How Your Insurance Agency Can Get Reviews the Right Way
By Jake Bissaro
In the digital age, reviews have become increasingly important, especially to small businesses. According to Search Engine Watch, 85% of consumers read customer reviews online to determine the quality of local businesses. Reviews are not just for restaurants and bars anymore; customers now assess virtually every kind of business in some form. Your insurance agency may not have the resources to get huge billboards or TV ads, but a respectable number of positive, organically-generated reviews can really make a difference for your independent insurance agency.
Here are some ways to encourage customers to post positive feedback about your business:
1. Spread your profile throughout various outlets. Yelp is probably the most popular review site on the internet, and while it’s not always the most relevant for insurance, it’s a good idea to have an active Yelp profile. If you have an account, it will usually be featured prominently on a Google search engine results page. Angies List, Better Business Bureau, and Super Pages are all popular places for insurance reviews. A profile on Google+ Local can also be very beneficial to your agency, because it’s tied directly to the search pages and Google Maps.
2. Don’t be too pushy. Sites like Yelp and Google+ discourage offering incentives or flat-out asking for reviews because they want all of their content to be completely organic. Asking every one of your customers for a review is overdoing it, but if the interaction goes particularly well, casually let them know about your presence on review sites. You should also avoid leaving negative reviews about your competitors or adding false reviews because it can get you in big trouble with the review sites.
3. Find ways to keep your agency in the customer’s mind. Try to think about when the customer is most likely to write a review and use email marketing to contact them. If they respond positively, ask them for a review. Give out business cards with your website to everyone who comes into your office; it can remind them that they had a positive experience at your agency. Keeping active on your social media accounts is another great way to let clients know that you’re keeping a presence on the web.
4. Interact with customers on the review sites. Many review sites allow business owners to respond to customer reviews, which can be useful for putting a face to the company. When you put yourself out there, not every review is going to be positive. Even the most attentive customer service won’t guarantee that 100% of your clients are completely satisfied 100% of the time, and a quick, sincere apology can go a long way in retaining the customer. You can also respond to positive reviews, too!
Take a look at this example from NorthWorks’ Yelp page and see for yourself the power that interaction can have:
5. Connect With Other Businesses. To get your own feedback, you have to become part of the process. Write reviews for other enterprises you may work with and this may, in turn, garner positive reviews for your agency. You want your online presence to reflect the fact that you’re a central part of the local business community.
6. Build Great Customer Relationships! The only sure-fire way to get stellar reviews is to provide second-to-none service. In the end, no amount of online tinkering will make up for lackluster customer care. Try to think of everyone who walks into your agency as a great review in the making.
Customer reviews used to be an afterthought, but technology has made having positive reviews a necessity for an independent agency. Don’t try to rush the process; a solid portfolio of reviews is built over time, and eventually your business will see the benefits.