You want all of your clients to be satisfied with your insurance agency. What happens when one of them isn't? Worse, what happens when that dissatisfied client goes online to let others know about the experience? Negative reviews happen to everyone. A dose of prevention and a healthy reaction can make the difference between an online black eye and a good reputation for client service.
Online Reviews Matter
Even if you don't have a social media site of your own, you're still not immune to the perils of the poor online review. Your business could be featured in someone else's social media post, blog, or on an online review site that focuses on local businesses. Your online reputation matters: According to a survey by Dimensional Research, "an overwhelming 90 percent of respondents who recalled reading online reviews claimed that positive online reviews influenced buying decisions, while 86 percent said buying decisions were influenced by negative online reviews."
Evaluate Your Reviews
When you get a bad online review, it's easy to take it to heart immediately. However, it's important to stop and investigate. If your reviews bring up the same concerns over and over again, those concerns are likely genuine. If the review is an outlier, you may be the victim of a competitor's desire to undermine your client base. Critically evaluate all reviews and contact review sites if you feel that a review is not valid.
Should You Attend to a Post?
You have precious time to spend on your insurance marketing. Should you spend it attending to all of the online reviews that you receive? For some businesses, the answer is yes. Others pick and choose the reviews they reply to. If the individual is complaining about the same concern every time, or if the review is on a minor review site and is not getting a lot of traffic, you might choose not to respond. There may also be a possibility to respond privately and resolve the concern quietly without adding fuel to the situation online.
Think Before You Reply
Online reviewers who are upset with your customer service can vent their frustrations. However, you should press your internal pause button before you vent right back. Consider what your business is willing to do to remedy the situation, then engage that client in an online conversation. You'll not only show the client that you're professional and engaged, you'll demonstrate the same thing to everyone else who's reading the review.
Develop a Corporate Strategy
Part of your insurance marketing plan should include a strategy for responding to negative reviews or threats to your business. What language do you use online? What are you prepared to offer clients? How do you resolve disputes? By having a clear process, you'll be prepared in the event of a negative review.
An Ounce of Prevention: Ask for Feedback
When you ask for feedback, it's more likely that complaints will get into the correct channels instead of turning into a post online. A vital part of your insurance marketing is client feedback. By soliciting feedback at the end of a transaction, you'll be able to make your business better and you'll let clients know that you care.
Focus on an Effective Resolution
When there is a problem, focus on solving the problem effectively. While clients may be frustrated by the problem, they get even more frustrated when they need to return multiple times or speak with multiple people. Not only do you need to solve the problem well, you need to think from the client's perspective and aim to solve the problem in a way that satisfies that client.
Develop Your Own Reviews
When people are looking for information about your business, they turn to search engines to look at your client service. Develop your own review section of your website or encourage clients who have an excellent experience to write about it online. Incentivize this process by offering rewards for referrals. That way, when people look for you online, they'll be overwhelmed by the positive.
When you're looking for support developing your web presence and navigating the world of client service, contact the American Agents Alliance. We're a group of independent insurance agents who understand the challenges you have and the training you need. Contact us today to learn more about our membership benefits .