Why Field Service Companies Should Yelp for Reviews
The voice of the consumer is louder than ever. One misstep resulting in a negative online review could cost your company serious revenue, as you not only need to worry about the loss of one customer, but the tens, hundreds, or even thousands of potential customers reading about negative service experiences on social media and online review sites. This is the essence of why field service organizations must put the customer first, and short term revenue gains and operational savings second to that.
We recently had a chat with Justin Guinn, market researcher at Software Advice, a website with research and reviews on field service management software, about the findings of his recent study on the impact of online reviews when selecting service providers. Amongst the many interesting data points Justin shared, 96% of respondents said they find reviews either extremely, very, or moderately valuable when making a decision about which service provider to do business with.
And if you can’t beat the trend, you might as well include it as part of your business plan, and encourage happy customers to share their service experience. Embrace the vulnerability inherent in online reviews because they present an opportunity drive improvements in field service execution, or even publically respond to a vocal, unhappy customer and show them and all the other readers of the review, that you are willing to do what it takes to retain customers.
Lots of people use review sites like Yelp for restaurants, but your recent study found that it’s a place that shouldn’t be ignored by field service providers. Why is that?
“Online reviews have become very important for field service providers. Not only are consumers using these platforms to choose providers, but they’re actually willing to spend more on a company with better reviews and higher ratings. Our recent study found that 86% of consumers will pay more for a service provider with more positive reviews. For businesses who might have been neglecting their Yelp profile, consider dusting it off simply for the sake of turning into a revenue generator.”
Would you say that a majority of field service customers are really referencing reviews before hiring a company to do residential work?
“In line with the 86% of consumers who will pay more for a provider with better reviews, 96% of consumers find reviews either “extremely,” “very,” or “moderately” valuable.
This data further articulates the importance of earning positive online reviews. And in terms of what information customers are looking for within these reviews, 87% want to learn about the quality of service, and 78% are seeking pricing and cost information. So when you’re putting or revamping your review profile, be sure this information is clearly available.”
We agree that quality of service is key, but do you think it’s something that providers have a lot of time to focus on, especially smaller businesses who are struggling to get by?
“Given customers are so interested in quality of service, it’s important that field service businesses are consistently delivering great service, regardless of how busy things might be. This not only means completing jobs in a timely and effectively manner, but also doing this in a way that creates positive customer experiences. Field service software enables technicians to focus more on customer service and experience, by streamlining operational processes. If they have to spend less time fumbling around with a clipboard, or having to come back to a site because they didn’t have the right equipment, the customer will undoubtedly walk away happier with the business. This focus put on the customer, combined with dependable service, should lead to a higher quantity of positive customer reviews.”
Any suggestions on what field service companies can do to enhance their online review profile?
“First and foremost, get a Yelp profile. We found that 74% of consumers use Yelp to help find the best service provider for their needs. It’s at least 10% more popular than other reviews platforms, such as Google+ Local, Angie’s List, and Thumbtack. Creating this profile is only a first step though. The only way to truly utilize Yelp and other reviews platforms is to deliver a customer experience worth writing about. And one of the best ways to do that is with the help of field service software. We talk to tons of field service business owners every day to help them find the best software for their business. Through these conversations, it’s clear that many service companies are starting to understand how software enables technicians to focus on delivering the positive customer experiences that they’re looking for.”