The Power of Reviews Post by Admin , Dec 19, 2018. Business Consultancy Marketing and Digital Marketing For any business, obtaining a good review is a positive way of promoting your brand, services, products and securing new business. They provide a reference point for future customers and provide owners and managers of a business with an insight into how their company is performing and perceived. A good review across search engines, social media or advertising sites is a must for all business, as is developing a culture of engaging with clients to leave a review to share their experience of your business with others. Too often businesses will collect feedback on their service by sending out an online or postal questionnaire but too many businesses do nothing with them. Gaining feedback from your customers and spending time analysing that feedback is imperative for business owners to understand the service delivery or product feedback. It provides you with a first-hand insight into your business i.e. what it gets right, what it gets wrong and provides the platform for change. Do more of what you get right and fix what you get wrong. Reviews will help you identify and target the people, processes or system in your business that may need enhancing or changing. Engagement If reviews are essential for a business, how do you ensure that you get your customers to leave them? The issue with postal reviews and online reviews is that the feedback rate tends to be low. Most businesses will be lucky to achieve a 10% return rate. Even more concerning for postal reviews is the cost of sending the letter, a pre-paid envelope and then processing the data if it is returned. Whilst it is accepted that for a business with a very high volume of clients, an online solution for obtaining reviews is probably efficient, a business with lower volumes or a business that wants to drive reviews to support their marketing strategy needs to have better way engaging with their customers. We live in a world where everyone is being driven to engage online but when it comes to feedback is there not a significant argument that talking to your customers directly is the best way to achieve feedback you can understand. Law firms have a unique opportunity to engage with their clients over and above most industries. Law Firms develop a trust relationship with their clients and therefore engagement with them is often much easier than can be found in other sectors. A direct call to a client either during a case or at the conclusion to obtain feedback on a service will achieve a positive response in terms of people who are prepared to provide feedback as opposed to sending an online form or letter. The firm gets the opportunity to speak directly with their client and achieve 7 very important goals. Demonstrate to your clients that they are important to you whether the case has ended or not Obtain their feedback by asking some simple questions and recording them Seek their permission to post their comments on your own website Encourage them to leave a review online using platforms such as Google or Yell Tell them about other services you offer or provide them with information on a promotion Collect their email address and start to build your database Obtain their consent to hold their information and to ‘market’ to them in the future (GDPR is coming!) When you have spoken with your customers send them a copy of the review via email and encourage them to leave their comments online by including in the email not just a copy of their feedback to you but a link to your firms Google review page or Yell review page (for example). You will be surprised after you have taken the time to engage your clients how many are them prepared to leave a positive review online. At Mr Green Consultancy, we work with a number of businesses to provide a feedback and review service and it is well received. We call customers on behalf of firms and engage with them for reviews and feedback. Whether your firm outsources this function or tackles it in-house it is an imperative part of any marketing strategy. Negativity Addressing the issue of bad reviews - as much as every business would like to provide a faultless service on every occasion that is not often reality. If your business obtains a bad review it is important to respond to this and show the public that you are dealing with it. Ignoring a bad review looks unprofessional and will increase any negative impact that review is having. People do not expect to see 10 out of 10 scores every single time. It arguably looks manufactured and is probably unrealistic. A balanced review profile is not devastating to a business. Whilst you should celebrate your positive reviews you should also embrace your negative reviews and respond appropriately in terms of how you deal with them and how you reflect on your service. If you would like to discuss The Power of Reviews in more detail, or any other matters, contact us on 0207 842 1825, email us or make an online enquiry and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.