Word of mouth has been the most effective way for most irrigation businesses to generate new leads for a long time. In our Green Industry Benchmark Report, we found that customer referrals are green industry business’ largest source of leads. Over 40% of their new customers are referrals. But what we have also seen in conducting these reports is that online reviews are carrying more weight in customers’ decision making processes. 32% of sales are coming from their website and another 11% are coming from other online activities.
One increasingly important aspect of running a successful business is the ability to harness the power of positive online reviews. And even more so, having happy customers create testimonials for you. They can take a few different forms - video, audio, or just plain, old written - but they are one of the best ways to improve your online presence and earn new business. Here are 6 reasons why you should be compiling and using customer testimonials on your website:
Not So Salesy
People don’t like to be sold. Irrigation services, lawn maintenance, snow plowing and other field services are a pretty big investment for anyone. When deciding which business in a particular area that they would like to go with, people don’t want to feel pushed. Testimonials aren’t viewed as “salesy”. They see people with similar needs talking about services they are searching for.
Back It Up
While they aren’t salesy, they can help validate the claims that your business makes. If you provide your customers with email notifications when they schedule, reschedule or when you complete a job - a testimonial is a great way to give examples of how that is a benefit. If your crews are friendly, do a great job of explaining their work or ensure they clean up after their work is finished, hearing that from an existing customer supports your claims.
When you’re gathering testimonials for your service business, don’t script anything or force the testimonial (does that sound like a cop movie?). Think of who your best customers are, what unique issues you have helped them with and what situations fit specific selling points of your services.
Your website should have a few pictures of your employees, but buyers also like to see what other customers look like. Even just a written testimonial can give buyers a good idea of what unique pain points they were experiencing before your business helped them. If your irrigation business came in and fixed an installation that wasn’t done right by another company, someone else might be in that same situation. Those prospects can relate to your customers.
Customer testimonials are viewed as authentic. They aren’t something you wrote about your services - even if you really ARE the best irrigation business in town or the most reliable lawn maintenance company in the area - having a customer say that can be invaluable.
Even if word of mouth is still your most effective source for generating qualified leads, 78% of people say they trust online reviews just as much as recommendations from a friend. If that isn’t reason enough, maybe this response to a survey conducted by SoftwareAdvice.com will be - 55% of customers use online resources to find field service businesses in their area. Not only do customers trust other customers, but they are searching for reviews and testimonials from other customers.
People are beginning to expect testimonials. If you don’t have them on your website, potential customers might be put off because of your lack of credibility. Customers need to see what other customers think of your business.