By Colin Martinho, marketing Head for Buzzmove
Word-of-mouth has traditionally been the staple method of generating business for removal companies, and this continues to be the case even in the rapid, tech-driven world of today. That is not to say that this simple and effective form of marketing has remained stagnant, or that it has not evolved to embrace modern technology. It certainly has evolved, but whilst the method of communication has shifted to what is known as the ‘online review’, the basic principles of word-of-mouth still apply.
According to a recent study by Brightlocal.com, 88% of customers read reviews online to determine the quality of a product or service – with 85% reading 10 or more reviews prior to purchase. Given these figures, it is clear that a widespread collection of positive online reviews can do wonders for a business. In the past, the reach of a single word-of-mouth recommendation would extend about as far as that particular person’s friends, family and colleagues. With an online review, however, each and every recommendation is almost unlimited in scope. Better yet, these reviews are preserved in time, swaying future customers to use your removal service long after the initial review went live.
On the other hand, a string of negative reviews can turn away potential customers in droves. Thankfully, and providing you regularly monitor reviews, there is something you can do to prevent this from happening; essentially, the reasoning behind a negative review is usually fairly mundane and readily resolved. By responding to the customer and resolving the issue, you will often find that they will either withdraw the review entirely, or replace it with a positive review commending your customer service. This is doubly important as bad reviews tend to breed others, with a string of poor reviews swaying reviewers who may have been on the fence into leaving a bad review of their own.
Importantly, you shouldn’t just reply to negative reviews. Every review - good, bad or indifferent - should be responded to. Your response lets the customer know that they have a voice, and that their feedback is taken seriously by the business. This active engagement is quick, simple, and may well be the reason a customer opts to use your service again in the future. Indeed, studies have proven that customers who invest their time in leaving a review are likelier to develop a certain loyalty to your business. Furthermore, by monitoring reviews, you also develop a better understanding of your customers, and their feedback can often be extremely valuable when it comes to optimising your removal service.
Online reviews can also improve your ranking position on search engines, which is vital given the way the modern consumer shops. Quite simply, the more that is written about your company online, the higher Google (or any other search engine) will place it in a relevant search result. This means that your customers are essentially doing the marketing for you, and an active reviews page can lead to an increase in both brand exposure and profit.
Additionally, search engine adverts which include a ‘star rating’ have been proven to increase the likelihood of a user clicking through. This, however, requires an account with a reputable reviews service, such as Reviews.co.uk, who share their data in real-time with Google. Google takes this data and displays the average user rating alongside your advert in a search result, and providing that the reviews are generally positive, you should see an increase in business. A basic starter plan with a reputable reviews service is normally priced in the region of £20 to £40, and can really help you stand out on online.
Like traditional word-of-mouth, the online review is, and will continue to be, an important facet of marketing a removal service. Indeed, a vast array of positive reviews can have a remarkable effect on your company. As well as allowing your customers to actively participate and offer valuable feedback, online reviews can lead to greater brand awareness, and most importantly, a sharp increase in your profits. Best of all, this form of marketing is free, and other than typing out a few responses, requires very little effort on your part.