I was talking to a business owner the other day, and he was telling me about a recent experience where he had sighted a job and gave a customer a verbal quote. This ‘lead’ had come from a jobs board site and he costed the job and gave an estimate, that he was told by the homeowner was roughly three times more than another quote she had received the same day. He told me that the quote she was given by another contractor would not have covered the costs for the job.

It got me thinking about ‘leads’, and competing on price, and the expectations some consumers have that are falsely satisfied by businesses that operate at razor thin margins. It also made me think more about an online reputation and businesses being recompensed at a fair price for their skill, craftsmanship and dedication.

“So why would a business that is great at what it does be scambling about competing over price with other businesses that may not be that great at all? Why would consumers want to pay under cost for a job that will so obviously not be up to scratch?”

Business is a transaction – between the seller of a product, or the provider of a service and someone who is going to pay for that product or service. That’s all that it is in the most simplistic sense, and for businesses to do well – and to continue grow and prosper – they need to ensure two things – that their existing customers return and that they can attract new customers. Bywords like quality, dependability, customer service, transparency, courtesy, and honesty, all play a part as well in establishing a business that consumers will return to and tell their friends and family about.

“No matter how good their work is, or their products are, they are not positioned online in such a way to attract the level of customers that will pay what they are worth.”

So why would a business that is great at what it does be scambling about competing over price with other businesses that may not be that great at all? Why would consumers want to pay under cost for a job that will so obviously not be up to scratch? Over they years I’ve read so many online reviews where consumers complain about a service and praise another business that came in to remedy the errors, or omissions, in the original job. Not all of these first jobs were decided on price but most of them were decided without doing one, basic thing – checking out the business’ online reviews, or worse, finding none and thinking they would be good anyway, because they had a license or a website, or a host of other reasons that get mistaken for dependability.

“But unlike traditional word of mouth, it is tangible, easily accessed, communicated and furthered through Google and review sites.”

In exactly the same way, businesses that don’t foster and further an online reputation very often get caught out wasting hours and hours quoting on jobs that will go to the lowest bidder. No matter how good their work is, or their products are, they are not positioned online in such a way to attract the level of customers that will pay what they are worth. An great online reputation is a beacon to consumers who are not motivated by price. They are looking for quality, they want the job done well, they want the product to meet and exceed their expectations – and nothing can tell that story better than authentic, verified, reviews.

For a business, these are also the best customers to attract and keep. They will talk to their friends and family and generate online reviews – ensuring a steady flow of new customers – because at its core – that’s what online reviews are – word of mouth online. But unlike traditional word of mouth, it is tangible, easily accessed, communicated, and furthered through Google and review sites. It can also be realised as a company asset and used as a selling tool if the business is ever sold.

“They are looking for quality, they want the job done well, they want the product to meet and exceed their expectations – and nothing can tell that story better than authentic, verified, reviews.”

On the other hand, customers driven by price are generally difficult, have unrealistic expectations, and forget they paid peanuts and expect the world. They will be fussy and hard to please. In many instances the experience will not go well. Great businesses deserve great customers – and the way to connect them are through reviews. It really isn’t rocket science.