The Benefits of Cultivating 2,000+ 5-Star Client Reviews, And How We Did It…

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11-08-2020

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.

The Benefits of Online Customer Reviews

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:

  • 92% of consumers hesitate to make a purchase if there are no customer reviews and 97% say customer reviews factor into their buying decisions (Fan & Fuel, 2017);
  • 70% of people trust online customer reviews (Nielsen, 2015) and 82% of consumers say that the content of the review has convinced them to make a purchase (Podium, 2017);
  • 83% of people thought businesses with user-generated reviews on their website are trustworthy and 68% said that positive reviews make them more likely to use a business (Bright Local, 2017).

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.

Drewberry's 5-star reviews
See all of our reviews on independent reviews website Reviews.co.uk.

In addition to the benefits outlined above, we feel that the other benefits of cultivating online reviews include:

Great feedback

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

Social proofing

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

Industry awards

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

Recruitment

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;

Better Google rankings

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!

How We Built So Many Great Reviews

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.

How We Ask for Client 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.

How We Cultivate ‘5-Star’ 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:

  • Core KPI
    The number and proportion of 5-star reviews are a core Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for our advisers in their quarterly reviews;
  • Internal communication
    All client reviews are emailed out to the whole company as they come in, both the good and the bad. I’ll often follow up with personal praise for particularly good reviews and we act immediately on the rare poor one we get;
  • Investigating negative reviews
    We’ll fully investigate all negative reviews to find out what’s gone wrong and ensure it doesn’t happen again. We’ll also pick up with each client to apologise and put right anything we can;
  • Celebrate!
    As a team we’ll celebrate reaching key milestones, such as gaining 1,000 five-star reviews. We’ve made the mistake in the past of not celebrating our successes but doing so is time well spent!

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.

About Drewberry

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.

Sources

www.fanandfuel.com/no-online-customer-reviews-means-big-problems-2017/

www.nielsen.com/ug/en/press-releases/2015/recommendations-from-friends-remain-most-credible-form-of-advertising/

www.brightlocal.com/research/online-reviews-impact-trust-and-landing-page-conversion/

learn.podium.com/rs/841-BRM-380/images/2017-SOOR-Infographic.jpg

Very good service from Rauri – he has been very helpful and thorough.

Kathryn Wright
16/05/2021
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125-135 Preston Road
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Our Core Principles
  • 1You Come FirstWe are a client focused business who always aim to put you first.
  • 2We are ExpertsTo provide you with the best advice, we need to know our stuff!
  • 3We are HumanWe are real people with feelings who are here to help you.
  • 4We are ProfessionalProviding a 5-star service requires a professional approach to everything we do.
  • 5We are here to EducateWe don't believe in sales, we are here to educate so you can make informed decisions.
Finalist - Moneyfacts AwardsFinalist - Cover Excellence AwardsHighly Commended - Protection Review Awards
Proud member of AMII (Association of Medical Insurers & Intermediaries)Proud member of Money Advice ServiceProud member of UnbiasedProud member of BIBA (British Insurance Brokers' Association)

If you are unhappy with our service, we have a complaints procedure, details of which are available upon request. If you are unhappy with how your complaint has been dealt with, you may be able to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The FOS website is www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.

Drewberry Ltd is registered in England and Wales. Companies House No. 06675912

Drewberry Ltd registered office: Telecom House, Preston Road, Brighton, England, BN1 6AF. Telephone 0208 432 7333

Drewberry Ltd (Financial Conduct Authority No. 505473) is an Appointed Representative of Quilter Wealth Limited and Quilter Mortgage Planning

Limited, which are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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