices and choose who we served. Given a choice between making more money or making less money, I’m sure you would prefer to get paid more for all the hard graft you have put into your business. So, let’s point out the main reason you should focus on your implementing a review strategy. 

Customers are willing to spend more money with a company with a proven history. By concentrating on building your online reviews, you will increase the perceived value of your business. Increased perceived value will improve your conversion rate, resulting in less time quoting for work as your win ratio increases. Follow these five steps to become a review-based business.

1) Choosing your target customers

Before going to market, you have to nail down which customer types you want to help. I cannot express enough how this has to be the first step to your marketing strategy and dominating your local area with online reviews. 

Stop thinking about the immediate financial reward and focus on building a customer database of people you actually want to help. You have to remember that if you are professional and polite, they will likely call you when they need help again. Do you want to serve this customer for the next five, 10, or 15 years?

2) Focus on the customer journey

Simply doing a good job and waiting for traditional word of mouth to get the phone ringing is outdated thinking that is likely to get you left behind. To build a remarkable business, you do not have to be perfect in all aspects of the business. Focus on the customer journey and how your customer feels about your service, from the first phone call to ongoing help and support. How can you improve each stage of the journey?

3) Five-star pricing

Delivering an excellent service, month to month, year to year, costs money. Travel time, spanner time, admin time, your own time, or the time you pay others; it all costs money. You also have to prepare for the smaller number of jobs that go slightly belly up.

How will you pay for that extra visit, an extra hour, an additional day, or when something goes wrong? Can you afford to fix it? Send some flowers? Give them something free next time? Remember that a low profit margin means no room for mistakes.

4) Before asking for the review

Before asking for that review, you need to check that all was as expected. Ask your customer if everything is as expected, and if there anything else they need to know. Then ask if you can send the invoice at this point. 

Ask permission to take money from them, but only after you have listened to them say yes, that was as we expected. Now is the time to ask for the online customer review.

5) Promote your reviews to future customers

Online review sites such as Trustpilot, Which Trusted Trader, and Checkatrade are all popular options that may drive some traffic your way. Facebook is worth mentioning if you are looking to use Facebook for attracting new customers. However, nothing will do more for local business than Google Reviews. 

Once you have got the reviews, look to show them off throughout your business. Show them on your website, social media, on your van, your uniform, and email communications. Splash your five-star reviews everywhere.

The future

Congratulations, if you have managed to keep that 4.5-5.0 average score, you are now a review-based company. Your conversion rate will increase, and your future customers perceived value of your service will also increase. You can now charge more for your services and waste less time quoting for work, as potential customers trust you. 

You have more time and money to improve other areas of your business and personal life. Perhaps you can choose to spend more time doing the things you like with the people you love.