We regularly chat with financial advisers and planners who tell us their business doesn’t need online reviews.
We politely and respectfully disagree.
Having an impressive portfolio of reviews on Google, VouchedFor and Glassdoor (the holy trinity of review sites):
- Impresses potential clients and future team members
- Validates your existing clients’ decision to work with you.
We’re all about data here at The Yardstick Agency, so here are 12 stats to prove the benefits of online reviews.
81% of consumers say that online reviews are either important or very important when deciding to use a particular company (Source: BrightLocal)
That one stat alone might be enough to convince you that your business needs online reviews.
If it is, the next question is obvious: where do consumers read reviews?
87% of consumers used Google to evaluate local businesses in 2022, up from 81% in 2021 (Source: BrightLocal)
As most consumers want to deal with a local adviser/planner, this stat is incredibly important.
Plus, we’ve said for years that Google is the middleman between someone becoming aware of you (for example, after having been recommended to you by an existing client or professional connection) and taking action.
That means your business needs to be visible and impressive online. Reviews are a great way of ticking both boxes. However…
24% of advice/planning firms have no Google reviews (Source: The Yardstick Agency)
If your business is one of these, you’re going to be less impressive to potential clients, who might decide to look elsewhere.
It isn’t all about Google though…
1 in 3 new clients say they read the adviser/planner’s VouchedFor reviews before becoming a client (Source: VouchedFor)
There’s evidence to show that reviews help conversion rates too.
Wayne Griffiths, managing director of One Financial Solutions, says: “Before VouchedFor, roughly 25% of prospective clients became clients, now it’s more like 75%! So, either the team’s got three times better at their job or it’s a powerful platform.” However…
Only 53% of advice/planning firms have VouchedFor reviews (Source: The Yardstick Agency)
Google reviews are hard to get because your client must have a Google account and be happy that their name will probably appear in public. So, if you’re only asking for reviews on one platform, you’re sending your clients down a dead end.
Instead, offer them two platforms: Google and VouchedFor.
However, our analysis of the New Model Adviser Top 100 in 2023 shows that only around half of all firms use VouchedFor. In our view, those who don’t are missing an opportunity.
And despite what many advisers/planners might think, consumers trust online reviews.
83% of reviewers in the last 12 months said that they are more likely to recommend their adviser/planner having read their VouchedFor reviews (Source: VouchedFor)
49% of all consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (Source: BrightLocal)
We’ll admit that this surprised us too.
Although we were less surprised that…
86% of consumers will think twice about buying from a company that has negative reviews (Source: Invesp)
The research shows that many consumers are even more discerning, with 92% saying that they will only consider a business that has a rating of at least four stars.
The effect of negative reviews on a business is significant…
A single negative review can cost a business up to 30 new clients (Source: Online Reputation Management)
The same research shows that it can take up to 12 positive reviews to reduce the effect of a negative one.
Both of those stats emphasise the importance of delivering a great service, while proactively asking clients (who will be overwhelmingly happy) to leave positive reviews.
Remember, most negative reviews come out of the blue. It’s almost unheard of for that to happen after the adviser/planner has asked for the review.
Online reviews aren’t all about new clients. Positive reviews can help you recruit the right people…
84% of job seekers say that a company’s reputation matters when deciding whether to apply for a role (Source: Glassdoor)
Research also shows that 50% of people wouldn’t work for a company that has a bad reputation. The same proportion also checks Glassdoor reviews when searching for jobs (anecdotally, our experience shows that the proportion is higher).
So, when high-quality candidates are hard to come by for so many roles, Glassdoor reviews are a great way to impress them, and demonstrate the positive culture in your business.
Only 20% of firms have Glassdoor reviews (Source: The Yardstick Agency)
Despite them being important, only 1 in 5 financial advice/planning firms have reviews on Glassdoor. Those who do will stand out to the best candidates.
Click here to learn more about Glassdoor and why having reviews on there makes recruitment easier.
82% of advisers say that earning great reviews motivates them to always “go the extra mile” (Source: VouchedFor)
Going the extra mile increases client advocacy and leads to more online reviews which, as we’ve shown, has significant benefits.
What’s not to love about that?
Now’s the time to act
If we’ve convinced you that online reviews are something you should prioritise, now’s the time to act.
If you don’t know where to start, we’re here to help. We can:
- Help you choose the right platforms for your business
- Run a kick-off project that will provide an immediate boost to the number of reviews you have
- Improve your processes, so you keep reviews topped up
- Train you in how to write great replies to your reviews
- Help you promote the reviews after you’ve received them.
If you’d like our help, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0115 8965 300 and we’ll set up a meeting.