There are many great ways to advertise your cleaning business.
- Hang flyers on doors.
- Advertise on Facebook.
- Join a local business networking group.
But there is also another way to market your cleaning business, without spending money.
When your clients are thrilled with your work, they will tell everyone: friends, family, neighbors… They might even shower you with praise on social media or leave you a sparkling online review.
Online reviews serve as free advertising, giving your cleaning business greater exposure and helping you mop the floor with your competition.
Here’s why you need more of them…
How Online Reviews Can Help Your Cleaning Business Attract New Clients
Nearly 90% of consumers read online reviews when researching
local service companies like yours, and 39% do so on a regular basis.
- 85% won’t trust a business until it has at least 10 positive reviews.
- 70% say a positive review will make them trust a local business more.
- 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from neighbors and friends.
On the flip side, negative online reviews are now “the number one factor” that causes consumers to form negative opinions about businesses.
Clients are going to review your business whether you like it or not — and whether they like your business or not.
It’s crucial to do everything in your power to make sure your clients want to give you great online reviews.
The more 5-star reviews you have, the higher your overall rating will be. Your business will also appear higher on the page when people search for cleaning services on Google or Bing.
A bunch of 5-star reviews can also remove the effects of any negative reviews.
How to Get More 5-Star Cleaning Reviews
In the cleaning industry, you have perhaps the best chance to get more 5-star reviews than any other type of service business owner.
Not only do you service your clients on a regular basis, but you also work inside their homes, which gives them a unique opportunity to get to know both you and your work.
While you should feel confident in asking your clients for reviews, it’s important to do it at the right time. Don’t ask all your clients for reviews at the same time – and NEVER ask when you’re sending them the bill.
5 Tips to Ask for (and Actually Get) 5-star Reviews:
- When a client is really pleased with your work, take the opportunity to ask for a review in person.
- Use your website to reach out to satisfied clients for reviews.
- Include links to review sites (see below) in your Email signature.
- When a client sends you a positive email, respond by thanking them and requesting a review.
- Offer incentives in exchange for reviews. Try raffles or online review competitions. For example, each client who submits a positive review could be automatically entered in a drawing to win a gift card, iPhone, or a free month of service.
Are you looking to hire new employees? Here’s our Guide to Hiring New Cleaners for Your Business.
The 3 Different Types of Online Reviews (and How to Respond to Them)
To solidify your outstanding reputation online, you need to respond to your reviews. All of them.
How to Respond to Positive Reviews
When you get a good (4 stars or better) review, things are fairly simple:
Try to find out the reviewer’s identity and thank them. Write an original response letting them know you’ll be sharing the review with your team.
Your response should mention the services you performed, as well as any other key information that may be of interest to prospective clients.
How to Respond to Lukewarm Reviews
For lukewarm (typically 3 stars) or downright bad (fewer than 3 stars) reviews, responding can be a little more tricky.
If your cleaning business receives a lukewarm online review:
- Respond to the review as soon as possible. Less than 24 hours is best.
- Gather as much info as possible. Attempt to identify the client and contact them directly. If you can’t, let them know how to contact you.
- Empathize with your client and their concerns. You don’t need to take the responsibility (especially if it isn’t your fault), but a simple “I know how frustrating this can be” will go a long way.
- If the client said anything positive in their review, highlight those parts and be thankful.
Your goal here is to get them to improve their review. Lukewarm reviews can usually be saved, so it’s worth it to go the extra mile here.
How to Respond to Negative Reviews
If your business receives a bad online review:
- Respond in less than 12 hours.
- However, you must NOT respond when you are feeling “emotionally close” to the review. Emotional responses tend to bring out the worst in us.
- Try to reach the client personally to gather as much info as possible. If you can’t reach them, let them know how to contact you immediately.
- Let the client know that you take their concerns very seriously. If possible, promise to fix the problem right away – whether that means returning to their property to fix an uncleaned area, or discussing a cultural problem with your team.
- Assume nothing. Ask for as many details as possible without making excuses or deflecting responsibility.
- Document all of the steps you take to address and rectify the issue.
Your goal is to get them to remove the review, take their complaint offline, or somehow change their minds about your cleaning services.
Unfortunately, dealing with the occasional bad review is part of the territory when it comes to owning your own business.
The good news? The better you respond bad reviews, the fewer bad reviews you’ll get.
Ready to have an amazing year in your cleaning business? Check out our Annual Guide to Improving Your Cleaning Business.
Where to Get Online Reviews for Your Cleaning Business
When it comes to online reviews, location is just as important as quality. These are the most important places to get reviews for your cleaning business:
Share Your Reviews
Advertising can take up a big chunk of your budget — especially if you’re just starting out — and glowing digital referrals can help you acquire new customers. For free.
Anytime you get a “glowing 5-star review” you should think about sharing it on your website, or through your social media.
Once you wow your new clients, they can become repeat customers who leave you more 5-star reviews and send more new clients your way. Be sure to share your success stories, and be ready to clean up — both literally and figuratively — when customers come calling.
Patrick Hoffman is Marketing Director at Service Autopilot. He specializes in managing marketing campaigns and giving marketing strategies to the Lawn Care, Landscaping, and Cleaning Industries. When he's not writing, he's reading books on marketing, self-improvement, or science fiction.