Sebring Design Build Remodel based in the Chicago suburb of Naperville demonstrates how a local remodeling contractor (albeit in an exceptionally large local market) has created a blog that serves the company’s interests by avoiding obvious self-serving messaging.
This is a smoothly designed, easy-to-read blog, with lots of content.
Consider, for example, this post: 10 Best Practices in Reading Online Reviews. I won’t republish the entire comprehensive post here, but will highlight a few of the 10 suggestions:
1. Look for Comparisons
2. Purposely Seek Out Bad Reviews
If you’re struggling to discern whether a review is more positive or negative, there’s a way you can see some truly bad notes. If you are looking for reviews of a contractor on the popular review website Yelp, make sure you know how to use the filters. Yelp famously has a number of filters you can use during your search for a company in order to narrow down your choices and preferences.
Unfortunately, Yelp is sometimes known to filter out real reviews that were written by real people, whether they are good or bad. When performing your search, make sure to click on the “Not Currently Recommended” filter. Applying this filter and reading all of the reviews about the contractor can be truly eye-opening. It is most often the case that Yelp hides these reviews because they reflect poorly on the company. But, these are the reviews that you need to see the most!
3. Look for Companies with a Lot of Reviews
4. Stay Away from Companies with No Reviews
Similarly, you should not gravitate towards companies that have little to no reviews. If you were to look up the name of a contractor or company online, only to find that they have a total of 2 reviews, you might not want to pick them. Seeing just a couple reviews – or none at all – should send up a huge red flag that something is wrong.
It’s not very good rapport for a company to only have a couple of reviews. And, upon reading those reviews, you may find out that the company cannot really be trusted. Without any customer confidence, you have nothing to go on, and therefore you cannot make a reliable judgment about the company. You won’t feel comfortable trusting them to complete your project, so it might be time to move on to another choice.
5. Look for Photos and Visual Proof of Quality
6. Find a Commonality Between the Reviews
There’s a strategy to finding the best online reviews. When scanning information that other customers have written, try to look for a common theme. Are they all saying the same kind of thing about a particular product? Do they all share an opinion about a specific contractor? Being able to see a number of different reviewers saying the same thing about a contractor can give you more confidence that the contractor can be relied upon.
Plus, a shared opinion has a lot more validity than an individual opinion. Having multiple people to back the claims that the company offers quality, reliable services will help you become more eager to jump on the train. Perhaps you’ll make that contractor your next choice for any project you are looking to get done.
7. Don’t Hire a Company with No Online Presence
8. Know that Negative Feedback Can Be Positive
Negative comments are usually a sign that the company may not be able to stand up to the level of quality and professionalism you are looking for. However, you shouldn’t completely disregard negative commentary right off the bat; in fact, this can be an even more valuable learning experience than the positive comments.
It’s important to look at how the company responds to bad reviews. Negative feedback is always feared by a company, but those who are able to respond to it in a positive and professional manner are more likely to keep that client and regain favor within the community. If a client gave bad feedback, how did the company respond? Did they reply with an apology and an opportunity to correct their mistake? Or, did they offer harsh, victimizing words? Or, perhaps they did not offer a reply at all?
Knowing how the company responds (if they even do), and what kind of impression this gives can be really telling about the kind of company it is. Even if there are some occasional bad reviews, if the company responds with maturity and offers a higher level of quality to make up for it, they can still be considered on your list.
9. Look at Quantity Vs. Quality with Many Reviews
10. Look for the Most Influential People and Procedures
This advice — especially including the content I am not publishing here out of respect for Sebring’s copyright — is truly useful in any market.
In fact, if you are a remodelling contractor outside of Chicagoland’s service area, I would seriously consider this blog as inspiration for a model you could apply in your own market. Obviously, it is wrong to copy the content from this blog — use your own graphic design, writing and photos — but the general theme and approach certainly could be applied in almost any metro area; that is if your business has the scale and expertise (and reputation) to deliver on the implicit quality/service/value messaging outlined in these pages.
Voting for the 2019 Best Construction Blog competition closes on March 31. You can only vote once for your email address, but you can select as many blogs as you wish in your ballot.