Updated: Mar 2
The best marketers aren’t your marketing or sales employees -- they’re your customers!
It’s almost second nature for people to share their opinions about everything online. Accelerated by the scale of connectivity, you and everyone else now have access to customers’ thoughts about your products and services.
The abundance of customer reviews will guide users to make more informed choices and provide finance marketers with valuable consumer insights to improve their offering.
While reviews do grow organically, it isn’t wise to leave them be. Finance marketers need to understand, manage and accumulate reviews to reap its benefits.
In this article, we look at the importance of customer reviews, explain what characterises a useful review, and share the best practices for growing them.
Section 1: The impact of positive reviews
Everyone knows the consequences of a negative customer review. One poorly rated review and the entire Public Relations team is mobilised to crack the code.
But what about the positive significance of reviews?
A study by Spiegel Research Center reported the following data:
Displaying reviews increases conversions by 270%
Reviews are particularly impactful on high-priced products, increasing conversions by 380%
Reviews are more influential on high-consideration products
This means that reviews, a low-cost resource, can multiply the conversions of financial products and services by 3x.
Section 2: Characteristics of a useful review
But not all reviews are created equal. We posit 4 main characteristics of a useful review:
1. Review volume: the more, the merrier
According to BigCommerce, just 50 reviews contributes a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
E.g. Syfe vs AutoWealth
Even though both Robo-Advisors have the same rating, we noticed that users trust the financial product with more reviews, with Syfe consistently receiving more Clickouts than AutoWealth.
Reviews volume positively corresponds with conversion rates. Bazaar Voice reported that one new review increases product orders by 10% and a product that grows 100 reviews from nothing can expect a 37% rise in purchases. But it doesn’t stop there -- even products that possess more than 1000 reviews still see a continued increase in revenue.
2. Review rating: ≥ 4 stars
It should come as no surprise that consumers trust products with high ratings.
E.g. Circles.Life's 5-star Review
E.g. TPGMobile's 1-star review
At the time this post is published, the average ratings of Circles.Life and TPG Mobile are 4.3 and 3.0 respectively. Consumers are more inclined to purchase the higher-rated product.
3. Review recency: up to date
Are 100 positive reviews from a year ago still worth the same today? Reviews depreciate, and the lack of recency degrades the value of reviews for consumers.
E.g. InstaReM's recent review dated 2 weeks ago
E.g. WorldFirst's recent review dated months ago
Many things can change over time, and people want to know about your products and services today. A survey by BrightLocal found that 73% of consumers only value reviews from the last month.
Having a consistent stream of reviews shows that your business is still as relevant now as before. Even though it may seem more convenient for businesses to conduct a reviews collection push only once in a while, customers aren’t oblivious. They may question the legitimacy of these reviews. We recommend businesses be dedicated to collecting reviews regularly.
4. Review quality: comprehensive content
The content of a review matters too. Users pay more attention to reviews with meaningful insights and suggestions. With a detailed review, consumers will be better informed to make the right decision that suits their needs.
E.g. FSMOne Fundsupermart's comprehensive review
FSMOne's review encompassed a thorough overview of the product and even included word prompts to categorise the content. With a “Helpful” vote of confidence, we know that comprehensive reviews are valuable to prospects and heavily influence their purchase decision.
We recommend that finance marketers encourage their customers to share more elaborately and even note down more specifics when writing reviews. We facilitate this process at Seedly by suggesting word prompts for reviewers and providing product discoverers with a feature to filter the relevant reviews.
A combination of all
Finance marketers must keep in mind that all 4 review components are equally important to prospects. Products on Seedly are ranked by a combination of 3 factors -- the more the volume, the higher the quality, and the more recent a products’ reviews are, the higher these financial products will rank.
Optimising your reviews to meet these 3 criteria will ensure that your products are more discoverable on Seedly.
Section 3: Establishing a reviews collection practice
Even though many consume reviews, few write them. Users require motivation to write reviews. Consumers are more inclined to leave negative than positive reviews organically. Failing to manage your product reviews platform will only spell doom.
Post-purchase emails come in handy to nudge your customers to leave a review. At its core, finance marketers need only leverage these communications and include a direct call-to-action, requesting customers to leave a review.
Here are 4 steps that guide you through establishing a reviews collection practice:
Step 1: Identify post-purchase funnel
Your company would most likely be sending post-purchase confirmation emails to customers after they make a purchase. Identify the particular funnel and workflow in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system where you’d like to include a reviews invitation.
Some types of post-purchase emails include:
Purchase confirmation emails, where the customer has just made a purchase but yet to receive or use the product/service
Post-receipt emails, after the product arrives
Post-customer service emails, after the customer has an encounter with your customer service
Recommendation/Cross-selling emails that suggest other products/services based on the customers’ purchase history
Sales emails, if there’s an upcoming promotion or new products/services
Milestone emails, to commemorate a customer’s birthday or membership anniversary
Step 2: Create review invitations
A successful review invitation isn’t born out of luck. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach and instead, involves a well-thought-out approach to crafting and analysing the email. Finance marketers should consistently test and evaluate different elements of the invitation.
E.g. Revolut's review invitation email
Still, here are some tips to get you started:
Personalise your emails when you address customers by their first name, so they are more likely to leave a review
Keep the design of your review invitations clean and sleek so customers can better identify the call-to-action
Only have one call-to-action in your email to prevent confusing your customers
Use a button or image to highlight the call-to-action
While it may be tempting to offer incentives in exchange for more reviews, we recommend finance marketers to avoid doing so. Regardless if you’re incentivising for both positive and negative reviews, it runs the risk of creating a bias and skewing your customers’ actual sentiments. In the long run, rewarding reviews may cost a business its credibility.
Step 3: Send review invitations
Ask, and you shall receive. Trustpilot states that 10% of customers leave a review after receiving a review invitation. Timing your review invitations are important, and you should consider sending your communications anytime from your customer’s day of purchase up to 12 weeks.
Step 4: Follow up with reminders
Your customers are busy people, and writing a customer review isn’t going to be pencilled in their agenda. Don’t give up on collecting reviews if they don’t respond on your first try. Another prod should do, so regularly schedule follow-up emails to retarget customers who haven’t left a review.
A hands-off approach to collecting reviews
Start sending your reviews invitation emails with SeedlyBusiness’ Automated Reviews Collector Tool (ARCT). Take the manual creation and workflow off your time when ARCT automatically delivers your emails after a one-time setup.
Identify a post-purchase funnel, paste a unique Seedly email address in your marketing software, set a delay duration, and everything runs on autopilot!
Automated Reviews Collector Tool (ARCT)
Having Seedly request and host reviews also increases the credibility of these content. Consumers better trust reviews that are monitored by a neutral third-party as they can be assured that the user-generated content is carefully managed according to impartial guidelines.
The financial industry is founded upon trust, and customer reviews are integral to a company’s success. Finance marketers must relook their priorities and focus on developing strategies to grow useful customer reviews.
If you’d like to learn more about collecting customer reviews, read our detailed 3-Part Guide on How to Collect Customer Reviews.