Think about it, when was the last time you booked a hotel, or made travel arrangements in and to a new location without checking out the facilities or the arrangements without knowing something about the place or the carrier?
Today’s customers, your clients and prospects, want to make better economic decisions. They want more insight into the value of your services. They want data that they usually get from peers and they are not interested in traditional advertising and marketing.
Today, peer-to-peer, infleuncer, colleague, authenticated and verified user-reviews are today’s primary sources for information and guidance, education and research. Your clients are looking for their peers reviews of you on places like LinkedIn where over a quarter of a million authenticated and verified user-reviews guide the purchasing decisions of over a million monthly readers.
This means that all your efforts at developing a brand cannot build the trust and condition your prospects to become evangelists for your practice that can be developed through the transparency of authenticated user reviews.
With over two-thirds of your prospects steering clear of branded content, you need to rethink how your brand builds trust, and condition your clients and your peers to become evangelists for your services.
Test this against your own buying habits, both personal and professional. Everyone is making more informed purchases by relentlessly seeking the opinions of others, and finding the truth.
Fill Your Clients Needs
[bctt tweet=”Your clients seek services that meet their needs. Not a brand.” via=”no”]
Spend some time with your clients and do a client needs assessment with each and every engagement. It is only by filling the unique needs of each and every client, even their unspoken needs and wants, that they will become evangelists for your practice, and post positive reviews.
Your clients are not looking for the ‘best’ tax or accounting service, they are looking for the tax or accounting service that best fills their needs and wants. A small business does not want to engage your services if your services are dry and sterile and fit the needs of a large enterprise. If clients want to feel safe that their reporting meets all regulatory requirements and tax filings are timely and accurate, they probably don’t care about the layout of your financial statements or all the departmental accounting you are able to provide.
Encourage your reviewers to be honest and authentic.
It is possible to have too many good reviews. If you have too many, prospects won’t believe the reviews are honest. In that same study by Northwestern University, researchers found that an average rating of 4.2 to 4.7 our of five resulted in prospects being more likely to enter into an engagement than if the reviews were near perfect.
Think carefully, what practice do you know of that could possible have happy clients. It is more likely that a few will be disappointed, or less than enthusiastic.
You need to embrace both the good and the bad in reviews and use it as a discussion point in order to determine how you can best satisfy those client needs you learned about when you did a client needs analysis.
[bctt tweet=”You need to embrace both the good and the bad in reviews.” via=”no”]
As the tax marketing season approaches, I highly recommend you start developing a strategy that will result in honest and accurate reviews of your services. I know your competitors are working on their own.
I challenge you to quickly search “(insert your product name) + reviews.” What did you find? I bet you’ll see customer reviews outranking your own SEO. That should be proof enough.
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