At Rocket Media, we know that reviews are important for our clients. For local HVAC and Solar businesses, positive reviews serve as proof to prospective customers that choosing your company is a safe investment.
And that “proof” is in the numbers. One study reported that if a small business has more than nine current reviews, they earn 52% more revenue than the average. And if a business has more than 25 recent reviews, that increases to 108%.
So how can you encourage your customers to leave positive reviews?
There are multiple ways to get more customer reviews and we’ll share several strategies with you, including:
- Training your techs and install teams to ask for reviews
- Training your CSRs to follow up via phone call
- Sending automated emails
- Using social media
- Leveraging existing referral programs
However, rather than implementing just one of the strategies below, we strongly suggest that you incorporate multiple or all of these strategies into your ongoing HVAC marketing strategy.
Want more advice on getting more positive reviews? Or need a hand implementing some of the strategies below? Trust the team at Rocket Media. For more than 17 years, we’ve worked almost exclusively with HVAC/Solar companies and know how to gain more reviews from customers just like yours.
Offering incentives is against Google's Guidelines.
There are a lot of companies that offer customers money, products, or services in exchange for positive reviews. While this can be an effective strategy, it’s risky. Most major review sites such as Better Business Bureau, Google, and Yelp have strict rules that prohibit incentivized reviews.
Of course, what constitutes an “incentivized review” is somewhat of a grey area. Some sites are explicit in their rule against offering anything (whether it’s money or products/services) in exchange for a review. Others deem the practice fair game as long as the review clearly states that it was made in exchange for something. And then other sites accept the practice as long as the person leaving the review is a verified customer and was not pressured to leave a positive spin.
All the same, companies that are caught in breach of a review site’s specific rules regarding incentivized reviews can be penalized. Depending on the review site, such as the better business bureau, the penalty can range anywhere from removed reviews, suspended listings, or even lawsuits and large fees.
At Rocket Media, we tread lightly when it comes to any strategy involving incentivized reviews. We typically don’t encourage our HVAC or Solar clients to enact this strategy. Instead, we’ve found various other options that work especially well for the unique needs of an HVAC/Solar company.
Let’s take a look...
How to ask your HVAC/Solar customers for reviews
Train your techs and install teams to ask for reviews
When it comes to asking customers for reviews, your secret weapon is the individual who interacts with your customers the most—techs and install teams.
Training these employees to ask for reviews can be tricky, though. Yes, your techs/installers likely have fantastic technical skills but not all of them have the social skills needed to handle this request delicately.
Our suggestion is to host various company trainings that focus on the following:
- Determining whether the customer is truly satisfied with the job performed and the customer service provided
- Identifying the “magic moment” for requesting a customer review (timing is everything!)
- Ditching the robotic, scripted, and often-rushed request for a review in favor of a more natural, personable approach
Train your CSRs to follow up via phone call
Your Customer Service Representatives are another secret weapon when it comes to getting more reviews. And even better, these employees tend to have impeccable social skills.
If you don’t already have a solid follow-up call strategy, we suggest implementing one. Our most successful clients train CSRs to call 1-2 days after a repair or install is completed to ask customers how the job went and whether they’re satisfied.
When CSRs speak with a happy and satisfied customer, it’s important that they immediately respond with a review request. Striking while the positive experience is fresh in the customers’ mind—and while the levels of gratitude and satisfaction are high— increases your likelihood of getting them to leave a glowing review.
But don’t stop with a simple verbal request. While they’re still on the phone, train your CSR’s to offer to send the customer an email right then and there with links to your company’s review listings. Anything you can do to eliminate work and friction on the customer’s end helps.
That said, it would help to have a prepared email (that can be quickly personalized) for your CSR’s to send to happy customers before they hang up the phone.
Send automated emails
If you aren’t already collecting your customers’ email address at the time of scheduling their appointment, you need to implement this practice ASAP. Having the email address of customers who received services from you means that you can send an automated email to them after a designated amount of time (3-5 days after service is best).
This is an extremely efficient way to request reviews. You essentially write one email that can be re-used for hundreds or even thousands of customers.
Better yet, we suggest a two-step process where you first ask customers to rate your services. Then, you can set up the automation process to only send out a second email asking for reviews to customers who rated your services positively. This provides a built-in filter that increases the likelihood of garnering more positive reviews and avoiding negative reviews from unhappy customers.
Use social media
Get into the habit of posting any new or recent positive reviews you’ve received on your social media accounts. Oftentimes, this can prompt or remind other happy customers to also leave a review in support of your company.
This is also a relatively low-cost strategy. Your post can be as simple as a screenshot of the review or as sophisticated as a custom-designed, branded post.
Leverage existing referral programs
If you have a referral program, make sure that you track and collect the contact information of any customer who refers you to friends and family. This way, you can reach out to these customers directly (we suggest having a CSR call them soon after you receive their referral information) and ask them to leave a review of your company.
We like this option because it leverages existing efforts within your company (meaning it’s a low-cost effort).
However, if your particular referral program promises cash or other forms of rewards, we suggest making it clear to customers that they will receive those rewards regardless of whether they leave a positive review, a negative review, or whether they don’t leave a review at all.
Need help getting more reviews for your HVAC or Solar company?
Rocket Media is your best bet. Our team focuses on helping HVAC and Solar companies bolster their online presence—and getting more positive reviews is our specialty.
We’ve worked with countless home service companies over the past 17+ years and have a long list of tried-and-true strategies to get more positive reviews. If you’re ready to build your customer reviews on sites like Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, BBB, and more, contact Rocket Media today.