Customer reviews are a powerful piece of content that can support your insurance agency’s lead generation, sales, and marketing tactics.
Customer reviews are a crucial component of your sales and marketing process–but why?
Say you’re searching for an agency management platform or some sort of software for your insurance agency. Before making a decision, you’ll need to do some vendor research. What’s the first place you go to? Probably your preferred search engine, like Google, which will populate a range of software options. In order to choose the right vendor, you’ll need to vet them as a potential partner. You may start examining their website or social media pages, as well as their reputation.
One of the biggest indicators of good customer service is a business’ reviews–to put it simply, the proof is in the pudding. A company’s reviews, testimonials, and ratings will tell you whether or not they are:
- Equipped to handle your needs
- Worthy of your partnership
Most of your clients will follow the same process and will look at your reviews before partnering with you for their insurance needs. Let’s look at the facts:
- 87% of consumers use Google to evaluate local businesses
- 76% of consumers always or regularly read reviews for local businesses
- 89% of customers don’t take action until they have read reviews
- 87% of consumers will not consider partnering with a business that has lower than a three-star rating–most expect a four-star rating
Clearly, customer reviews are a powerful, cost-effective lead-generation strategy. Here are some ways you can ensure you can leverage this type of user-generated content.
How To Ask for Reviews–The Right Way
There are a few ways you can keep reviews coming in year-round. When asking for customer reviews, you will want to space your requests throughout the year and limit how frequently you ask them–one to four times a year is a good rule of thumb. Keep in mind that the timing of your requests also matters. You don’t want to ask too soon before they’re done working with you, and you don’t want to wait so long that they forget about the experience altogether.
In addition, keep detailed records of:
- Which clients you’ve asked for reviews
- When you have asked
- If a client has declined to leave a review
- If a client has left a review
Keeping these records can be made easy with an agency management platform that has insurance-specific CRM features, like AgencyBloc. With a platform like this, you can make note of the above information with specific clients so that you don’t accidentally spam them with review requests.
Ask Via Email
Email is a convenient way to ask for customer reviews because you can send links for customers to easily take action. Plus, if you’re using an agency management system that has automation features, you can write these emails ahead of time, and schedule them to send within a set timeframe.
Let’s explore some ways you can ask for reviews over email.
Net Promoter Score
Net Promoter Scores (NPS) can help you gauge how satisfied or dissatisfied your customers are. You simply ask one question: “How likely is it that you would recommend [your company] to a friend or colleague?” and they choose a number between zero and 10 (10 being “would definitely recommend”). In your email, provide a link to a website where you can capture your client’s NPS numerical response. Then have a text box for them to explain why they gave that number.
Depending on how their answer, your clients fall within three levels on the NPS scale:
- Promoter (9-10)
- Passive (7-8)
- Detractor (0-6)
This clear view of client satisfaction can help you improve your overall customer experience process while also giving you a chance to gather reviews. If they’re a promoter, ask them if you can use their positive review for marketing and sales purposes. If they’re passives or detractors, ask them how you can improve their experience to get them to promoter status.
Just because they’re classified as one status doesn’t they’ll be there forever. Send the NPS every six months to one year to continuously see where your clients are at and to generate more reviews.
Use an Email Signature Link
You likely speak with your clients often over email, so it doesn’t hurt to have a review link ready at the end of each email. This is the easiest way to generate client reviews.
Include a link in your email signature to the online review website of your choice and simply ask them to leave a review. This makes for a seamless review experience and doesn’t feel like spam since it’s out of the way, yet in a conveniently accessible place.
Ask Clients Personally
There are really two ways to go about this method: You can identify candidates ahead of time and create a list of people to reach out to, or you can ask them as they come up. Both methods can be successful and should be used concurrently.
If a customer mentions they’re extremely happy with something, don’t be afraid to ask them for a review in the moment. If you create a list, you can strategically ask different clients to leave reviews about certain aspects of your business. For example, you may ask one set of clients to speak to your team’s expertise and another to discuss the variety of plans you provide.
