Would you consider outsourcing your marketing if it cost you nothing? Customer testimonials do exactly that.
No matter what kind of business you run, you aim to provide your customers with a great product or service. But how do your audience know you will deliver? If customer testimonials aren’t in your marketing toolbox, you could be missing out on a powerful opportunity to build credibility and awareness for your brand.
Customer testimonials are comments talking about their experience of your product or service. The important thing here is that it’s about their experience, not yours. So potential customers reading or watching the testimonial can trust that it is telling the truth.
If you’re not using customer testimonials, here are three compelling reasons why you should:
#1 Turn your customers into advocates
Word of mouth has always been the most powerful form of advertising. In fact, some of today’s biggest brands, including Dropbox and even Tinder, owe much of their success and brand recognition to the humble marketing technique.
What you might not realise is how powerful online reviews can be – in fact, 84% of people trust them as much as a personal recommendation.
By providing a great experience and accruing positive reviews, you’re actually creating a community of brand advocates who are promoting your brand for free. This means potential customers will perceive you as high quality and trustworthy before they’ve even started dealing with you for themselves.
#2 Improve search results with online reviews
Customer reviews aren’t only relevant to your target audience – Google notices them too. As search engine optimisation (SEO) evolves, search engines are less interested in keyword stuffing and more interested in how users interact with and respond to your business.
Positive reviews on your online business listings signal to search engines that yours is a business worth ranking in search results. Plus, the more positive reviews you have, the more likely users are to interact with your site – this in turn can boost your rankings further.
#3 Use feedback to develop your product or service
All feedback – positive or not – can help you improve your business. Just look at how Woolworths is offering free food for feedback. Or how Carman’s has invited customers to join “Carman’s Kitchen Table” where they can share ideas and feedback. Whether positive reviews are helping you identify and develop your strengths, or negative reviews are helping you correct weaknesses, you can put your customer feedback to constructive use.
Remember, negative feedback isn’t the end of the world. As well as an opportunity for improvement, it’s also a chance for you to engage meaningfully with an unsatisfied customer. If you’ve genuinely made a mistake, apologise and reassure them that you’re taking their comments on board. In some cases it might be appropriate to offer them a freebie or discount.
Next steps: How to get it right
How can you encourage reviews?
First things first: the best way to get great reviews is to provide a great customer experience. However, there are ways you can facilitate the review process and make it easier for your customers to give feedback:
- Gather reviews manually using free programs such as SurveyMonkey, which allows you to create basic surveys quickly and easily.
- Give printed or iPad forms to your customers after transactions, and keep a feedback box near your checkout.
- Send an email immediately after online transactions.
- Keep up-to-date business listings on Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other directories where you can encourage customers to leave reviews.
- Invite customers to provide reviews on your Facebook business page.
When you interact with your customers face-to-face, by phone or online, don’t be shy – tell them the different ways they can review your business and encourage them to give it a go.
What should you do with the reviews?
Once you’ve got your customer testimonials, use them. The trick is to be selective and choose the ones that work best. The most powerful testimonials are those that explained how the service or product satisfied a consumer need or tackled a pain point. Remember your target audience here, and make sure you’re hitting the pain points of your buyer personas. (Get quick tips on identifying your target audience)
Once you’ve got them, show them off everywhere: on your website, in-store, in brochures and your flyer marketing. Product-specific reviews can sit alongside relevant product descriptions on your website or in printed marketing materials, or you could print them on card and have them next to the product in your brick-and-mortar store (you might have seen this done in bookstores).
Reviews can also be a great addition to your letterbox marketing campaigns. Include them on flyers, with the customer’s name if consent is given, and give your target audience confidence in your business.
These are just a few of the many ways you can boost your credibility and awareness using customer testimonials. LDN has vast experience in helping local businesses stand out from the crowd with letterbox campaigns, one of the most traditional and powerful marketing tools in your toolbox.
Find out more about how LDN can help you promote your business by calling 1800 010 012 today.