Reviews, Reviews, Reviews.
Not only are reviews a great measure for success, reviews in the right places will drive new business to you.
According to Google* one of the key ways to improve your search ranking is to get reviews and reply to those that have reviewed you. Generally accountants are terrible at getting reviews, let alone replying to them, just search ‘accountants in your town/city’ to see for yourself.
The good news is that it probably won’t take much effort to get to the top of the reviews for your area, and putting a system in place to get them is also easy.
“Most accountants worth their salt can get new clients through their existing client referral system, and generally the number of new client enquiries is determined by the number of existing clients you have in the first place. Getting MORE than your fair share of new client enquiries from business owners who don’t know you at all is paramount if you want your accountancy business to grow at a faster rate than your competition and in today’s market, Online Reviews form an important part of that strategy.”
Peter Jarman, Managing Partner, PJCO Accountants QuickBooks UK Firm of the Future 2018
The number one KPI for cloud setups
Whilst I was head of cloud services at PJCO Accountants we made reviews the number one KPI for measuring the success of cloud setups. We provided training to clients to allow them to do their own bookkeeping, as well as doing bookkeeping for clients, and in both cases we asked for reviews.
What worked really well for us, alongside Google, was using the QuickBooks Find a ProAdvisor directory which is well promoted by Intuit, both on search engines, as well as within their product. All staff had their own profile in the directory and it was not uncommon to receive multiple enquiries per day.
Having the most reviewed profiles in the area, and across the UK, led to lots of new enquiries and new clients, for a very low cost of acquisition.
1. Setup Google Places
The first step to getting reviews is to be setup to get them. For Google reviews you first need Google Places. Setting this up is really easy to do, and something that you should also encourage clients to do.
2. Ask for reviews
Once you’re set up to get reviews you need to ask for them. At PJCO we used Acuity Scheduling for our appointment scheduling and automated follow ups would be sent out asking for reviews following any QuickBooks training sessions we ran.
Sometimes you need to be politely persistent with follow ups to get the review. In Karbon we had a job-stage in our QuickBooks setup and training job template to obtain a review. If these weren’t completed then we would be prompted to follow up.
Client portfolio managers were encouraged to get reviews for ongoing work they were doing for clients as well.
We also had link to write a review in our email footers. These weren’t frequently clicked on, but it made it easier to ask for one.
3. Measure reviews
Measuring reviews provided an extra incentive to do a good job because you wanted to get a good review.
They were also a good measure of performance. Even an average or bad review can be useful if acted upon.
We tracked reviews in a spreadsheet for all cloud setup jobs and used two metrics to track performance:
- Accumulative reviews
- % review conversion
4. Reward reviews
Reviews were used as the key indicator of performance for performance reviews. Good reviews were rewarded with prizes to further emphasise their importance.
As a staff member, obtaining a review helps you to build confidence, particularly if you’re just starting your career.
Who else is doing it well?
Smooth Accounting are ranking in Google’s organic search results with a star rating that isn’t linked to an advert. This is impressive as even seller ratings don’t show with less than 100 reviews across Google and it’s trusted independent review sites (which don’t include Facebook).