Monday, 5 March 2018

Thousands could lose their life savings - why reviews matter






Estimates vary, but the Telegraph is saying that up to 20,000 investors are affected, many with their life savings at risk.

But why? With this a search away...



And these...



The point? That a number of people - the exact number will never be known - were saved from investing with this business, not by the City regulator, the FCA, but by Google - in fact, by just sixteen people writing a review on Google (one is positive!).


Duty of Care

Businesses surely have a duty of care to their investors, and especially businesses in the world of finance. And for reputable firms we would sincerely suggest that that duty of care includes ensuring that they engage with reviews, if only out of pure self-interest.

Just how many people would have avoided using Beaufort Securities if responsible and reliable competitors had looked good in search. Like this...


The most reviewed investment advisers in London - probably. But, from the look of it, they only engaged when they were the subject of a damning 1* review first. We suggest that many FS businesses can learn from Holder & Combes, and engage before they have to.


But just how many investment advisers or wealth managers have paid attention to reviews? The answer is: pitiably few. See this random search on 'investment advisers' in London...



  One business in seven has just one review - astonishing in 2018

Helpful for potential investors? We don't think so.

What about the industry leaders? 

Fidelity...
 


Aberdeen...



M&G...



 
Brewin Dolphin...




Suprised? So were we. So we began by asking ourselves the obvious question - and soon the answer became apparent...

Why so few reviews?

The answer is summed up with one word: 'fear'. Fear - by the business - of inviting negative reviews. After all, as the label on the tin says: 'the price of investments can go down as well as up' and what investment adviser is going to expose themselves to reviews that say 'mine went down'? 
 
Our answer to the investment community: all of you. Because of the aforementioned 'duty of care', but also for the following reason...


 This Google review is damaging enough in itself - the fact that it is served by Google as the first review seen by anyone referencing this business (as 'most helpful' and 'most recent') makes it doubly so. In addition the business has failed to respond and it has been voted 'Helpful' by two readers in the last two months (we estimate that 'Helpful' votes represent less than one percent of those that have read a Google review - so this review's reach is likely to stretch into the hundreds).
  • if you don't engage you risk leaving the field clear for your minority of unhappy clients, and they will find their way to Google eventually, and then you will find your reputation unfairly tarnished

Managing the 'fear'

That's simple: just take estate agency; estate agents - especially lettings agents - are hardly at the top of the list of 'most admired' occupations, so we don't think those in financial services have anything to worry about if we can produce results for them like these we have produced for good estate agents...




And focusing on the positives...

   
Back to Holder & Combes - for anyone doubting that having great reviews drives new business, read the first line

Great review management is like great investment management: it produces great results. Not just great reviews and great scores on Google (which it will), but it will actively encourage people to use your business, and since September last year, you will be able to measure that like this...



   
   This is a screenshot of a client's Google My Business report - if you don't recognise it as being just like the one your business receives every month you will need to find out who in your office is receiving it (if you draw a blank, just ring Karen Hutchings here and she will walk you through the procedure for having it readdressed) 

 
So: over to you in the world of investment management; recognise that your potential clients/investors will welcome reviews from your existing clients, and that reviews can provide that crucial differentiation between the kind of business with which they will be happy to entrust their life savings and those that perhaps they should be wary of.




 

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