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Importance of Online Reviews for HVAC / Plumbing Industries

03-26-15 by Steven Severn

Importance of Online Reviews for HVAC / Plumbing Industries

With only 12% of consumers saying that they take NO notice of online reviews, doesn’t it seem obvious for your company to have a well-rounded online reputation to succeed? Customers are sharing their opinion and experiences online more than ever. Review sites have become an integrated part of the purchasing decision process to help customers evaluate your business with your competitors. Online reviews are a key factor in your customer’s purchasing decision impacting your business with new lead generation, stronger customer loyalty and a reduction in buyer’s remorse.

Before your customer begins the evaluation process, the first step of “Need Recognition” must be realized. Once your customer’s need is recognized the customer will continue through to the next process, “Information Search”. The Information Search process is designed to absorb information from everything internal (memory) and external (word-of-mouth, online reviews) relating to the purchase. Depending on the product and price, the information search process can change the duration and quality of research conducted. One example could be purchasing a $10,000 comfort system compared to buying groceries. The larger purchase of the HVAC system will be a much lengthier and in-depth research process.

57% of user searches on Yelp are based on the category of Home / Local Services.

Customer review websites are key to the consumer decision making process due to the sum reviews influence on the information search process. With word-of-mouth having one of the most powerful influences on a purchase, having a multitude of opinions can develop clearer information that can be easily absorbed by the consumer.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

You are a customer hiring a HVAC company to install a $5,000 geothermal heat pump. Which company would you do business with?

Davidson Heating, Air & Plumbing

4 star

45 reviews
Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC

Timeless HVAC

2.5 star

6 reviews
Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC

Chances are that most of you decided to work with Davidson Heating, Air & Plumbing because of the quantity and quality of reviews.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Now imagine if you were the customer hiring a HVAC company to perform $200 water heater repair, which company would you find more appealing to do business with?

Davidson Heating, Air & Plumbing

4 star

45 reviews
Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC

Timeless HVAC

2.5 star

6 reviews
Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC

  • $155 for $200 Deal

Even if your company does not have the best online reputation, price can be an influencing factor towards a purchasing decision. Chances are if there was no incentive, you probably would have not even begun to consider Timeless HVAC as an option. By influencing price it has probably made your decision more difficult. As consumers, we evaluate and process information every day to see what benefits us the most. Reviews allow us to easily absorb relevant information in order to make an informed decision and reduce buyer’s remorse.

Why Online Reviews?
Online reviews are designed to categorize and simplify data by user’s experiences and transforming it into information. With the lack of personal experience, consumers rely upon the opinion of others to help influence their decision. With 88% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as a personal recommendations, developing your online reputation is an easy way to build that trust.

90% of Yelp users say positive reviews impact their buying choices.

Review websites are an extremely powerful deciding factor for consumers. Both quantity and quality of reviews heavily influence their purchase. In one study conducted from Merchant Warehouse found 93% of people who conduct research on review sites will make a purchase from one of websites that they researched.

Building trust starts with your business model. In the HVAC and Plumbing industries, we have the opportunity to “Save the Day” with a customer who does not know what to expect. Even when a technician is on the job site, they have a perfect chance to impress the customer with their knowledge. It’s these positive interactions that empower users to share their experiences.

Other Key Online Review Statistics

  • 87% of small businesses don’t actively use review sites
  • 89% of consumers who research reviews make a purchase in less than a week
  • 84% of Yelp users conducting research will also consult Google+ local for reviews.
  • 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (vs. 72% in 2012)
Steven Severn (5 Posts)

Coming to iMarket Solutions with agency experience, Steve has managed all types of social media platforms with different strategies. Content strategy is his main passion towards developing an online presence designed to drive traffic and generate leads. Over his social media career, he has managed over 150+ social media accounts. Steve is Facebook Studio certified for Facebook advertising, Facebook Pages, & Facebook Technology as well as a Hootsuite Certified Professional. You can view his Facebook certification profile at Facebook Studio


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