Our Digital Marketing Expert series will show you how to become a digital marketing self-starter. Using these simple steps in this series, you can improve your digital marketing and online presence.
In my previous blog post, I showed you why you should take control of your online reputation to improve your search engine optimization (SEO). In this edition of Digital Marketing Experts, I’ll show you what a quality review looks like and how to cultivate new reviews to improve your online reputation.
The foundation of a strong online reputation is providing an excellent customer experience.
Today’s consumers are used to having their needs met when, where, and how they want. It’s not unusual anymore to have excellent customer experience. In fact, consumers now expect it. Each time you meet a consumer's needs, their expectations are set higher.
Click here for more information about the insurance consumer experience for 2020!
What does this mean for your insurance agency? It’s more important than ever for you to invest in your customer experience. Consistent positive customer experiences equate to improved customer loyalty and retention. They also lead to quality reviews. For more information about the modern insurance shopper, click here.
What Makes A Quality Review?
You don’t have control over what a happy client says in their review. However, it will be helpful for you to know which reviews are good for your online reputation, and which ones aren’t.
A quality review should be direct, timely, and professional.
First, it is good to know that not all reviews carry equal weight in the eyes of search engines like Google. People evaluating your agency only need a few key details about a client’s experience. Google is looking for the same thing. Quality reviews do not have to be lengthy. Just a few detailed sentences are plenty.
The ideal quality review should be written with a professional tone, even if it is a negative review that offers criticism or advice. They should also be free of spelling or grammatical errors.
Timing is important to search engines. So, the sooner you contact a client and request a review, the better.
I recommend you ask for feedback within 24 hours of a client interaction. The same goes for responding to client reviews. Whether a review is positive or negative, a response is necessary. A 2018 study shows that consumers expect a response to their review within 24 hours. Don’t delay! Respond to your reviews. Consistently monitoring your reviews is a critical facet of managing your online reputation.
Keeping a continual influx of reviews is essential. Studies show that 44% of consumers view reviews older than a month irrelevant. Google feels the same way. When the Google algorithm refreshes every six months, more recent reviews help your business rank higher. If a review is older than six months, it is no longer benefiting your reputation or ranking.
Quality Review vs. Poor Quality Review
“Sarah and her staff were beyond helpful to my family and I during such a stressful time. Our home had flooded after a terrible storm, and we were panicked on what we should do. This agency was organized and reassuring when taking care of our claim. They also went the extra mile to make sure our rate was the best possible deal. I will be going back to them with all my insurance needs!”
Poor Quality Review:
“These folks rok.”
Now that you know what a quality review should look like, let’s get started on how you can get them!
How to Get Reviews:
1: Consider the Interaction and Express Appreciation
Before reaching out to a client, first consider the quality of the interaction. If a client was indifferent or dissatisfied, you might not want to ask them to review you on Google or Yelp! With these clients, consider emailing them personally. Thank them for their business and provide them with a less public avenue to voice their concerns. That way, you can still show them they’re a valued client without getting a bad review.
You have the green light to reach out to every client you feel had a positive interaction with your agency! Just be sure that you are courteous and express appreciation for them taking the time to do this for you.
2: Ask for them!
This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised. Many times, you won’t get reviews unless you ask for them. There are a lot of great ways to generate reviews for your Google My Business page.
Make the email friendly and personable. Reference details of the interaction and thank them for their business. You don’t want your email to sound automated or robotic. Your best bet is to send these out early in the morning.
Don’t forget to send a follow-up email if you haven't heard a response after a few business days. However, you don’t want to pester them with too many emails and calls asking for a review. Clients will be less likely to do you a favor if they feel you are bothering them too much.
Keep your Google My Business page link in your bio on your social media accounts! This tip is about accessibility. If your review page is readily accessible, consumers will be more likely to leave a review. Create a post to your profile a few times a month and request a review from your followers.
Direct to Client Communication
Don’t hesitate to call or text your clients and ask for a review. It might feel uncomfortable at first. But, this direct contact is often more effective in soliciting a review. Again, don’t be pushy.
3: Make the process simple
The process of leaving a review should be easy for your clients. Nothing can dissuade a client from leaving a review quicker than a complicated process. If you ask too much of someone, they will become overwhelmed and likely ignore your request.
The best way to reach out for reviews is to create a simple, streamlined process. Luckily, your Google My Business page takes care of most of this for you. It’s as easy as the click of a button for the client to write a quality review.
Email marketing campaigns are a great way to solicit reviews. This is a great time for your automated agency marketing system to do what it does best… send an email! Save yourself time and set up automated email campaigns so you’re continually asking for feedback.
Unfortunately, this process will not guarantee a review from every client you ask. But, it is an important part of your regular customer service routine. If you continually solicit feedback in a simple and timely manner, you will soon cultivate a strong online reputation that will grab the attention of search engines and new clients.
Just remember, your online reputation is a continuous project for your business. Even if you have plenty of reviews, Google’s algorithm deems reviews outdated after six months. For this reason, you need to continually ask for feedback to keep relevant and help your online reputation continue to grow!
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