Meet Dan, The World's Greatest Plumbing Customer
Dan has a water heater problem. He's afraid he won't be able to get the hot water going again. So what does Dan do? He's going to do what everyone else does and look up the water heater repair on Google.
In this case, Dan is completely unaware of your plumbing company. He knows what his problem is, but he doesn't know who to call to solve it.
Eventually, Dan settles on a couple of options. He sees a few local plumbing companies and their Google My Business profile. After weeding through the fake plumbing companies (the obvious ones), Dan is looking at each one of the legit profiles and trying to decide if he should reach out or not.
At this point, Dan could end up choosing somebody who's going to rip him off or not be able to finish the job. And Dan's got to go to work tomorrow! He needs a plumber, and he needs a plumber now!
In 2021, your Google My Business profile was more important than that if it helped decide whether the customer should or should not do business with you.
Everyone is talking about GMB management and optimization. And everyone has their own suggestions on what will help your plumbing business rank.
Plumbing business owners forget the power of communication and its effect on your prospect during the plumbing customer's GMB journey and optimize for this.
There is a ton of business intelligence available for most plumbers if you look at user-generated content that's left on your Google My Business profile.
What does user-generated content left on your GMB profile mean?
It's the context and content left in reviews of previous customers who have had an experience with you.
Get more out of our Google My Business profile.
Plumbers should look at the types of images being uploaded to your Google My Business. These things can help your company get more out of Google My Business and, at the end of the day, help your customer make the right choice by doing business with you.
How do plumbers improve their Google Map rankings?
There are many ranking factors for Google My Business, but you should focus on the CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE. Focus on this from the initial search to the follow-up once the job is completed.
Here are just some of the GMB ranking factors:
1. Your GMB plumbing business name
2. The GMB service category
3. Linking to a well-informed plumbing website
4. Google My Business Reviews
The Steps of a plumbing customer's Journey and Google My Business
1. They Don't Know - A plumbing customer does a Google search. They don't know you or your service. They don't know anything about you or your competitors. Not only that, they don't know what makes you different.
2. Problem - Your prospect has a problem but has no idea how to solve it. The plumbing customer is not calling you at this point in the journey. But the more Google My Business visibility you have, the more your prospects will consider your plumbing company as he or she moves on to the next stage.
3. Solution - The plumbing customer knows the service they need, but they don't know if your plumbing company provides it. How you optimize your profile, at this point, is crucial. Do you have products and/or services filled out on your GMB? Optimize everything to answer any questions the customer might have.
4. Service - At this point, the plumbing customer knows what services offer but isn't sure if it's precisely what he or she needs. This is crunch time. This is decision-making time. They know what services you offer, but are they convinced? Here's where reviews and Google questions and answers are so important.
Most customers will read your most recent reviews. They will also read the replies and look carefully at the content. If you're not analyzing these reviews, learning from them, and replying, you're leaving money on the table.
5. Ready - Now, the question that every plumbing customer loves to ask but every plumbing CSR hates to answer; is how much? But this is good. It means they are ready to schedule. Pricing is a subject for another day. But as of now, your customer is at the bottom of the funnel. And your plumbing team is ready to close!
Yes, Reviews are VERY Important for Plumbing Companies.
Beyond optimizing and updating your GMB profile, GMB reviews are one of, if not the most, essential features.
Customers who want real-world information about your plumbing services go directly to your Google My Business Reviews. Whether it's you, the business owner, your GMB experts at Rooter Marketing (self-promotion there), or a potential customer - reviews define your reputation.
Google My Business Reviews
Most prospective plumbing customers will read local business reviews making the phone call. And if your rating is under 4 stars, forget about it. Unless every other plumber in town with 4 stars or more is busy, your phone is not ringing. So as your local SEO expert, we assure you that this aspect of GMB needs to be paid attention to.
What else matters to the plumbing customer besides your business rating on Google?
- How long ago was your last review?
- Are your reviews left by real customers?
- How many reviews do you have?
- Are your reviews written out?
- *Did they mention the type of service (keywords)?
*Free SEO tip in that last bullet point
Google Maps: Date and Quantity
If plumbing customers (and Google) expect frequent reviews, you will need to strategically ask for them. You won't get a customer review unless you're doing something unique or terrible.
Getting GMB reviews, I mean getting the customers to actually leave your a review, all depends on what works best for your customer:
- Is it when service is completed and the tech is about to leave?
- Is it by email when the job is completed?
- Is it by text message when the job is completed?
A successful review-generating strategy means you will have recent reviews on your profile, showing consumers you're active and ready for more business.
Plumbing business owners who partner with Rooter Marketing have a solid game plan to keep up with this process (my article plug).
Is the opinion positive or negative, and if negative, did you respond empathetically to the customer?
Provide exceptional plumbing services. Customers are looking for plumbers that have good reviews and positive feedback in the review text. How can you make sure you get a good review?
Before asking for reviews, ensure you're happy with your plumbing services, your tech's customer service, and anything else that impacts the customer experience. This is an excellent opportunity to see where improvements in your plumbing operation are necessary. Use customer feedback to help improve your business process.
Oh, we almost forgot, be prepared for the 1-star reviews. These happen to every plumbing business across North America. Rooter Marketing has an entire process on how to handle these. It's important here to not get angry. Don't start a GMB review war. Just respond calmly and try to address the issue.
Unfortunately, fake reviews are standard, so consumers' trust in online reviews has fallen by the wayside. This is normal and in our nature to be distrustful.
How can you ensure your GMB reviews look legitimate?
When asking for reviews, include critical questions regarding your service. Here are some examples:
- How did we delight you on your appointment/store visit/product/service today?
- How did you find us?
- Who provided fantastic customer service to you?
- Which of our stores did you visit today? (if your business has multiple locations)
- When writing your review, please think of others and how it will benefit them?
- How was your service with us? How did it make you feel?
If your reviews contain accurate information, they're more likely to look legitimate and convince new customers you're trustworthy.
Not only will you get more honest reviews, but you'll also get more detailed reviews.
Help the customer help your plumbing business.
Help the customer make the best decision of their plumbing life; call your plumbing company.
Think about Dan next time you look at your Google My Business profile. Dan needs you! Dan is on a plumbing journey to find help with his problem. Dan needs to see your great reviews; only you can save Dan from your competitor.