You will have heard the team here The Yardstick Agency talk about reviews plenty of times before. But why are they important?
To view the impact that reviews can make we can look back just several weeks and the release of Morbius. The film came with some significant hype as part of the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), a series that releases films with almost guaranteed success.
However, within days of its release it was widely slated, and it’s now considered the worst film in the series to date. (As an aside, I’m sure my colleague Matt will still argue the worst MCU film is Thor, the misinformed soul. Click here to read more about Matt’s “unique” takes on the MCU).
Now, here’s the kicker. I know endless people who’ve said Morbius is terrible, but I don’t know a single person who’s seen it. Despite knowing several die-hard Marvel fans, many outright refuse to go and watch the film.
While this information may not be ground-breaking, it easily represents the power of reviews.
Many people can often shrug off the importance of reviews. It might be because they don’t want to spend the time introducing/enforcing the process, or they’re scared or embarrassed to ask for reviews. Sometimes it’s just because they don’t directly produce leads.
It’s important that we overcome these mindsets, as they cause major obstacles in the process of collecting reviews. While it’s true that reviews don’t “directly” create leads, they play a huge role in helping potential clients further down the sales funnel.
Let’s first take a look at Google reviews and why they’re important.
Firstly, they play a large role in your business’s location on Google Places. For those unfamiliar, this is the small map that appears when you search for businesses/shops/restaurants in your area.
For example, if you search on Google for “Indian restaurant Bristol”, near the top of the results you’ll see a map of Bristol and the local area, listing Indian restaurants within this region. I’m sure you’re familiar with this.
More often than not, the restaurant with the most Google reviews sits at the top of the list. It’s therefore the most likely place that people will click. Similarly, if someone was recommended to go for a meal at a restaurant, one of the first things they’ll do is Google the restaurant to see what other people are saying.
This will then produce their full Google My Business listing, which includes reviews, images, and quick links to access the business’s phone number and website. You’ll also see directions to the restaurant itself, through Google Maps.
While Google reviews play a key role in the grand scheme of reviews, they can be somewhat difficult to generate. This is simply down to the fact that someone needs to have a Google account to leave a review.
However, one platform that doesn’t require a user to have an account to leave a review is VouchedFor.
VouchedFor, as you may already be aware, is a platform similar to TripAdvisor but was created specifically for financial services. It also allows users to review their adviser/planner, which goes towards creating an overall score for the firm.
Advisers are reviewed on three key criteria which then produces the overall score for that adviser; advice, service and value. This allows for a somewhat more in-depth review of the adviser and the overall service they provide.
Similar to Google, VouchedFor reviews are a handy tool to help be seen when people are searching for generic terms.
As an example, if you were to search for “financial planners Nottingham”, one of the very first organic results will be a VouchedFor page. This will list the best rated advisers in the area on the site. Being on this page is fantastic for having your name seen, as well as potentially leading to the odd lead here and there!
As touched on earlier, one of the very first things people do when someone/something is recommended to them is to search for them on Google. This is again where VouchedFor shines. If you were to search for “Joe Bloggs financial planner”, one of the first organic search results will generally be their VouchedFor profile listing.
This provides an easy path for a potential client to discover more information about you, the type of clients you work with and, most importantly, what your clients think. These final bits of information found in your reviews can be the final nudge in a potential client getting in touch to book an initial call.
Lastly, VouchedFor offers certain reputational tools that show prospects what your clients think of you. These handy widgets can be used on your website to show either your firm’s score, or even your personal score. They also provide a quick way for potential clients to read your reviews without having to search themselves.
Simply click on the widget and a pop-up appears showing off all your recent reviews. It’s yet another way to show off the fantastic work you do!
How to collect reviews
Now you understand the value these two review platforms provide, it’s important you know how to collect these reviews.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to create a process where you request reviews after your client meetings. After your meeting, simply send your client an email thanking them for their time, summarising the meeting, and asking for a review.
If you’d like help with what text to use, feel free to use one of our free resources when you request a review.
When creating the email, be sure to link the page where they can leave the review itself. The easier you make the process, the more reviews you’ll get! We also heavily recommend including the links to the text itself, as this looks much nicer than a long URL.
Another way to generate reviews is to do a mass send-out requesting reviews, including information about why reviews are important. We’ve found that explaining to clients the importance of reviews makes them more likely to leave a review.
The final option is to get in touch with a friendly and experienced marketing agency to organise and run a ratings and reviews project for you. This can take away the hassle of asking clients for reviews.
If you want help improving the number of reviews you receive, we can help. To find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0115 8965 300.