Welcome to a new era of accountant marketing and service in which your brand is defined by those who experience it. People share, seek out, and trust online word-of-mouth.
- According to Nielsen, 84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family and friends about products—making these recommendations the information source ranked highest for trustworthiness.
- 68% trust online opinions from other consumers, which places online opinions as the third-most trusted source of product information.
- CPAs and tax accounting professionals do not trust Yelp and third-party review sites. Yelp review filtering is bad for tax accountants.
With the transparent economy and social media gaining more and more influence, what can CPAs and tax accounting professionals do to safeguard their reputations? The answer is quite simple. Take control of your own reputation before someone else does it for you. Use these reviews to generate more conversions and even more client recommendations. In a previous blog article I talked about three classes of professionals: reactive, skeptical and proactive. Today’s blog article is speaking to the proactive.
Step 1. Be good enough to get a 5-star review
Prime your clients on sign up to review you from your first contact on > Make reviews a part of your work processes > Get clients to promise to review you > Treat your clients well and they will reciprocate > Keep in regular communication with clients via email newsletters and social media posts > Talk about your service and reviews regularly when contacting clients > Ask for regular feedback from clients and staff—are you responsive enough to inquiries? > Aim to be the best at what you do > Look for ways to improve throughout the year > Give clients plenty of reasons to write a review of you > Remove obstacles to post reviews
Step 2. Ask for reviews
The technique with the greatest response rate is to ask for a review in person. An example could be something like, “If we blow you away with our service, will you post a five-star review on TaxBuzz.com?” > If a client says “Yes,” determine if they need help or direct them to your Yelp, Google + or TaxBuzz.com profile. > If clients need help putting together their thoughts, include a post-engagement follow-up call with staff that offers up open-ended questions to help develop the review. Take the responses to these questions and develop a review to provide to your client for approval. Then take them step-by-step on where and how to post the review. Use screen-sharing tools like join.me if needed. > Do you feel “company_name” was responsive to your questions? > How did “company_name” exceed your expectations? > How did you benefit from working with “company_name”? > Would you recommend “company_name” to family and friends? > Email requests work—We have many clients with plenty of five-star reviews generated from a simple email. Sample review text is below.
Step 3. Share reviews on every client or prospect touch point
Embed your reviews on your website and blog. Make sure they are located prominently near your contact forms or calls to action on your sites. > Share reviews on social media. Take snippets if you need to on Twitter, but by sharing the nice words to your audience, you are doing two things. One, Google will index your reviews, and two, it will make it easier for current clients and prospects to read reviews and leave new recommendations. > Add links to your review sites on your email signature. Remember, it’s a numbers game. The more reviews you get, the lower the value given to you if you receive a bad review. Even if you are providing the best service you can, some people will tend to complain. So your goal should be a large number of mostly good reviews.
How can we help? Our directory marketplace site, TaxBuzz.com, helps you build better relationships with your clients. Our automated system for gathering feedback and reviews will help safeguard your reputation and improve your brand awareness. Once a review is captured, we will syndicate it to your website. You will also gain better search engine placement due to the Schema.org review markup we add to your profile. Getting your campaign started is easy. Visit TaxBuzz.com, “get listed” section, or call us at 1-800-442-2477 x3. Click here to download a sample review email template.