In a survey of 3,600 consumers in the U.S. and Canada, 79% said they trusted online reviews as much as personal recommendations from family and friends. It would be entirely reasonable to assume that the same sentiment exists in Australia as well.
That being the case, there is clearly a premium on asking for client feedback that can be quickly used to create authentic and trustworthy ratings and making them a strategic part of your practice growth strategy.
Put simply, client feedback converted into ratings lead to increased lead conversions because they can eliminate any doubts potential clients may have about an advisor or practice, or can help with service selection.
That’s not all. Client feedback can also help your practice with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) by providing fresh and unique content for search engines and improving your rankings because prospective clients will be searching for the name of the advisor/practice plus the word ‘review’, or related words such as ‘ratings’.
This might shock you but bad review/ratings are also valuable. All reviews are valuable, and a mix of positive and negative reviews/ratings helps to improve client trust in the opinions they read. Prospects who seek out and read so-called bad reviews convert better, as the very fact that they are paying such close attention means they are more likely to be in purchase mode.
So how should you attract feedback from your clients? Here are a few ideas.
Use a Specialist Provider
One guaranteed method of getting enough client feedback to make your practice look more attractive to leads is to use a trusted client feedback provider, such as Valuiza. This is a useful way to build up a body of reliable social proof for your practice which could otherwise take some time.
This feedback is also authenticated, so leads know that the person leaving the feedback has actually utilised the services of the advisor in question.
Sending an email after a client has just completed a meeting or consultation to ask for feedback is a good idea, but the timing is a key issue here. You need to give your clients enough time to have considered the advice to form an opinion, but it still needs to be sent when the consultation is fresh in the client’s mind. Within a few weeks is a good timeframe.
Make the Process Simple
Some clients may not have a lot to say about some of your services, or may have a limited attention span, so make it nice and easy to leave opinions.
Offering clients the option of completing a short survey that can be converted into valuable insights and then automatically converting the results into a rating provides a useful summary score for consumers to consider.
Incent (But Don’t Buy) Feedback
Sometimes even your most satisfied clients need an extra incentive to take time out of their busy day to write a review. Offering a small incentive is a good way to show your appreciation. You just need to make sure your offer is for providing feedback, and not for providing good feedback.
Monthly giveaways, where you choose one client at random, are effective ways to encourage feedback, and there’s no semblance of a transaction where you are paying for feedback.
The ACCC provides clear guidelines about managing online reviews and has successfully challenged the behaviour of some businesses, so you need to make sure you are aware of the guidelines and adhere to them.