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Enhancing your accountancy firm's online reputation

5th Dec 2023
Brought to you by
Practiceweb logo

PracticeWeb has been a leading digital marketing agency in the accounting sector since 1999. We’re proud to be a part of the AccountingWEB and Accounting Excellence family, helping to support, celebrate and nurture the UK’s ambitious and diverse accountants.  

We put the accountant and their customers in the centre of everything we do.

Save content
Have you found this content useful? Use the button above to save it to your profile.

Online reviews are a great way to hear how your clients feel about your firm’s services. But it’s not just about receiving feedback – managing and responding to your reviews should be a significant part of your digital strategy to help with your accountancy firm's online reputation.

People putting reviews on their website
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You can’t control what people say about you online, but by actively managing reviews, you have the opportunity to take ownership of the narrative, address any problems and show a genuine interest in your clients’ experiences.

Why respond to online reviews?

Reviews have a major influence on the way people see your brand. Prospective clients or job applicants are unlikely to rely on your word alone to decide whether they’ll engage with your firm – they’ll also want to find out about other people’s experiences with you.

Research by Trustpilot at the start of 2020 found that 93% of people read reviews before buying online from an unfamiliar company, while nearly 83% of Gen Z customers said they would recommend others stop purchasing from a brand with a bad reputation.

By replying to reviews in a professional way, you send out the message that you’re responsive, interested in your clients, and proactive about resolving any problems.

You might even be able to turn a bad review into a success story and an example of your great customer service.

An added bonus is that managing and responding to your Google reviews can boost your local SEO, giving you a better chance of ranking higher in search results.

How to respond to client reviews

How to go about replying to a review in practical terms will be different depending on which platform it’s on. 

To respond to a Google review, for example, you’ll need to claim access to your Google My Business profile if you haven’t already. Similarly, for other websites, you might need to sign up to be able to respond to reviewers.

From there, replying should be fairly straightforward, but there are best practices to keep in mind.

Responding to good reviews

You don’t necessarily need to respond to every positive review you get, but a quick ‘thank you’ will often be appreciated. 

Google recommends offering new information if it’s relevant when responding to reviews, but you should avoid being too salesy or pushing happy customers to buy more.

You can use positive reviews to your advantage in other ways, however, by featuring them on your website or as part of your marketing materials. Remember to share them around internally, too, and give credit to members of the team where it’s due!

Responding to bad reviews

Once in a while, you might receive a review from an unhappy customer. That’s never a good feeling, but avoid the temptation to argue back or ignore it. 

Instead, take the opportunity to address the issue in a genuine way. If mistakes have been made, be honest about these and explain how you have or will remedy the situation. 

You don’t need to apologise for things that weren’t your fault, but responding in an empathetic way will help to make reviewers feel heard.

It’s also a good idea to offer to speak directly with the client to resolve things and continue the conversation through email or over the phone.

Dealing with fake or inappropriate reviews

You can report reviews and ask for them to be taken down if they violate Google’s content policies. You might need to do this if the review doesn’t appear to be genuine, or if it contains offensive content. 

Bear in mind that Google won’t get involved with disputes over the facts of a review, so if you disagree with something a reviewer has said, you’ll need to try and resolve it directly with them.

What other areas of online reputation management should accountants consider?

Managing your reviews is just one example of online reputation management – the practice of monitoring online information about your brand to protect and improve its public perception.

Some other areas to think about include:

  • Keeping your online presence consistent: to instil trust in users, make sure your company details, imagery, logo and tone of voice are the same across your website, social media channels and any other platform where you have a presence.
  • Focusing on customer experience: the best way to improve your reputation is to provide a genuinely great experience for your clients, from the moment they make contact with your firm to after they’ve received a service. Happy customers are more likely to share their praise for your firm, both online and with their network.
  • Tracking and responding to social media activity: social media is ‘social’ for a reason. It’s good practice to monitor any comments people make about your firm on any of your channels and respond to them or answer questions where necessary.
  • Across all areas of reputation management, defining and maintaining a strong brand is key. It’ll provide consistency, help you to express your company values, and instil trust in anyone who interacts with your firm online or offline.

Get in touch to talk about your accountancy firm’s brand and online reputation.