A recent report by Software Advice, a field service technology comparison site, outlines the increased impact of online reviews on consumers’ attitudes when it comes to selecting service providers, such as lawn care services. The report, “Use of Online Reviews to Select Residential Service Providers IndustryView/2015,” contains valuable nuggets for those of us providing green industry services. The report is based on a survey of 1,239 U.S. residential service customers.

Report’s illuminating key findings:

  • A staggering 96% declare online reviews “valuable” when seeking residential service; providers
  • 74% consult Yelp, making it the most popular review site, topping Angie’s List; and
  • 86% would pay more for providers with better online reviews and ratings.

Valuable tips to generate positive reviews:

  • Ask loyal customers to leave a review of your work during the final walkthrough of a large project.
  • Send a short, friendly followup email to happy customers sharing how you appreciated serving them and including a link to one of your review or social media sites.
  • Make it easy to leave a review either online or when someone is visiting your business by having a box at your site for written reviews or a button on your website.
  • If you see that someone left a negative review, respond promptly and courteously, get them offline and do what needs to be done to rectify the issue. Then you may ask them to write another review.

Let me know of any strategies and tactics you are using to increase your online reputation, and I will share them with other green industry business owners in future columns.