As a homebuilder, customer reviews impact both your reputation and bottom line. 72% of customers won’t take action until they’ve read reviews, and just under 50% will pass on a business if it doesn’t have at least a 4-star rating.
Reviews are especially important in high-impact purchase decisions. The bigger the price tag, the more carefully customers research. This means it’s imperative for homebuilders to stay on top of customer feedback!
The question is… how do you get more positive reviews?
Below we outline six tips you can try now.
1. Be direct — ask your customers for reviews.
The simplest way to get more customer feedback is to be straightforward: Just ask for it. 76% of customers directly asked to leave a review are willing to do so. (Brightlocal, 2019)
76% of customers directly asked to leave a review are willing to do so.
You can encourage your customers to share their experiences in several ways:
- In person. This is one of the most powerful methods to ask for reviews. It’s a good idea to give a hard copy of your business’s review links (or send a follow up email) to make sure customers know where to go.
- Over the phone. Make customers feel valued by calling them directly. Let them know how much you would appreciate if they reviewed your homebuilding process.
- Via email. Asking for reviews via email is one of the most successful methods because customers are already online.
- Over social media. Roughly half of customers say they check Facebook reviews. If your homebuilding business has an active social media presence, it can be a great avenue to solicit customer feedback.
- On your website. Including review links on your website makes it easy for customers to click through to share their experiences — and it helps potential purchasers learn more about your business.
- With a physical note. Thoughtful follow-up can make a good homebuilding experience great. Consider sending your customers a handwritten message after they’ve finished working with you — and mention how much you’d appreciate their feedback.
Ultimately, the best review approaches are multifaceted. Don’t be afraid to ask for customer feedback via multiple channels!
At Avid, we do this work for you by directing your customers to leave additional ratings and reviews across the web. (See more of our AvidCX platform capabilities here.)
2. Make it easy to leave a review.
If users can’t find what they’re looking for in just a few seconds, they’ll give up. This is particularly true when you’re asking them to do you a favor. If your review process is complicated, you won’t get as much feedback.
Make it easy for your customers to leave a review. If users can’t find what they’re looking for in just a few seconds, they’ll give up.
Here are a few ways to make it easy for your customers to leave a review:
- Link them directly to the pages where they can share their feedback.
- Clearly explain what they’ll be asked to do when they click the link. Do they need to log in? Will they have to enter any personal information?
- Double-check that your review platforms function as expected.
3. Tell customers how reviews benefit them.
When you ask a customer for a review, highlight the benefit to them and fellow customers. Emphasize that their reviews provide valuable insight you use to improve your overall experience.
You might also consider offering some sort of incentive when your customers leave a review. (Be careful not to limit this to only positive reviews — instead, you should reward any type of feedback.) Some options are a personalized thank you note, social media shout out, or entry into a small prize drawing.
Offer an incentive for all reviews, good or bad. When your customers get something out of the review process it makes them more likely to promote your services moving forward.
When your customers get something out of the review process, too, you increase feelings of reciprocity. This makes it more likely that they’ll continue to promote your homebuilding services moving forward.
4. Prioritize your Google My Business listing.
Google is the single most trusted review site on the web, used by 64% of consumers. What’s more — on Google Maps, the company with the most positive reviews shows up first independent of other search engine optimization performance. This is particularly helpful for homebuilders who want to attract local customers.
In order for customers to be able to share their feedback on Google, you need to claim and set up your Google My Business listing. Find details on how to do that here.
5. Respond to every review — even negative ones.
Harvard Business Review found that replying to both good and bad customer reviews resulted in better ratings. Customers appreciate seeing that you’re human and willing to make things right.
Here’s what to include in your response to turn a negative review into a positive experience.
- Greeting (apologize): Use the customer’s name and take responsibility for your business.
- Explanation (show accountability): Explain how the mistake happened and validate the customer’s experience.
- Encouragement (provide resolution): Show you welcome the customer’s engagement and offer appropriate means of atonement.
- Signature (apologize — again): Express regret, offer to make things right, and sign off with your name and title.
Check out some more tips on how to react and respond to customer reviews here.
6. Make changes based on customer feedback.
When it comes down to it, the thing customers want most from a homebuilder is authenticity. Reviews are one way to build that — and if you want to really seal the deal? Take your customers’ feedback seriously and make changes to your process as a result.
When it comes down to it, the thing customers want most from their homebuilder is authenticity. Reviews are one way to build that.
This doesn’t mean you need to bend to every whim. It’s impossible to please everyone! But if you find a few recurring pain points in your reviews, consider what you can do to improve your customer experience moving forward.
If you do make any changes, take the time to follow up on relevant reviews. Thank customers for their input, and let them know that it inspired your team to take action!
At the end of the day, we can’t overstate the importance of positive reviews in today’s homebuilding climate. Our own AvidCX can help you generate more customer reviews across products and processes, providing invaluable insight and helping you build an even stronger reputation. If you have questions about AvidCX, or about reviews in general, please don’t hesitate to reach out.