This post was sponsored by ReviewInc. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the sponsor.
Every day, across America and around the world, people turn to search engines to find answers to their most pressing needs.
Where can children get their hair cut?
Which plumber is our best choice to fix that broken pipe?
Is there a financial services advisor serving this area that I can trust?
For local service providers, being found online is key. But just being seen doesn’t put money in the bank.
What drives a local consumer to choose one local service provider over another?
Connecting with consumers is about emotion, reputation and visibility.
Let’s look at the top reasons local consumers choose one service provider over another when evaluating their options in local search results.
1. You have an excellent reputation
Online reviews are essential because people are now spending more time reading reviews than ever before.
In the past, service providers depended on word of mouth and referrals from friends to generate referrals and more business.
Now, online reviews reign supreme.
ReviewInc has surveyed American consumers for the past 10 years and every yearcustomers continue to choose online reviews from sites like Google, Facebook, Yelp and industry-specific websites as the most important factor in their decision-making process.
In fact, in 2022, our survey showed that 43% of consumers chose reviews over online ads, yellow pages, company website and other sources.
ReviewInc Google Survey Results, January 2022
Yet consumers assume that a great reputation is demonstrated, rightly or wrongly, by a company’s online reviews, as they often reflect the quality of customer service.
2. You provide excellent customer service
Consumers are looking for excellent customer service, regardless of industry.
Service providers who are quick to respond, friendly, accessible and knowledgeable will naturally build a good reputation.
A business with knowledgeable and helpful staff is key to winning new customers.
Companies that prioritize these values will find that customers will return year after year and bring family, friends and co-workers with them.
In today’s predominantly online world, great customer service has morphed into live support via live chat, social media, text and phone as instant means of providing help. .
Consumer expectations have skyrocketed, and even the slightest unpleasant experience or lack of response can lead to bad reviews.
This means that poor customer service equals bad business and can have a significant impact on the success of your business and discourage consumers from returning and providing referrals.
Great customer service will show up in reviews of your business, which is the real reason consumers choose a local service provider.
3. They can find you online
Web presence is a given. Essentially, your business doesn’t exist online if it doesn’t rank on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs).
Companies must work on their referencing or pay to be visible on the SERPs thanks to paid referencing.
With mobile devices so commonly used for search, showing up in Google’s 3-Pack for your top keywords is imperative. You can’t earn clicks and leads if you’re not there.
Unsurprisingly, the main reason for appearing in the 3-pack is the number of reviews and the quality of the ratings.
Investing time and money in SEO is vital for any business that wants more consumers to find them online.
Keyword analysis, research, content creation, social media, backlinks, PPC ads, email marketing, online reviews, ratings, and more. are all factors that affect your company’s reputation.
All of these activities help to improve your local visibility.
And according to the Kyruus Patient Pathway Report, 91% of patients search online even after being referred to a medical provider.
This means you need SEO to seal the deal even if word of mouth is already working to get you the referral.
4. Your price is right
Price is not the only factor in choosing a company, but it is undeniably crucial.
Although this is not always the case, most consumers are price conscious.
Even if you don’t have the lowest prices, consumers want to know they got an offer.
Pricing psychology is an entirely separate subject; we know that consumers will often pay more if they perceive better value or prestige.
It is better to have competitive prices rather than lower prices, because competitors can always negotiate lower prices.
It is therefore essential that your pricing corresponds to the value perceived by consumers of the service provided.
Make sure consumers know the breakdown of what they are getting for the price paid.
It is also good to keep pricing at an agreed amount based on the services offered if the consumer chooses to stay.
A company that raises its prices can justify doing so with a more compelling web presence, including its reputation, testimonials, video presentations and, of course, positive reviews.
People will often pay more for better customer service, which can be seen in the reviews they leave with local service providers.
5. Your company provides quality service and consumer values align with those of your brand
People appreciate quality, especially when choosing a company.
Quality and fantastic customer service for most smart business owners means building ongoing, long-term relationships.
Lifetime value is associated with a long-term horizon when growing a business.
Providing great customer service and a great value offer will entice your customers to spend more money over time and refer their friends.
If your company has core values that appeal to consumers, they will choose you over the competition.
In your marketing strategy on your website or promotional materials, be sure to focus on your core values around quality.
For example, a health care provider may stress the importance of improving patient health through quality care, longevity, fitness, and overall patient satisfaction.
The quality of your service and your core values should appear as sentiment themes in reviews of your business, attracting more new consumers.
Key points to remember
Managing your e-reputation and reviews is essential.
reputation management software can help streamline the feedback process and boost a company’s reputation.
Always provide the best customer service possible.
Leverage automation such as live chat, social media, SMS, phone or you can quickly contact your customers if needed.
Web visibility is imperative.
Investing in digital marketing services such as SEO, PPC, social media, reviews and ratings is key to ensuring consumers find your business through search engines.
Make sure you have a clear pricing strategy in place that matches the perceived value of the services you offer.
Always provide quality service so that consumers come back and recommend their friends. Use your core values to tell a story that attracts like-minded customers.
Featured image: perfectlab/Shutterstock
Image posted: Image by ReviewInc. Used with permission.