How to Ask For, Collect, and Use Customer Reviews to Grow Your Business

How to Ask For, Collect, and Use Customer Reviews to Grow Your Business

Gathering and Using Insurance Customer Reviews

Today we’re going to discuss about how to ask for, collect, and use online customer reviews. Customer reviews are a crucial piece of your sales and marketing processes. In fact, reviews are one of the key components we call out in our Vendor Research tool

But why are they important to use and have in your arsenal? Let’s tackle that first. 

Think for a second when you’re looking for something online like software for your insurance agency. What’s the first place you go to? Probably Google (or your preferred search engine). Then, you’ll navigate to either their website or social media page. 

Likely, you soon start searching for customer reviews, testimonials, star ratings, etc. You want to know to make sure:

  1. They’re legitimate
  2. They’re equipped to handle your needs
  3. They’re worthy of your partnership

The same goes for your clients when they’re searching for you and your services online.

Just like you look at the reviews for software vendors you’re considering, your clients are looking at your reviews. 

Just like you, they’re looking for a partner. Someone they can trust and rely on when the worst case scenario happens.

Let’s Look at the Numbers

Reviews are an important tool to leverage in your sales and marketing process. If you’re unsure of the power of online reviews, consider:

If you’re still not convinced, here are 50+ more stats about the power of customer reviews.

Gathering Reviews The Right Way

If you’re going to gather and use customer reviews, then you have to keep one important thing in mind: they’re only valuable if they’re honest

That means you shouldn’t delete reviews just because they are unfavorable. Instead, use those reviews as an opportunity to showcase your stellar customer service. 

When you see a negative review come in, respond! Say, “I’m sorry” and when you’ll be in touch to rectify the situation. If you’re tasking someone on your customer service team or account management team to tackle it, let them know. Tell them, “I’m sorry, Suzy from our customer service team will be in touch within the hour to discuss more about your situation.” 

This shows that you care enough to 1. monitor your customer reviews but also 2. to reach out and try to make the situation right. 

Will that always turn the negative reviewer into a happy, go-lucky client? No. But, it shows that you care about your clients’ experience which prospects will notice.

A negative review is unfortunate to receive, but it’s a great opportunity for you to try and make it right. 

Where to Host Online Customer Reviews

It’s critical to gather reviews on the sites your clients actually look at. Some of the top sites are:

  • Google
  • Yelp
  • Facebook

Regardless of which sites you use, make sure you monitor them. If you get a negative review and nobody responds, that person might continue to be a negative marketer for your company. 

Gathering Google Reviews

Loads of people use Google every single day. The numbers come in at a tune of 5-6 billion searches a day. That equals out to roughly 2 TRILLION searches a year and more than 63,000 searches PER SECOND

And that was in 2018. In 2019, the numbers could eclipse 10 billion searches a day

So, Google is clearly an important place to gather reviews for your business.


AgencyBloc Google Business Listing Customer Reviews

Source | Google

To share your Google Reviews page, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you’ve claimed your Google Business listing
  2. Click Write a Review
  3. Copy the link in your navigation bar
  4. Shorten the link using a link shortening site like bitly.com
  5. Share that link with your clients

When you first copy your Write a Review link, it’ll come out looking like this: 

https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=ev0QXdT0A5C3tAapi57IBg&q=agencybloc+inc&oq=agencybloc+inc&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0.6630.8452..8558...0.0..0.90.861.17......0....1..gws-wiz.....0..0i131j0i10j0i22i30j0i22i10i30.aB97tFZYFN4#lrd=0x87faaaba4f17fac9:0x374e0a31f9d42757,1,,,

That’s really long and ugly. With a link shortening site like Bitly, that ugly link can turn into: http://bit.ly/2RKMaW3.

Much easier to share with clients!

Gathering Yelp Reviews

Yelp is a highly touted review site that many use to review everyday places and personal services. I’ve even rated my financial planner on there—she has 5 stars. 

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 services.

US Health Advisors Yelp Listing Page

Source | Yelp

For a Yelp Review, the process is similar:

  1. Make sure you’ve created a Yelp Business page
  2. Click Write a Review
  3. Copy the link in your navigation bar
  4. Share that link with your clients

Again, you can shorten this link with Bitly or stick to the full link as this one is shorter. For example, a restaurant near me called Zombie Burger + Drink Lab’s Write a Review link looks like this:

https://www.yelp.com/writeareview/biz/axPC_Mv7pjsyVlVASNfj7A?return_url=%2Fbiz%2FaxPC_Mv7pjsyVlVASNfj7A&source=biz_details_war_button

Still long, but it’s significantly shorter than the Google review link. Shorten it with Bitly again if you choose.

Gathering Facebook Reviews

When looking at a business page, click on Reviews and the reviews users have left will pop up as well as the star rating. 


