You’ve worked hard to build relationships with dealers in the building material industry. Your word is your bond. You listen to your distributors. Your dealer clients know they can trust you to deliver the building materials they need to meet demand. So you may wonder why building material manufacturers need user reviews.
We don’t have to tell you that the building materials industry has changed a lot over the past 10 to 15 years. Your success is no longer solely dependent on the marketing and distribution methods of yesteryear. Chances are many of your dealers are online now — even if you aren’t. As a manufacturer, if you sell to a small dealer, then you have a responsibility to help that dealer grow beyond just selling the product, because when they win, you win — and it all starts with reviews. Reviews build trust
Online reviews can drive sales, increase revenues, and generate more outstanding reviews, which creates a positive review cycle where everyone benefits. Read on to see the reasons your dealer network development strategy should include helping your dealers get reviews.
Why customer reviews are important
1. Better understanding of customers
First and foremost, it would be unwise to think of reviews as the only communication between a B2B buyer and a potential buyer. Buyers also write user reviews to communicate with the dealer, and you are the one providing the building materials. Analyzing these reviews communicates both overall satisfaction and areas where you need to improve your product. It also shows you where you and the dealer can improve perceptions around it to generate happier end customers.
Tune into what customers are saying to keep abreast of changing expectations, goals and needs. When you do this, you can make small, impactful changes to stay competitive instead of needing to invest in a major overhaul later. Dealers don’t get stuck with inventory they can’t move, and they’re constantly buying more.
2. Builds credibility and social proof
Even if your building material company has been around for a while, not everyone knows the person who knows the person. B2B and B2C buyers overwhelmingly trust authentic user reviews. These reviews can build instant credibility even when buyers have just become aware of you. And the fact that the dealer carries products getting top reviews builds credibility and social proof with customers, so people buy more.
3. Word of mouth Is the most powerful form of advertising
We don’t have to remind you of word-of-mouth power. Who doesn’t love a referral? But one user review can reach a more people online than one referral. Eighty-four percent of people trust online reviews. Over 90% of B2B and B2C buyers check user ratings before buying.
And yes, having no reviews is worse than having a few negative reviews. It can be tough for dealers to get those first few reviews to start the ball rolling, but start by asking satisfied customers.
Of course, you should try to get good reviews by delivering quality goods to dealers, but most people expect some negative reviews. Having exclusively positive reviews can create doubt in their advertising.
4. Improves search engine rankings
Reviews on Yelp, Trustpilot, Google My Business, and Facebook display prominently in search results, especially if you’ve invested in minimal local search engine optimization. Pages with a local city or keyword the person is looking for rank higher in local searches. Claiming your review pages on these sites gives you instant visibility and a direct link to your website.
5. They’re here to stay
Dealer success hinges on user reviews. And their success is your success. The importance of user reviews to both of you isn’t changing anytime soon. How or where we write reviews may change over a decade, helping dealers get reviews is a critical part of your dealer network development strategy and will continue to be so, no matter its form.
User reviews affect the manufacturer, not Just the dealer
Reviews usually lead to higher profits for B2B companies. When your dealers get good reviews about your product, that reflects on them and your materials. As far as your own reviews go, dealers judge your credibility and ability to deliver what they need by looking at user reviews.
These reviews improve search engine authority for the material’s brand name too, so you attract more and bigger dealers to you. When dealers are searching for the goods you manufacture, your brand name appears in multiple places — across review sites.
All of this spreads awareness, which drives more dealers to your building material company.
How you can encourage reviews as a manufacturer
It’s clear that user reviews are important for your dealers and your materials company. Dealer success is your success. So you should consider your dealer’s reviews.
Given you’re in this together, dedicate marketing dollars to your dealers to build a review incentive program for customers. Create content on your website that revolves around marketing ideas for distributors to help them build their distribution and sell more of your product.
Keep a clear and open line of communication between yourself and the dealer. It keeps your customers happy and maintains the relationship. Offer training and education one your product for dealers, so they can better serve their customers and increase their positive reviews.