The consumer decision process is notoriously complex. But with some guided marketing assistance and insights to how the consumer thinks, your HVAC or plumbing company can develop a trustworthy business that showcases positive customer experiences. By integrating social influence into your marketing strategy, reviews and testimonials can help increase your lead flow and conversion rates.
To take advantage of social influence, we must look into how a consumer researches and evaluates their purchasing decision. This consumer behavior buying process can be broken down into 5 steps.
- Need Recognition
- Information Search
- Alternative Evaluation
- Purchase Decision
- Post-Purchase Behavior
Need recognition can be one of the most urgent and timely steps. Being in the HVAC or plumbing industry, “Need Recognition” can quickly become an urgent situation. Both HVAC / plumbing industries have similar audiences since both products are usually out of sight and out of mind making our products a low priority until it becomes an “emergency”.
39% of consumers search online for local businesses at least once a month.
Once customers have recognized their need, the “Information Search” process triggers. With abundant ways to discover information, a customer must utilize internal and external avenues to conduct their research. Information can be easily transferred from something as simple as a personal referral or consulting an online review website.
Information Search is the most crucial step towards influencing a purchase. After addressing internal influences, most users will rely on external factors. External factors consist of online reviews, media, word-of-mouth, opinion leaders and personal referrals.
72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
Since the HVAC and Plumbing industries are a specialty profession, customers usually will have little knowledge of our services, thus it’s difficult for them to gauge a perceived value. This is one reason why our industry must focus on building brand affinity and brand loyalty to help build trust through our other customers’ experiences (i.e. reviews / testimonials).
88% read reviews to determine the quality of a local business
In a recent study on the impact of online reviews on revenue, the Harvard Business Review found that as simple as a 1-star increase can lead up to a 9% increase in revenue in the restaurant industry. What’s more, the study also found a large difference in user preference of which business the consumer chose to work with based on a company’s online rating.
92% of users will use a local business if it has a 4 star rating.
Only 13% of users will use a local business if it has a 1 star rating.
There are numerous ways to build trust and exhibit your customer’s positive experiences. One of the main factors in developing your online reputation starts with having an HVAC / Plumbing Review Generation strategy in place. Just asking for a review is not enough to succeed. With 57% of consumers visiting a local business website after reading a positive review, your strategy must embody multiple media such as Yelp, Google +, Facebook, as well as the testimonials on your website.
Interesting online review statistics
Only 12% of consumers said they take no notice of online reviews (down from 17% in 2012)
Word of mouth (i.e. reviews) remains the primary route for recommending a local business (72%)
57% have searched online for a local business more than 6 times / year
85% of consumers say they read up to 10 reviews (2014)
Interested in increasing your online reviews? Give us a call at 1-800-727-3920 and let’s discuss how Recommend Me can impact your company’s lead flow.