The internet has become the authority on a lot of things nowadays. Consumers turn to it for the simplest questions because the internet knows it all.
Then why wouldn’t they turn to it when looking for roofing contractors, as well?
Research has shown that now more than ever, consumers are relying on reviews to make their decisions about the services and products they buy:
- 92% of consumers rely on reviews when making a buying decision
- 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as word-of-mouth referrals
How and why does this affect your roofing business? Let’s break it down.
Bad Reviews – to Worry or Not to Worry?
Here is why you SHOULD worry.
Let’s say you have a bad review (or a few of them) online. You may think that’s not a big deal. One or two bad reviews – who cares, it’s not even true.
But the thing is – the internet cares. A LOT.
It doesn’t matter if what the user said in the review is true or not. It’s out there for the whole world to see – and it will be seen. All your potential customers will see it.
So why does it matter to them if you have a negative review?
Think about the customer’s process of looking for a roofer.
When in need of a roofing service, your potential clients will go online and search for some roofers near them first. Once they’ve seen their options, they will click on the first few roofers and start checking them out online.
If they happen to already have a roofer in mind – for example, if someone recommended you in person or talked about you – they will type your name directly into Google and look for any info and reviews.
If they see a negative or a bad review about you, they will automatically skip ahead and check out the other options, i.e. your competition. Why is that? Because there are plenty of options for them to choose from, especially when it comes to roofing contractors.
Roofing is a very competitive business and there a dozen more roofers in your area that your potential clients can turn to. That is why you have to make sure they don’t rule you out from the get-go – and that will happen if they see any bad reviews.
And to go back to whether that bad review is true or not – it doesn’t matter to them.
I mean of course it matters to them if the roofer will do a good job and provide them with great service, but the thing is that they will believe in what is written in the review.
And even if they don’t believe, they will think “Why take any chances?” and simply go with a roofer that doesn’t have negative reviews – just to be on the safe side.
So, you shouldn’t just dismiss the bad review so lightly and say “Oh, he’s an asshole, that’s not true.” The truth is very relative.
Bad Reviews and the Financial Aspect
Let’s think about the negative reviews in relation to $$$ for a moment.
1. The Customer’s Perspective
When it comes to the customers, they will definitely be thinking about their budgets and their hard-earned money. Roofing jobs don’t come cheap – you should know, you’re setting the prices 😀
This is especially true when it comes to roof replacements. New roofs are expensive, so it’s only natural people will check everything and brainstorm a lot before deciding who will replace their roof.
So, when they see a bad review, will they think “Oh that’s just an asshole talking crap about that roofer for this and that reason” or “No way I’m gonna risk my money on a roofer with a bad review”?
The second one – without exception.
When browsing through the online reviews – primarily through Yelp, Facebook, and Google Maps – your customers are looking for a reason to choose you. They are looking for a good, reliable, and trustworthy roofer to invest their money into.
You need to make sure you are that roofer. And you can do that by making sure you don’t have negative reviews or by dealing the ones you do have properly. They should never just be dismissed and ignored.
Apart from that, you also need to make sure you have enough overall (positive) reviews because not having any or enough reviews can hurt you just as much as a bad review.
2. The Roofer’s Perspective
Let’s see how negative reviews affect you, the roofer, financially.
Negative reviews have a big impact on your marketing efforts and they can cause you to waste a lot of money. How?
If you are investing in any type of online (or offline) marketing, such as Facebook, Google Ads, Yelp, Home Advisor, etc. and you have bad reviews online, your marketing will underperform.
A lot of money that you’ve invested in these marketing efforts will simply go down the drain if there are negative reviews that are putting customers off, driving them away from you, and towards your competition.
There are also those roofers that are still not investing in any kind of marketing (online or offline), roofers that live off of referrals and word-of-mouth. And that’s OK, you’ll catch up with the times eventually.
But the thing is, even if you are not big on marketing, you need to keep track of your reviews. Why? Because everything and everyone ends up on the internet eventually.
You may rely on word-of-mouth recommendations – they are, after all, very powerful and the oldest sources of business referrals – but the internet has added a new level to them, an additional layer of information.
All or most of your word-of-mouth referrals will turn to the internet to check you out some more. Whether you were recommended to them by a friend or a family member, it has become a must for them, and for all of us, to go online and double-check everything.
It is, in a way, a credibility check. If you have an overall positive internet presence, you will most likely land the client. If the client finds negative reviews online, they become suspicious and you potentially lose a lot of $$$.
If we crunch some numbers, it turns out that if you lose 1 project every 3 months like this, you stand to lose around $40k a year. That’s a LOT.
And when it comes to the younger generations, the numbers can be even higher because they are much pickier and much more involved in the online world.
It’s simply in their nature to check for online reviews as they are online most of their free time. They are used to getting everything from the internet – from entertainment to information, services, products, etc.
Some users may even decide to contact you despite that one bad review, but the younger generations – no way. They definitely won’t contact you if they see a bad review. They will just keep scrolling and save their clicks for the next in line – your competition.
The bottom line is – online reviews can make you or break you.
One bad review can make a huge difference and have a big impact on your business. It can drive clients away from you and you can potentially lose some big bucks.
Dealing with them, preventing them, and countering them with good and positive reviews will help your roofing business grow and make you the go-to roofer in your area.
If you need any help managing your online presence and getting positive reviews and feedback from your clients, let us know, we’re happy to help.
Matt Jacob has been in the marketing business since 2008, working exclusively with roofers for more than 5 years now. He has come to know all the tricks of trade inside-out and he is committed to helping roofers by sharing some of the most important ones. Find out where your best opportunities lie, as well as which challenges lurk out there for roofers – all in his detailed blogs.