I recently looked at booking a holiday in Corsica and, as I always do, I checked online for reviews of the hotel.
The reviews were mixed, which put me off from the start, but even worse was that the hotel manager’s replies to the reviews all followed a similar, generic line of, “We’ve had great feedback this summer…”, somehow implying that the reviewer was alone in their assessment. But I knew that wasn’t true as lots of people had said similar things. Naturally I didn’t book that hotel.
I’m not alone in my appetite for reviews and the weight I place on them when deciding to buy a product or service. Here’s what some of the research shows:
At the time of writing, we’ve managed to amass 2,146 five-star reviews (representing 92.9% of all reviews), and we certainly felt the positive benefits of both the quality and quantity of these reviews for our business.
In addition to the benefits outlined above, we feel that the other benefits of cultivating online reviews include:
The first of many other benefits of attracting client reviews is that you get first-hand feedback from people who have experienced your service. It’s some of the best qualitative data a company can have to help improve all manor of areas. It’s also a great early warning indicator if something is going very wrong. The client feedback alone is worth its weight in gold
From displaying the number of Facebook ‘likes’ a company has to advertising how many people are viewing this website page right now, companies often try to tap into the persuasive power of social proofing, a term often used to describe our innate herd like behaviour.
Generating over 2,000 five-star reviews not only sends a message that our client satisfaction is sky high, but the sheer volume also shouts out that thousands of people value the products and services we offer, increasing the propensity to buy
Being shortlisted for industry awards has many benefits. You’re more likely to be invited collaborate at industry, trade body or even governmental level, be published in the press and naturally it’s another clear signal of quality for your potential clients.
Halfway through 2019, we picked up Highly Commended at the Protection Review Awards, Highly Commended at AIG’s Adviser Quality Awards and we’re shortlisted at the Money Facts Awards taking place in September. Without such good client reviews, I don’t think these achievements would be possible
It makes sense that people want to join a reputable firm that wants to do the best for their clients. They want to work somewhere they can be proud of. We often have candidates say they’ve researched us online and are really impressed with our reviews. We also often get candidate questions like, ‘What’s your approach to sales?’, and we can refer them to our reviews and say, “Don’t take our word for it, see what our clients think”.
We now make a habit of sending a link to our reviews to all new candidates before they come in for an interview, so they know what we’re all about. This also sets a great tone for new starters who join knowing the level of client service that’s expected;
Yes, having great reviews can even lead to higher rankings in search engines. It’s estimated that Google uses over 200 factors when formulating its search rankings. I’d guess that review quality signals are one of them, but it’s widely known that the click through rate (CTR) of a listing in the rankings relative to other listings is a factor.
For example, if more people click on result two than result one, this sends Google a signal that maybe result two should be above result one. Given the value people place on reviews and the fact it’s possible for your reviews star rating to show up in search results, firms with good reviews could increase their CTR and therefore rankings!
There are two parts to this, the simple part is the process to ask for a review and the harder part is ensuring we provide a service that’s worthy of clients leaving great reviews.
Naturally we encourage our advisers to ask clients to leave a review and I’m sure this has an impact, but we’ve taken the approach of utilising technology to automatically ask every new client for a review.
The automated process part is actually quite simple. We use Salesforce as our CRM and each client record has a ‘go live date’ indicating when their insurance policy starts or when they officially became a client for financial planning business.
We then utilise an email marketing platform called HubSpot, which syncs with Salesforce, to automatically send an email to each new client to ask for a review a few days after the ‘go live date’ has been set in Salesforce.
One common criticism of the legitimacy of online reviews is that businesses may only ask clients for a review when things have gone well. With us it’s automatically the case that every client is invited to leave a review. That fact that our advisers know this can also help to shape behaviours.
As I’m sure you’re aware there are hundreds of factors that go into providing a great service and I won’t bore you by discussing my opinion of all of them here, but here are some of the factors we believe encourage the right behaviours to provide a great service and generate fantastic client reviews:
I hope I’ve managed to convince you of the merits of cultivating great online reviews and provided a few tips to help you along the way.
Our goal is simple: to improve our clients’ financial wellbeing.
We help our clients take control of their finances by building lasting relationships where we support them to make informed decisions.
We provide financial advice services to individuals and businesses throughout the UK. Whether it’s setting up personal insurance to protect your lifestyle, managing your pensions, investments and other assets to improve your financial future or setting up employee benefits for a company, we’re here to help.
Very good service from Rauri – he has been very helpful and thorough.