Advice Market Blog

Welcome to the brave new world of “Ratings and Reviews”

June 9, 2016

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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 ratings and reviews and making them a strategic part of your practice growth strategy.

Put simply, client ratings and reviews lead to increased conversions because they can eliminate any doubts potential clients may have about an adviser or practice, or can help with service selection.

That’s not all. Ratings and reviews 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 adviser and 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 reviews/ratings from your clients? Here are a few ideas.

Use a Specialist Review Provider

One guaranteed method of getting enough client reviews to make your practice look more attractive to prospects is to use a trusted third party reviews provider, such as AdviceMarket.  This is a useful way to build up a body of reliable reviews for your practice which could otherwise take some time. These reviews are also authenticated, so prospects know that the person leaving the review has actually utilised the services of the adviser in question.

Email Clients

Sending an email after a client has just completed a meeting or consultation to ask for a review 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 week 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 leaving a quick rating out of five or ten is one way, and provides a useful summary score.

Incent (But Don’t Buy) Reviews

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 writing a review, and not for writing a good review. Monthly giveaways, where you choose one reviewer at random, are effective ways to encourage reviews, and there’s no semblance of a transaction where you are paying for a review. 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.

Are you using client ratings and reviews in your practice?

Welcome to the brave new world of “ratings and reviews” is the final instalment in a special five-part series which has been authored by Ray McHale, Founder of Marketing-Based Assets International Pty Ltd and in collaboration with Spiros Christoforatos, Founder of AdviceMarket . Both Ray and Spiros are passionate about providing businesses with the tools, guidance and support required to ensure they are thriving, robust and dynamic entities in the ever evolving space that is financial services.

Ray McHaleRay’s mission is to make sure practices (just like yours) become very successful by generating valuable insights about their client relationships. He helps practices identify and listen to their clients, measure financial impact and take targeted action to maximise the value they create. His company provides consulting services, on-line resources such as Valuiza and coaching/mentoring services. Simply visit www.valuzia.com to find out more about Ray and how he can help you.

Spiro’s ambitions, through his AdviceMarket platform, is to make it easy for consumers to connect with advice professionals and to provide advisers with another way to grow their personal brand and expertise to an audience that is looking for verified and socially proofed advisers. Ultimately the goal is to contribute to increasing financial literacy among the community and to encourage all Australians to seek advice. If you’re an adviser and you want to find out more visit www.advicemarket.com/adviser

By Spiros Christoforatosadministrator