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Look to Loyal Customers for Reviews

Heidi Ellsworth Handling Reviews
June 8, 2021 at 8:21 a.m.

RCS Influencer Heidi J. Ellsworth shares five pieces of advice on how to work with past customers for strong testimonials and referrals. 

In this time of COVID recovery, it is more important than ever to gain the trust of new customers.  Contractors and sales teams are finding it a bit harder, now that communications are mostly through phone calls, text or zoom meetings.  Future customers need to know that your company will not only provide a roof that will protect their family and business but also be safe during the process of deciding on and installing a new roof. 

This has made referrals and testimonials more important than ever.  As a roofing company, you need the community talking about how safe and respectful your sales team is along with the professionalism of the roofing crews.  Do you really know what your customers are saying about you?  It is the question every roofing contractor should be asking no matter what the current economic and societal climate may be.  An excellent way to stay in front of what your customers are saying and be sure that future customers hearing good reviews is to gather testimonials. 

But what are the questions to ask for testimonials?  As future customers, they want to work with companies that have a great reputation of completing exemplary work in the past.  They also want to know that the roofing company is conscientious and has a reputation for extreme safety measures.  Customers are looking for roofing contractors who excel in meeting their needs both in the final product and the safety of the installation.  By documenting current and past successful installations and consumer experiences through testimonials of past customers it helps to develop trust with new customers.   

But many roofing contractors are shy about asking for reviews or feel that it is not professional.  It is professional but only when done the right way with the right questions.  In fact, if your sales team are currently completing their sales cycle correctly it should be very easy to get testimonials or at the very least feedback on every job. 

One of the most important parts of a roofing installation is the final inspection which is the perfect time to ask how the company did and how the customer feels about the overall roofing installation.  Sales teams need to ask and be ready to deal with positive and negative feedback.  Positive feedback needs to be recorded and turned into testimonials.  Negative feedback needs to be dealt with, corrected and then the sales team needs to ask again. 

Here are five key pieces of advice to use when asking for testimonials: 

  1. Ask Immediately 
    When the roof is done and looks great, ask for the testimonial during the final inspection.  The longer the salesperson or roofing company owner waits to confirm satisfaction with the customer the more danger of losing the new roof glow.   

  2. Record it 
    Make it easy for the customer.  While on the final inspection and everything looks great, ask them if it is ok to record their testimonial and take pictures of them on the completed roof.  Any smart phone can record comments or video the conversation or testimonial.  Be sure to include hand washing stations, masks and other safety measures in the photos to show that care is being taken to keep everyone safe. 

  3. Write it for Them 
    Audio or video can be transcribed, and testimonials easily pulled from the text.  If they don’t want to be recorded, write down what they say instead.  Be sure to be prepared with the selling points you want to make to future customers and include them in the questions.  By writing or recording what they say during the final inspection and sending back it back to the customer for approval, you have the chance to make the points you want, and you make it easy for the customer. 

  4. Questions to Ask for a Testimonial 
    Ask questions that run the life of the sale including how they found you if they are new, how was the estimating experience, did they feel they had all the information needed to make an informed decision and how do they like the final product.  And in today’s climate, did they feel safe?  Have them talk about how both the sales team and installation crew kept their safety as the highest priority.  Do not be scared to ask customers how to do things better in the future.  That is where you will get stronger testimonials and the opportunity for overall improvement. 

  5. Start with a Compliment 
    If the owner, for some reason, is not at the final inspection (you should ask them to attend), call them immediately and ask for their feedback.  Be sure to lead with how much you appreciate their business and willingness to provide a testimonial.  Share how much you respect their review of the job and then proceed with the interview. 

After reviewing the job, getting their feedback and testimonials, do not forget to ask about future work and what else they may need.  It is also the perfect time to ask for referrals.  Be sure that they are sharing with their network the steps you have taken to keep their family, business and possessions safe on the job by minimizing virus exposure on the ground or exhibiting top notch safety on the roof.  It is the best time to go over these requests when they are happy with their brand-new roof.  Not only can they provide a testimonial, but they can also spread the word through the neighborhood, on social media and through their business network. 

Heidi Ellsworth is owner of HJE Consulting Group and a partner in RoofersCoffeeShop.com. See her full bio here.



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