How 4 Pillars earns their customers' trust with reviews
4 Pillars is a Canadian-owned debt consolidation company that works on behalf of the debtor’s interest, rather than the creditor's’ interest. We spoke to Troy Tisserand, co-founder and managing director of 4Pillars, to learn how they’ve achieved success and how reviews have helped them.
Update: We caught up with Troy recently to see how his experience with Trustpilot has been going since our last talk. Learn how he and 4 Pillars have completely integrated reviews into their business.
Shifting review adoption
As 4 Pillars continued to use Trustpilot, it was apparent how helpful and effective it was in measuring customer satisfaction in a comprehensive and actionable way. As Troy described, the perspective of collecting reviews...
“shifted from ‘are reviews the right thing for us’, ‘what happens when we get a bad review and how will that reflect on our brand’ to ‘reviews are the future of our brand.’”
With time, every department was completely accepting of Trustpilot, making it easier to integrate their review management strategy into their business processes
Leveraging reviews as a measure of customer satisfaction
4 Pillars’s measure of success is highly dependent on customer satisfaction, now measured through the company’s Trustpilot reviews. This measure of satisfaction is a thread that runs through 4 Pillar’s entire organization, internally and externally.
Nearly all of 4 Pillars' reviews are mapped to one of their local offices and they’ve set a KPI goal of having a 9.5 rating or above for each office. Because reviews offer contextual information (as opposed to only providing a 1-5-star rating), if a local office hasn’t met the 9.5 standard, 4 Pillars has a more comprehensive understanding and can better provide either additional training,support, or development.
This has helped offices become accountable to each other and much more aware of their own reviews, allowing them to react faster whenever they receive a review that doesn’t meet their standards. This has also shifted each office’s approach to being more customer-centric and to empathize with the customer, a necessity in 4 Pillars’ industry.
Internally, 4 Pillars' reviews are integrated in their program development, testing, and launch processes. As they test rollouts, 4 Pillars uses reviews to get an understanding of how their audience may react to a new change or development. If the reviews don’t come out favorably, then they’ll continue developing their new program or product in a way that ensures customer satisfaction.
This process has been formalized with KPIs set based on reviews that is now a standardized process in their program and product rollouts.
Technical integration allows for seamless review collection
4 Pillars uses an API to collect Trustpilot reviews, which tags every review invitation with a location, giving 4 Pillars visibility into which local office a review is coming from. Even with organic reviews, reviewers often leave a review with an identifying mark, allowing 4 Pillars to locate the account owner. This commitment to transparency and openness has allowed 4 Pillars to have a 96% review placement. This tagging and mapping capability offers a lot of crucial context behind reviews that helps 4 Pillars continue to improve their business for their customers.
Next steps with Trustpilot
4 Pillars understands the importance of empowering customers to share their experience, knowing the value it provides to anyone who is looking for more information. Debt consolidation is very personal, and having available information to learn from is extremely helpful.
Because 4 Pillars (also known as 4 Pillars Consulting) has a two-phase offering (debt consolidation and post-consolidation financial literacy and education), they want to incorporate their review collection strategy to obtain more feedback on their educational services.
Troy has his sights set on the 1,000 review mark (at the time of this writing they have 910 reviews) and is looking forward to the 2,000 review mark. Trustpilot has allowed 4 Pillars to shift their culture to focus on their customer and they’re looking forward to seeing what the future brings.
How 4 Pillars serves their customers
4 Pillars was created in reaction to an imbalanced environment between debtors, creditors, and the debt relief options available. Most debt help companies in Canada were paid or supported by the creditors, making it difficult for debtors to be truly represented and see the full benefit of the debt relief options available. 4 Pillars aimed to change that via several principles.
- They never wanted repeat clients. If a client came back to consolidate their debt again, they would consider that a ‘complete failure’.
- They wanted to educate their clients. This would differentiate them from competitors. As a result, they worked to create a complete financial rehabilitation program for their clients that they could share with various government departments in financial literacy and non-profit organisations.
- They approached clients holistically. As Troy mentioned, “Debt is only part of someone’s financial picture.” 4 Pillars wanted to give them the education necessary to financially succeed beyond debt. This included helping clients with initial first steps, financial goal planning, budgeting, even educating clients on subjects like home ownership and credit.
