We’ve all experienced it—that warm and fuzzy feeling when we receive a compliment. As a business owner, you’ve likely felt that sensation when a customer sends you an email, a tweet, or an online review complimenting your product or service. But customer testimonials are more than just a momentary ego boost. They’re also a powerful marketing tool when used correctly.
As business owners, we spend a lot of time and energy talking about our products and services. We advertise, we blog, we tweet and we network, all the while extolling the virtues of our business. But consumers are rightfully skeptical and want a second (or third, or fourth) opinion from an unbiased third party.
That’s why reviews and testimonials should be a part of your overall marketing strategy. As consumers, the vast majority of people say they trust reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family. Websites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Angie’s List have put the power in the hands of consumers. Today, 92% of customers consider internet reviews when they make a purchase—even if they’re not making that purchase online!
While the power is in the hands of the consumers, you can also wield this power when marketing your business. Positive reviews and testimonials from your customers can help you build brand advocates, increase traffic to your website, and eventually increase your business—and your profit.
So how do you take advantage of reviews and testimonials? It’s easier than you think:
Sure, it’s a little awkward the first few times to ask for a testimonial. If you’re uncomfortable, pick your moments. Wait until someone thanks you verbally, then say “I love hearing that we were able to help you. Would you mind sharing your experience on XYZ website?”
It’s also helpful if you can make the act of providing a testimonial as simple as possible. Include links to your Google My Business page (or any other review site) in electronic receipts, your newsletter, or even the signature file on your email. Start with customers that you believe will provide a great review, and make sure to use positive, encouraging language.
Have a process in mind for handling your reviews—especially the negative ones. A negative review doesn’t have to be the end of the world, as long as you handle it properly. Although it’s natural to get upset or defensive, put yourself in the customer’s shoes. If you receive a negative review, be humble. Apologize. Take responsibility, and offer to make it better. When you respond to negative reviews, it shows that you care about customer service. And if you do find a way to resolve the customer’s issue, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask the reviewer to reconsider their negative review.
Once you have a handful of great customer testimonials, don’t just wait for people to discover them on their own. Testimonials are a great opportunity to create fresh content as you market your product or service. Use them on your website, in your social media, on your brochures and in your proposals. Reach out to the customers who left good reviews and ask if they’d be willing to provide a video testimonial, and post it on your social media. New customers will appreciate hearing from real people who enjoyed your product or service.
Feeling warm and fuzzy from a great review, but need help figuring out where to go from there? CONRIC pr + marketing is here to help! Contact our team of professionals by emailing email@example.com or call 239-690-9840 ext. 1001 for a free marketing consultation today.
P.S. Has CONRIC helped you to reach your business goals? We’d love your feedback!