Ever wondered how consumers choose local service providers? See what research says about why consumers choose a business over its competitor.
Every day, across America and around the world, people turn to search engines to find answers for their most pressing needs.
Where can the kids get their hair cut?
Which plumber is our best choice to fix that broken pipe?
Is there a financial services advisor serving this region that I can trust?
For local service providers, getting found online is essential. But simply being seen doesn’t put money in the bank.
What is it that inspires a local consumer to choose one local service provider over another?
Connecting with consumers is all about emotion, reputation, and visibility.
Let’s take a look at the top reasons local consumers choose one service provider over another when evaluating their options in local search results.
1. You Have An Excellent Reputation
Online reviews are essential, as people now spend more time reading reviews than ever before.
In the past, service providers depended on word of mouth and recommendations from friends to generate referrals and more business.
Now, online reviews reign supreme.
ReviewInc has surveyed U.S. consumers for the last 10 years and each year, customers continue to choose online reviews from sites such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, and industry-specific websites as the most important factor in their decision-making process.
In fact, in 2022, the survey showed that 43% of consumers chose reviews over online ads, Yellow Pages, the company’s website, and other sources.
Still, consumers assume an excellent reputation is demonstrated, rightly or wrongly, by a company’s online reviews since they often reflect the quality of customer service.
2. You Deliver Great Customer Service
Consumers crave excellent customer service, no matter the industry.
Service providers who are quick to respond, friendly, accessible, and knowledgeable will naturally build a good reputation.
A business with a knowledgeable and helpful staff is key to gaining new customers.
Companies that prioritize these values will find that customers will come back year after year and bring their family, friends, and colleagues with them.
In today’s predominantly online world, excellent customer service has evolved into live support via live chat, social media, text, and phone as instant ways of providing help.
Consumer expectations have skyrocketed, and even the slightest unpleasant experience or lack of response can result in bad reviews.
That means that poor customer service equals bad business and can significantly impact your business’s success and discourage consumers from coming back and providing referrals.
Excellent customer service will reflect in the reviews of your business, which is the real reason consumers choose a local service provider.
3. They Can Find You Online
Web presence is a given. Essentially, your business does not exist online if it does not rank on page one of search engine results pages (SERPs).
Companies must work on their SEO or pay to be visible on the SERPs through paid search.
With mobile devices so commonly used for search, showing up in Google’s 3-Pack for your top keywords is imperative. You can’t win the clicks and leads if you’re not there.
Not surprisingly, the number one reason for showing in the 3-Pack is the number of reviews and rating quality.
Investing time and money in SEO is vital to any business that wants more consumers to find them online.
Keyword analysis, research, content creation, social media, backlinks, PPC ads, email marketing, online reviews, ratings, and more are all factors that affect your business reputation.
All of these activities help improve your local visibility.
And according to Kyruus’s Patient Access Journey Report, 91% of patients conduct research online even after receiving a referral for a medical provider.
That means you need SEO to seal the deal even if word of mouth is already working to get you the referral.
4. Your Price Is Right
Price is not the only factor when selecting a business, but it is undeniably crucial.
Although not always the case, most consumers are price-conscious.
Even if you do not have the lowest prices, consumers want to know they got a deal.
Pricing psychology is an entirely separate topic; we know that consumers will often pay more when they perceive better value or prestige.
It is best to have competitive pricing over lower pricing because competitors can always negotiate lower pricing.
So, it is essential that your pricing matches the consumers’ perceived value of the service provided.
Make sure consumers know the breakdown of what they receive for the price paid.
It is also good to keep pricing to an agreed amount depending on the services offered if the consumer chooses to stay.
A business that is increasing prices can justify doing so through a more compelling web presence, including their reputation, testimonials, video walk-throughs, and of course, positive reviews.
People will often pay more for better customer service, which shows in the reviews they leave for local service providers.
5. Your Business Provides Quality Service & Consumers’ Values Align With Your Brand’s
People value quality, especially when choosing a company.
Quality and fantastic customer service for most intelligent business owners mean building ongoing long-term relationships.
Lifetime value is associated with having a long-term horizon when growing a business.
Providing excellent customer service and a deal with great value will incentivize your customers to spend more money over time and refer their friends.
If your business has core values that appeal to consumers, they will choose you over the competition.
In your marketing strategy on your website or promotional materials, be sure to focus on your core values around quality.
For example, a healthcare provider can emphasize the importance of improved patient health through quality care, longevity, fitness, and overall patient satisfaction.
The quality of your service and core values should come up as sentiment themes in reviews of your company, attracting more new consumers.
Managing your online reputation and reviews is essential.
A Reputation Management service can help streamline the feedback process and help boost a company’s reputation.
Always provide the best customer service possible.
Leverage automation such as live chat, social, text, phone, or however you can quickly contact your customers as needed.
Web visibility is imperative.
Investing in digital marketing services such as SEO, PPC, social media, reviews, and ratings is critical to ensuring that consumers find your business via the search engines.
Make sure you have a clear pricing strategy in place that aligns with the perceived value of the services you offer.
Always provide quality service so that consumers return and refer their friends. Utilize your core values to tell a story that attracts like-minded customers.
If you need help getting more online reviews, WAY Nation Solutions is here to help. Learn more about how we can help you with reviews as well as all facets of the online visibility of your business. Get started today by requesting your Local SEO Audit or by starting a chat with us.