Leverage client reviews to attract new business

5 min read
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For businesses, word-of-mouth has traditionally been the most effective way to attract new clients. When making a high-stakes decision, such as selecting an accountant or bookkeeper, the consequences of getting it wrong are enormous. Sometimes, your potential clients want reassurance from a personal recommendation.

Having a strong online presence with positive client reviews can be crucial for building credibility and demonstrating the quality of your services. But attracting new clients online can be challenging. Potential clients will do due diligence and research your firm, seeking reassurance that you’re the right choice to manage their affairs. That’s why client reviews are critical.

The role of client reviews in your marketing mix

There are five areas you can consider in trying to grow your firm. First, you can invest in marketing and advertising. This is often the area with the highest return. But it’s also the area smaller firms struggle with because it takes time, it’s expensive, it eats into billable hours and it’s a specialist skill set in the digital age.

The second way is through building your profile, becoming a thought leader and sharing your knowledge and expertise through blogging and speaking at events. You can start by creating a killer LinkedIn profile, attending networking events or sharing your insights in a series of blog articles. But, be aware, this takes time and you need to have a consistent, regular approach to deliver rewards.

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Third, you can look at upselling and cross-selling to your existing clients. This comes back to the 80:20 rule: maximising revenue from your top 20% of clients.

Growing your practice isn’t just about attracting new customers. You could already be sitting on a goldmine that will drive your firm’s growth. Audit your existing client base to uncover those opportunities to upsell additional services.

The fourth option is to capitalise on technology and automation. This is critical, because the less time you spend on repetitive tasks that chew through hours and don’t add value, the better.

If you’re using a cloud-based solution, you can use practice management tools and the ecosystem of app partners to drive efficiencies. It will free up that additional time you can spend on attracting and working on projects for new clients or existing ones.

Finally, focus on referrals and reviews. Even though word-of-mouth is king, potential clients are going to research your firm when there are huge consequences at stake. They’ll conduct that research online, which is why taking a proactive approach to client reviews is so important.

Where do clients do their homework?

It’s important to understand how to source and use client reviews to make the most of them.

First, make sure your website clearly communicates what you do. It should outline your services, experience and qualifications, as well as explain who you are as a firm and as an advisor. It’s important to add client reviews to your website. Remember, independent, third-party reviews are vital when you are trying to establish credibility.

Clients will use Google for information and reviews about your services. Google yourself and your business name to get an understanding of your web presence. You might find papers or blogs you’ve published, photos taken at events you’ve spoken at, newspaper articles and listings on review sites. This will give you an idea of what your potential customers see when they search online for your business. Understanding what’s already out there is the start of crafting a new narrative that can drive business growth.

As part of their search, potential clients will also visit comparison sites and business directories like the QuickBooks Find-a-ProAdvisor directory. Potential clients will evaluate your firm against your competitors on these sites and read your reviews.

Social media can be high risk and high reward for small businesses. But if your client base is active on Facebook and LinkedIn, consider establishing a presence in these places. Social media requires a degree of active reputation management, so you will need to be proactive in responding to and managing client reviews, answering questions and addressing complaints.

Before making a purchase, potential customers tend to research the product or service they are interested in. Having client reviews can provide social proof and help to build trust giving them the reassurance they need to choose your business over others.

Diving deeper: Platform-specific strategies

Google Business profile: This is your digital storefront. Keep it lively with fresh content, respond to reviews professionally, and make sure your contact information is always up to date.

LinkedIn: Beyond just a networking site, LinkedIn allows you to showcase your thought leadership through articles and posts. Share insights and engage with your network to boost the visibility of your profile.

QuickBooks Find-a-ProAdvisor: Emphasise your specialisations and services. Potential clients often look for experts in specific areas. Make it clear what you excel at, and let your satisfied clients do the talking.

Download our comprehensive checklist and unlock the full potential of client reviews

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Feel you’re better informed about how to price products? Our latest questionnaire can help you map out your next steps in growing your business and taking it to the next level. Answer the questions honestly and get a personalised to do list sent straight to your inbox.

This content is for information purposes only, is provided free of charge and it is intended to be helpful to a wide range of businesses. Because of its general nature the information cannot be taken as comprehensive and they do not constitute and should never be used as a substitute for legal, accounting, or tax advice. Additional information and exceptions may apply. No assurance is given that the information provided is comprehensive, accurate or free of errors. Intuit does not have any responsibility for updating ore revising any information presented herein. Any reliance you place on information found on this site or linked to on other websites will be at your own risk. You should consider seeking the advice of independent advisers and always check your decisions against your normal business methods and best practice in your field of business.


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