KHI Solutions Facebook Reviews Page

Source | Facebook

To encourage your clients to leave a Facebook review, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you’ve created a Facebook Business account
  2. Go to your page and click Reviews
  3. Copy the link in your search bar
  4. Share that link with your clients

The link for Facebook is very short, so you won’t need to shorten it any further. For example, KHI Solutions’ Reviews link is: https://www.facebook.com/pg/khisolutions/reviews/

That’s a length you can easily copy and paste into a plain-text email.

Do keep in mind, though, that the person leaving the review has to be a member of that site to do so. That means, they have to have a Google account to leave a Google review, a Yelp account for a Yelp review, and a Facebook account for a Facebook review. 

For more about social media, check out our free eBook: Social Media for Insurance Agencies.

How to Gather Online Customer Reviews

Now that you know where to gather reviews, let’s discuss how to gather reviews. There are a few campaigns you can set up to help keep reviews coming in year-round:

  • NPS 
  • Email signature link
  • Asking clients personally

NPS

NPS, or the Net Promoter Score, is “based on the fundamental perspective that every company’s customers can be divided into three categories”. Basically, it’s a gauge to see how happy or unhappy your clients are.

There are three levels to the NPS:

  • Promoter (9-10)
  • Passive (7-8)
  • Detractor (0-6)

You ask one simple question:

“How likely is it that you would recommend [your company] to a friend or colleague?”

Then, your customers respond by choosing between 0 and 10—10 being “would definitely recommend”. 

Using the NPS, you can see overall client satisfaction. Are they mainly promoters? Passives? Detractors? Knowing this helps you improve your overall customer experience process, but it also gives you a chance to gather reviews. 

In your email, link to a site where you can capture your client’s NPS numerical response. Then have a text box for them to explain why they gave that number. 

If they’re a promoter, ask them if you can use their positive review for marketing and sales purposes—we’ll discuss this more in the next section. If they’re a passive or detractor, dive deeper into how you can improve their experience to get them to promoter status. 

Just because they’re classified as one status DOES NOT MEAN they’ll be there forever. Send the NPS every 6 months or once a year to continuously gauge where your clients are at and to generate more reviews. 

Email Signature Link

This is quite possibly the easiest strategy to try and generate client reviews: a link in your email signature. You communicate with clients via email often, so having your review link handy is an easy way to gather reviews.

The text can be as simple as “write us/me a review!”

Asking Clients Personally

There are really two ways to go about this method:

  1. Identifying candidates ahead of time and creating a list
  2. Asking candidates as they come up on the fly

Both methods are successful and should be used concurrently. 

With a list, you can segment clients into what they could talk about. One could speak to the knowledge of your team while another to the variety of plans you can sell. Another could speak on your experience in the industry. 

There are loads of options.

Asking clients to submit a review in the moment is another option. You usually identify these candidates when you’re on the phone with them and they say, “I’m so happy with _____.” You can ask them right then and there to submit that feedback as a review! 

With both of these options, you can make an informed decision whether a written review or video review would be the best course. Not everyone is a fan of being on camera, after all. 

It should also be noted that a personal ask from someone the client knows will always outperform. Cold emails can yield decent results, but a warm introduction or direct connection is best.

How to Use Online Customer Reviews

Congratulations, you’ve got your review sites set up and have some great reviews coming in! Now what?

Like I said at the beginning, online customer reviews can be an important tool to leverage in both sales and marketing. However, before you start using reviews, you MUST get permission to do so. 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 in any way. Simply email the client and ask, “Hey, thanks for the great review. May I use it on x, y, and z?”

Here are the common places companies share reviews once they’ve received permission to do so:

  • Your website
  • Social media
  • Applicable email marketing campaigns

Sharing them on social media and your website are crucial because those are the prime places your prospects will go to research who you are and if you might be the right fit for them. 

To verify that these are true user-generated reviews, Include client details with them. On our testimonial page, we include first name, last initial, agency name, and a photo if they have one. 

A photo isn’t necessary, but it’s a nice touch.

Once you do have the permission, make sure they make it into the weekly cycle of your social media posting. Vary it up and share a different review each week, every other week, or once a month. The regularity highly depends on the number of reviews you have. 

After that, it’s just like shampoo—rinse and repeat. Whatever process you choose, make sure it’s constantly running so you’re always bringing in new user-generated content. 

Experiment with the different platforms and using written and video reviews. Different mediums and different platforms will reach different prospects. Just make sure to monitor them all. As I said earlier, negative reviews aren’t the end of the world, just act on them quickly. 

If you’re wondering about the video side of online customer reviews, be on the lookout for an upcoming blog discussing more about gathering, hosting, and using video customer reviews
 

[Free eBook] Social Media for Insurance Agencies

Use this quick guide to jump start your agency's social media presences to create brand awareness and expand your prospective audience.

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Allison Babberl

By Allison Babberl on July 2, 2019 in Online Marketing

Allison is the Marketing Content Specialist at AgencyBloc. She creates educational content and designs videos to promote AgencyBloc's resources to help you organize, automate, and grow your insurance agency. Favorite quote: “Conversation is the bedrock of relationships. Without it, our relationships are devoid of substance.” -Maribeth Kuzmeski  More articles

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