Over the last 15 months (basically since the ‘c’ word entered our daily vocabulary) your website has become more crucial than ever in attracting new business. Google estimates from their own data that 70% of the buying decision to use a firm’s services is made before a consumer makes direct contact. Consumers do more search online and are better informed than ever before.
One of the key things you must get right on your website is displaying customer reviews. Companies like Amazon, John Lewis, Currys and many more are using reviews to increase conversions of website visitors to purchasers. They know that even a purchase as low as £30 in value will have an increase in uptake by showing feedback from customers who have purchased and used the product. Make sure your reviews are displayed clearly towards the top on your homepage. If a potential client has to look for them they will quickly get frustrated and go somewhere else.
If you’re not collecting reviews already it’s something you must start doing now. There are different options out there and it’s important you pick a review platform that is right for your business. So here are my top tips for firms in the property sector using customer review platforms.
It’s important to know that there are essentially two types of customer review platforms. ‘Open’ or ‘Invite Only’. Open platforms allow anyone to leave a review of your firm at any time whereas Invite Only platforms are purely for customers that have actually transacted with a business. A good example of an open platform is TripAdvisor and an invite only platfrom is Booking.com, both are very well known brands used by millions of consumers. The main difference between them is that anyone can write a review on TripAdvisor irrespective of whether you’ve stayed at a hotel whereas with Booking.com you can only leave a review once you have stayed at the hotel.
There are merits to both but the main thing to be aware of with open platforms is that you will organically accrue reviews that you didn’t invite and potentially warrant. With an invite only platform you can be confident that all reviews are from real customers based on real transactions and so can your prospective customers.
Make sure you ask for a review or feedback as close to the transaction as possible. This ensures the quality of the response and in most cases the client will be happy that the transaction has been completed, even if things were bumpy along the way. If it’s months later when the review is requested other factors might influence the client’s memory and subconsciously they can blame the agent or conveyancer for these.
When a review includes staff names it helps to prove that the review is genuine and can also be very motivational for the member of staff when they see the review themselves.
Incentivising clients to submit reviews might sound wrong but as long as you make it clear the incentive is to complete a review, not give an overly favourable one, this can work well to increase your response rates. The more reviews you can generate the better.
Nothing looks more suspicious on a firm’s website than old reviews that are months or sometimes years old. It simply looks as if the company hasn’t had a happy client for ages!
Replying to reviews is important. Clients have taken the time to give you feedback so a thank you is a minimum. If it’s a good review you can also use the opportunity to say you would be delighted to act on behalf of friends or family.
I know it’s not in everyone’s nature but as a business you need to brag about your successes so post those glowing reviews on your social media channels. It sends a clear message that you deliver great service!
Using a review platform that’s relevant to your business proves that you are part of a community which is happy to demonstrate the level of service they provide, prepared to listen to feedback and committed to improving their service for the future.
DON'T STOP SENDING OUT REVIEW REQUESTS!
The deadline for the 2021 awards may have passed but it’s essential that you carry on requesting reviews from clients.
Your ESTAS dashboard takes care of all your review needs so make sure you…
And don’t forget…