Canada-based Financial Wellness company 4 Pillars was looking for a way to highlight the experiences of Canadian consumers and reach more clients. The debt industry is very competitive, so other companies try to scare away customers by saying they don’t need 4 Pillars’ specialized services.
Alas, many of these consumers who are in debt don’t understand the industry or what they actually need. “Trustpilot allows 4 Pillars to demonstrate that we are a company that provides consumers with a better option for those experiencing financial difficulty,” says 4 Pillars Cofounder and Managing Director Troy Tisserand.
The company looked at several review platforms, but Tisserand worried that choosing a review platform that engaged in unethical practices would undermine 4 Pillars’ reputation. “Some of them had these backdoor processes where you could remove negative reviews, or you could actually inflate the number of reviews that you’re able to obtain by having the same person leave five reviews,” he says.
Ultimately, the team chose Trustpilot because it shared similar values around transparency and integrity. Consumers know that a business cannot remove reviews from Trustpilot simply because they don’t like what they say. Those reviews provide an opportunity for the company to grow and for consumers to see the full range of customer experiences.
Improving through feedback
The night before 4 Pillars launched on Trustpilot in April 2017, Tisserand remembers being so nervous, he couldn’t sleep. “When a company starts to make the decision to begin collecting reviews, you really stake your company’s reputation and your brand on the line,” he says. What if they received a barrage of negative reviews? Or what if something else went wrong?
But the next day, when hundreds of five-star reviews rolled in, Tisserand knew they’d made the right decision. Customers rave about 4 Pillars’ friendly and knowledgeable staff, as well as their outstanding communication. Though not surprised, Tisserand was relieved that the majority of their customers were extremely satisfied with their experience and were happy to share their stories with other potential customers.
Although most of 4 Pillars’ reviews are positive, the 4 Pillars team has learned to treat their occasional negative reviews as opportunities for improvement, especially when it comes to customers moving to the second phase of their program, after they’ve restructured their debts. “Sometimes when they’re adjusting from one part of our business to the other, they don’t see the importance of what that second program will do and how it helps them move forward,” Tisserand says. Armed with that new insight, the 4 Pillars team now follows up with every customer to make sure they understand the importance of that second phase, so they don’t fall back into debt.
The 4 Pillars team contacts every customer who leaves a negative review so they can learn from that experience. “We’re always improving our systems, and there are times when something might break in our client journey,” Tisserand says. “A review is an early indicator that something might not be working.”
Knowing they might be reviewed has also given staff members additional motivation to strive for positive interactions with customers. “Because they go the extra mile, it actually reinforces our brand and the review process,” Tisserand says. “Trustpilot allows us to capture all of that energy that we have around providing that really good customer service experience.”
Building positive reviews over time
Tisserand and his team opted for simplicity when integrating Trustpilot into their business. For instance, three-, four-, and five-star reviews are embedded on the reviews page of their website, and they include the Trustpilot rating in their email signature. “It’s more of a subtle communication strategy that’s letting that person know we do great work,” Tisserand says. “As long as we focus on the great work that we do, then we’ll constantly get new reviews that will reflect that work,” he adds.
This approach is paying off, as 4 Pillars has amassed over 3,200 reviews with an average of 4.8 stars as of August 2023.
Beyond sharing positive customer experiences, 4 Pillars’ Trustpilot presence has also helped improve search engine optimization. “Because our channel is active, and we’re constantly getting reviews, Google indexes that constant new content, and our rankings increase as a result,” Tisserand says. “Whenever they’re searching our brand, the Trustpilot page is coming up.”
Tisserand also raves about the Trustpilot team and their in-depth understanding of the review process. Over years of working with their Trustpilot rep, they’ve built a strong rapport.
Trustpilot is always there doing a check-in. I think that really talks to the type of brand that Trustpilot has and what you should be expecting from a company of that caliber.
— Troy Tisserand, 4 Pillars Cofounder and Managing Director
Customers are understandably choosy about who they do business with, so trust matters now more than ever. However, simply building a solid reputation with customers isn’t enough. Companies must make their brand’s positive reputation visible so that current and future customers know who they can trust.
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