ClearlyRated.com for Accounting Firms Published by ClearlyRated - July 26, 2018 As an accounting firm partner, administrator, or marketer – you already know that your firm’s reputation is an integral component of your business strategy. But, what you might not realize is just how much your potential buyers care about your firm’s reputation. ClearlyRated’s 2018 Accounting Industry Benchmark Study finds that today’s accounting buyers rank firm reputation as the #1 influence in their decision to hire an accounting firm. Put differently, the average accounting buyer cares more about the experience that your clients have working with your firm than the cost, range of service offering, or even industry expertise that you may provide. Buyers want to hear from your clients Your team works hard to deliver an exceptional client experience across your firm. But no matter how often (or how well) you articulate this in your marketing deliverables – your most credible marketing opportunity doesn’t involve your own website or proposals. Instead, it involves your existing and former clients, and what they have to say about working with you. Your most credible marketing opportunity involves what your clients have to say about working with you. In 2017, Demand Gen report found that 97% of B2B buyers consider user-generated content (such as ratings, review, and testimonials) to be more credible than content produced by the service provider they were researching. The same holds true for buyers of accounting services. Our 2018 Accounting Industry Benchmark Study shows that accounting buyers rate online reviews or testimonials as the top resources in helping judge a potential vendor fit (even while 3 out of 4 buyers visit your firm’s website during their purchasing journey). Modern day reputation = ratings & reviews What does this behavior mean for your firm? The concept of “reputation” can no longer be limited to personal networks and word of mouth referrals – but instead is now strongly influenced by how your clients talk (or even worse, don’t talk) about your firm online. This is where strategy becomes complicated for accounting firms and other professional service providers. Where can your prospective clients go to get an accurate depiction of what it’s like to work with you? Think of today’s most popular online ratings-based directories (Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google+ to name a few). While these have understandably gained traction over the years, they weren’t designed to support experience-sharing between clients and buyers of accounting services. In fact, you’ve likely experienced this first-hand. Your clients are hesitant to write reviews on sites that were not designed for them (or for you) unless they’re exceptionally happy or exceptionally unhappy. Yet, the growing demand for reliable, transparent client feedback has made credible client reviews for accounting firms more important than ever before. ClearlyRated for Accounting firms We developed ClearlyRated.com – an online business directory – to help accounting firms translate client feedback into quantifiable, searchable information available to prospective buyers in the form of client ratings and testimonials. Your firm’s profile page on ClearlyRated.com is fueled by star ratings from ClearlyRated’s Net Promoter Score survey program – an industry-specific client experience survey optimized for the accounting firm model and your client audience. Client feedback is aggregated real-time in the ClearlyRated dashboard, where you can monitor star ratings and select the best testimonials to feature on ClearlyRated.com to help tell your firm’s story of service excellence. Click here to see how it works >> At ClearlyRated, we believe that it’s good business to place the client experience at the heart of your growth strategy – ClearlyRated.com is just one more way we’re helping to bridge the online reputation gap for accounting firms. Interested in getting your company listed on ClearlyRated.com? Contact us to learn more about how we harness client satisfaction surveys to help you build your online reputation. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to stay up to speed on product updates, research releases, and educational opportunities for your business.