How Important Are Customer Reviews for Accountants?
Accountants often ask us do responding to reviews help local SEO? And why is it important to respond to reviews? Today 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal reviews. Can you remember the last time you didn't read a review or google "business name + reviews" for a service business before you decided to hire them?
97% of consumers say customer reviews factor into their buying decisions. This is why review and reputation management is something that every CPA should have as part of their digital marketing strategy and is just as important as the ability to get paid on time.
Responding to Reviews Builds a Trusting Relationship With Your Customers
Should you respond to positive or negative reviews? Absolutely. Whether its a good or bad review it's important to respond to show customers and search engines your commitment to customer satisfaction. You've already spent time and money attracting customers so now its time to focus on customer retention. Not responding to bad reviews increases your changes of losing that customer. Not responding to a positive review is a lost opportunity to show your appreciation for their service and gratitude.
Responding to reviews gives you another opportunity to stay top of mind with your customers while showing potential new customers that you are responsive and care about their feedback. This two-way communication channel helps you stand out from those accountants who do not take the time to do this.
Responding to negative reviews can result in a positive experience. Research shows that of the customers who receive a response from a company after a negative comment, 33% changed the response to a positive review while 34% deleted the original negative review.
How to Build a Review Response Strategy
Responding to reviews is not enough. The Local Search Association recently found that most consumers expect a brand to respond within 24 hours. In order to be able to do that you have to have both a review response strategy and a review responding tool. A good strategy involves being able to be instantly alerted to new reviews, the ability to easily reply to them and for the customer to be alerted of your reply as well. Two-way communication is key in building and continuing a positive customer relationship.
How to Respond to Positive Reviews
Thank the customer – Just as if someone complimented you in-person, saying thank you shows that you care. Its the same on the internet. Show them your appreciation for their business and tor taking the time to leave a great review.
Be specific – Generic responses are acceptable, but touching on something specific to their review adds a more personal touch that customers will appreciate.
Give them a reason to be a repeat customer– Even if it was just a one-time tax return there is always a need for accounting services. Give them another reason to keep you top of mind.
How to Respond to Negative Reviews
Apologize and thank them for their feedback - A negative review is an opportunity for feedback about your service and a chance to improve. Apologize for the negative experience and thank them for providing sincere feedback
Keep it professional – Remember that the conversation is public. Never blame the customer or attempt to argue with them.
Keep it short and focused – Don’t say more than absolutely needed. The idea is to handle the review as quickly and professionally as possible.
How Do Reviews Help With Local SEO?
Local SEO is about how to optimize your website to rank better for a local audience. Your main website gives you the opportunity to target anyone in the world. If the target audience for your business is actually located in or near the city you have your office you’ll need to practice at least some local SEO to stand out better. You need to optimize for your city name, phone number, address details and business description. You need to optimize so people know where you are located and are able to find you offline.
Having an updated reviews profile on BizPayO is one of the easiest ways to do this since its automatically SEO-optimized and indexed to the major search engines. Not only is your profile optimized but all of the reviews, your responses and your FAQ are indexed boosting your SEO ranking from this growing user-generated content.
Building and maintaining a review response strategy is a great way for accountants to improve their local SEO and increase online presence. BizPayO lets CPAs and other professionals like digital agencies, consultants and freelancers get paid faster and automate reviews. The more you get paid the more reviews you get leading to more online presence, better SEO and ultimately more business.