By Sydney Roe, Director of Brand Engagement
Let me tell you a quick story.
A few weeks ago, my TV broke.
Not quite as bad as my phone breaking or losing WiFi—both of which signal the end of the world—but still pretty tough.
To make sure I could finish binging my favorite Netflix show (hello, Stranger Things), I had to go buy a new one.
But I’ll be honest—I’m cheap when it comes to TVs. I don’t really like spending money on them.
So, I did the unthinkable and shopped Craigslist first.
After running through some weird, sketchy and some down-right terrifying Craigslist posts, I came across one that looked like it was put up by a decent human being.
But right before I hit the button to contact them……..I paused.
“Who is this person? What if they don’t actually have the TV?? What if they steal all my money???? What if I never see the light of living day again?!?!”
Here’s the problem.
Craigslist has 0 social proofing.
The sellers are reputation-less. They have no one vouching for their authenticity.
Now, granted shopping for insurance online is not nearly the weird experience that shopping on craigslist is. Not even close.
Insurance agents have websites, content, social media profiles, etc.
But what if an insurance agency has 0 social proofing?
You could have the best website, content and a profile on every social media platform. But if no one is vouching for your authenticity, you are digitally reputation-less.
97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2017…up from 88% in 2014.
What does that mean? It means that if you don’t have online reviews, you are actually pushing online insurance shoppers away.
Guys (and gals) – this is important. This isn’t a situation where you can choose whether or not you have social proofing. This is a situation where you NEED this tool to thrive online.
Ok, so how do you do it? How do you get online reviews?
It’s actually simpler than you think.
The way you get online reviews is by asking.
Ask. That’s the strategy.
Ok, there’s a bit more to it than that.
After talking with over a dozen agents who all have close to 100 stellar online reviews each and who are all very engaged in Agency Nation, I learned that the secret is making your ask consistent by adding it to an existing internal process.
So, assuming you have an onboarding process (an onboarding process is a formalized series of interactions you have with new clients), add a Google Review Ask or Facebook Review Ask as a step.
For example, Rob McCarthy from NY, has added an email to his new client email onboarding process where he asks for a review.
Here’s what it looks like:
“I hope this email finds you well! I wanted to check in with you to see if you had about 2 minutes to do me a small favor.
Actually, it’s a big favor to me:
I was wondering if you could leave an online review about the experience you’ve had thus far with our agency. Online reviews help our agency tremendously in terms of people finding us online and connecting with us, and ultimately, reviews help us grow our business and customer base.
If you were happy with our service, this would be huge for us!
Here’s how you can do it, again, in less then 5 minutes (if it even takes that long.)”
Alexander Dopazo from Miami has taken this email a step further and created a personal video ask.
There are many different ways to make the ask your own.
And once added to your internal process, you’ll see more and more reviews trickle in over time.
Want more digital marketing strategies like the one above? Check out Agency Nation!
See you in there.