Keep in mind that a personal review request will always outperform cold emails. While these can yield decent results, a direct request is highly effective.
Where to Host Online Customer Reviews
Before you start gathering reviews, you need to identify where you want customers to leave them. You want to gather reviews on the websites your target audience actually looks at. Some of the top places people look at reviews are Google, Yelp, and Facebook. These online review repositories enhance your online presence and can act as a powerful lead-generation strategy.
Keep in mind that, in order for someone to leave a review on most of these websites, they need to have an account with them.
Since 87% of consumers use Google to evaluate local businesses, it’s clear that gathering Google reviews is a smart lead generation strategy.
To share your Google Reviews page, follow these steps:
- Create your Google Business Profile
- Click “Write a Review”
- Copy the link from your navigation bar
- Hyperlink the text in your email that says “Leave us a Google Review” (or similar)
Yelp is a popular review site that many use to review everyday places and personal services. Instead of putting all of your eggs in the Google Reviews basket, mix it up and use Yelp too. This way you can catch your audience no matter where they search for insurance services.
To ask for Yelp Reviews, the process is similar to Google:
- Create a Yelp Business page
- Click “Write a Review”
- Copy the link in your navigation bar
- Share that link with your clients via email, by hyperlinking text that reads “Leave Us a Yelp Review,” or similar
Having a social media presence can help you meet your target market where they are. Facebook reviews can be a big support to your business.
To encourage your clients to leave a Facebook review, follow these steps:
- Create a Facebook page for your business
- Go to your page and click “Rating”
- Copy the link in your navigation bar
- Share that link with your clients
On Your Website
Customer reviews allow you to show rather than simply tell prospects that you provide great coverage options and customer service. Keep your strongest reviews on your website to reinforce your stellar reputation and push prospects toward conversion.
Reviews can be featured on your website in various places and formats. Weave them throughout your website or feature them on a dedicated testimonials page. Reviews can be imported manually to specific pages on your website or you can use an embed tool to pull them from third-party websites, like Google.
If you want to go the extra mile, create case studies to tell in-depth customer success stories–these free case study templates can streamline the process. Video reviews are another unique, powerful tactic you can use throughout your website.
How to Use Online Customer Reviews for Lead Generation
Online customer reviews are a powerful sales and marketing tool. However, before you start using reviews, remember to get permission from the reviewer. This goes back to gathering and using reviews the right way.
Just because a client leaves a happy review on Google does not mean you have permission to use it.
To get permission, simply email the reviewer thanking them for the review and asking if they would be okay with you using it on specific platforms, such as your website, social media posts, or email marketing campaigns. Using reviews in these places is crucial, as prospects are more likely to come across them.
Once you do have your client’s permission, add their review to the appropriate places and include it in your social media posting schedule. Consistently post these reviews to showcase your hard work.
What To Do if You Get a Negative Review
Customer reviews are only valuable if they’re honest. This means you shouldn’t delete reviews just because they are unfavorable. Instead, view them as an opportunity to showcase your stellar customer service.
If you get a negative review and you don’t respond, the reviewer might continue to speak negatively about your company. Plus, you may give prospects the impression that you don’t care, driving them away.
When you see a negative review come in, respond with an apology and let them know when and how you’ll be in touch to rectify the situation. If you’re tasking someone on your customer service team or account management team to handle this, let the reviewer know who will be contacting them about the situation.
While this won’t always turn a negative reviewer into a happy client, it shows that you care about your clients’ experience, which prospects will notice. Negative reviews aren’t the end of the world, you just need to regularly monitor your reviews and act on them quickly.
Retain Your Clients & Increase Your Chances of Positive Testimonials
Before you can gather testimonials, you need to retain your clients. Download this free PDF to learn three ways to improve your agency's retention and increase your pool of testimonial opportunities.
This blog was originally published on July 2, 2019, and has been most recently updated and republished on May 23, 2023.
by Allison Babberl
on Tuesday, May 23, 2023
Insurance Agency Management System