However, 4 Pillars was having trouble proving their worth to others in the industry. They knew their clients recognised the value the services provided through the testimonials they gave but the debt consulting business has a troubled reputation. As a result, 4 Pillars began collecting reviews on their own but they ran into a few challenges.
- The collection process was manual and inefficient
- Because 4 Pillars was collecting and publishing reviews, other industry professionals and some potential customers expressed skepticism
- Because 4 Pillars didn’t have an automated way to collect reviews, it was difficult to make the most of reviews.
So 4 Pillars needed a way to impartially and efficiently collect reviews to highlight the experience of their customers, continue to build on its reputation, and show potential clients how 4 Pillars valued their clients. More importantly, these reviews needed to give their clients a voice and show others that they have a choice. By opting to collect reviews with Trustpilot, an independent third-party review platform, they were able to show other potential customers what 4 Pillars really stood for.
Using reviews to earn trust
4 Pillars has collected reviews with Trustpilot for around 2 months but has already seen major success because of it. They’ve received over 700 reviews and have a Trustpilot rating 9.4 out of 10 (at the time of this writing). Their Trustpilot profile page has an average of 480 monthly visits, a number that’s expected to vastly increase as 4 Pillars begins to integrate reviews as part of an overall marketing strategy.
4Pillars on-site integration
Now that 4 Pillars is regularly collecting reviews as part of an automated process, they have more freedom to utilize reviews along with other initiatives. They have reviews displayed on their landing pages, their Facebook page, and their Trustpilot profile page ranks 3rd on the first page of the ‘4 Pillars review’ SERP (search engine results page)’ The independent nature of Trustpilot also gives them assurance that each review is authentic, and honest, which allows them to truly showcase how clients feel about 4 Pillars.
Reviews have also benefited 4 Pillars internally. They pre-tag reviews based on each branch so they can identify where customers have received an outstanding experience and where they’ve experienced any customer service issues. This has given them customer insight they never had before and has allowed them to be much more targeted in how they can implement new processes to keep their customers happy.
4 Pillars continues to grow and they already see the benefits of reviews whether positive or negative. Their reputation will be held up by giving the consumer a voice and their positive reviews And because the debt consulting industry is seen with trepidation, every positive review helps. Negative reviews will also teach 4 Pillars how they can better serve their customers and will allow them to consistently improve their offerings and ensure new products and services meet the needs of the consumer.
4 Pillars believes that their commitment to their customers, represented by their authentic reviews, will help bridge that connection between new clients.
4 Pillars Facebook page with Trustpilot integration
How Trustpilot ensures authenticity
Trustpilot's Trust and Transparency (T&T) Unit is a dedicated team that helps ensure reviews are trustworthy and that businesses are authentically collecting reviews to showcase a genuine reputation on Trustpilot. The team uses a customized and proprietary software that runs 24/7 to track and detect unusual patterns and remove any fraudulent reviews.
Within the T&T team, Trustpilot's Compliance Team has agents and investigators focusing on preventing any misuse of the platform. They work closely with both consumers and businesses who can flag reviews and report any other issues with the software or the consumer site. The team investigates all reports of suspicious activity on Trustpilot, such as reports of spamming reviews, companies falsifying reviews for competitive advantage, or any other attempts to game the system. They also respond to every issue raised by consumers or businesses, and perform manual checks if necessary.
The Compliance Team is also happy to investigate any whistleblower concerns sent to ensure both reviewers and businesses are behaving in line with our framework of rules, which includes our User Guidelines and Company Guidelines. Both consumers and businesses can contact the Compliance Team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trustpilot's principles and values include honesty, trust, and transparency. That encompasses both reviewer and business behavior and we work hard to ensure all businesses use Trustpilot properly to keep their reputations honest, regardless of whether they subscribe to our free or paid services. That's why we also post Consumer Alerts on company profile pages to warn consumers if a company has been found manipulating reviews, soliciting fake reviews, or violating our guidelines.
To learn more about how we and our Trust and Transparency Unit work, check out our online Support Center. We have articles explaining our guidelines, our trust and transparency initiatives, our Compliance Team, and our processes to ensure the most trustworthy and useful reviews possible.
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