Embrace the power of online reviews

By Paul MacDonald, ServiceSource

Our recent ServiceSource Service Survey revealed that 60% of BrandSource’s servicing dealers downplay the importance of requesting online reviews.

Is this a misstep? In my opinion it certainly is, and I’ll explain why.

In the dynamic world of appliance sales and services, the impact of online reviews cannot be overstated. Whether they need a refrigerator repaired or a new dishwasher installed, consumers heavily rely on the experiences shared by others before making informed decisions. 

Online customer reviews also serve as a digital storefront for appliance service businesses, influencing potential customers and shaping their perceptions. Here’s why online reviews are paramount to the success of appliance service businesses:

Building Trust and Credibility

Online reviews act as testimonials from real customers, offering insights into the quality of service provided. Positive reviews validate the competence and reliability of an appliance service business, instilling confidence in potential customers. According to a BrightLocal survey, 91% of consumers ages 18-34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, highlighting the critical role of reviews in building trust and credibility.

Enhancing Visibility and Reputation

In today’s digital landscape, online reviews are a primary source of information for consumers searching for appliance sales and services. Businesses with many positive reviews will likely rank higher in search engine results and garner more attention. A separate BrightLocal study found that 87% of consumers read online reviews of local businesses, underscoring the importance of a robust online presence to attract customers.

Improving Service Quality

Online reviews provide invaluable insights into the customer experience, allowing appliance service businesses to identify strengths and weaknesses. Analyzing feedback enables businesses to refine their service offerings, address customer concerns and optimize operational processes. According to a survey by Podium, 93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions, emphasizing the need for businesses to prioritize service quality and customer satisfaction.

Driving Business Growth

Positive online reviews are a powerful marketing tool, influencing potential customers’ purchasing decisions. A stellar reputation can increase an appliance service business’s inquiries, bookings and revenue. According to Spiegel Research Center, companies with higher ratings on review sites experience a 270% increase in conversion rate, again underscoring the direct correlation between positive reviews and business growth.

Fostering Customer Engagement

Online reviews also facilitate two-way communication between businesses and customers, fostering a sense of community and engagement. Whether positive or negative, responses to reviews demonstrate attentiveness and a willingness to address customer concerns. A study by ReviewTrackers found that 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week, showcasing the importance of proactive engagement in maintaining customer satisfaction.

The sooner you request a review after a customer experience, the greater the chances of receiving one. Consider automating the review process with BrandSource’s online solutions partner Podium.

Monitoring your online reputation is also essential. Remember to reply to all reviews and thank your customers for their feedback. Own the experience and apologize when necessary, but avoid engaging in online rebuttals. The best advice is to own it, apologize and offer to make it right.

Adapting to Evolving Consumer Preferences

Besides peer recommendations, consumers depend on online research in this era of digitization and connectivity. Appliance service businesses that embrace online reviews adapt to evolving consumer preferences and stay relevant in a competitive market. It’s worth repeating the findings of that BrightLocal survey: nine out of 10 consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, underscoring the pervasive influence of digital word-of-mouth in shaping purchasing decisions.

In conclusion, online reviews play a pivotal role in the success of appliance sales and service businesses, influencing consumer perceptions, driving growth and fostering customer loyalty. If you are not asking for a review after a customer experience, you are missing out on a major opportunity to improve your business and attract new customers. 

Appliance service businesses can leverage online reviews as a catalyst for success in an increasingly digital marketplace by prioritizing customer feedback, engaging with reviews and continuously striving for excellence.

Paul MacDonald, AVB’s senior ServiceSource lead, ran his own 38-tech service business and is a past president of the UASA. He currently operates The Expert Service Program, which helps servicers run their operations more efficiently and profitably. You can reach Paul at (647) 500-7785 or at Paul.m.Macdonald@brandsource.com.

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