No business can function without customers, and the best customers are happy customers. As a business owner, or Account Manager there is often no better feeling than getting glowing, positive feedback from a customer or client, especially when that customer testimonial is written down and can be posted for all the world to see.
Why is it then that so many businesses who go to the trouble of collecting this valuable feedback from happy clients then just add it to a file and never let it see the light of day again?
Positive feedback from customers is one of the best assets that your business could have. It allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors, it proves you do what you promise, and it shows potential new customers that others have tried and tested your process and are happy with the outcome.
Perhaps one of the most common uses of customer testimonials is to create a Testimonial page on your company website. Whilst this is great and it certainly means the reviews are in the public domain, it’s not a proactive use of your great asset, as it relies on people already being on your website in order to see them. Instead, go the extra mile and use the great reviews like a magnet to draw people into your business.
Local business review sites such as Yell and Yelp are great for collecting reviews, not least because these sites rank well with search engines. Reviews that your business gathers on directory sites can be used to help strengthen your search engine position, particularly as Google + Local now collates information from many of these directories and displays them on your business’s Google + page. By encouraging happy customers to leave reviews you can also negate the impact of any negative reviews that have already been left there. Unfortunately, people are more likely to leave a negative review than a positive one, so if this has happened to your business then don’t bury your head in the sand. Encouraging positivity is one way to deal with this.
If you are asking a lot of customers to leave reviews (and you should be!) it’s a good idea to set up a specific page to capture their reviews. This way there is one clear place for customers to go and post, rather than giving them a choice of multiple review sites. It also saves your customers from having to take the extra step of signing up to the directory site as a member before their review can be accepted. We have our own site, www.reviewbigthinkingonline.com to collect reviews from clients. This means that we can direct all customers to one place and ensure we capture all reviews whether good or bad. Once you have reviews and permission to reproduce them you need to try and get them seen by the biggest audience possible.
If you already send out email updates or a regular newsletter you could add your new positive testimonials on to that.
Marketing Material such as brochures, posters and leaflets is great to put testimonials on. If you are at a trade show, or somewhere else where people might pick up your details for the first time a quote from a happy customer can be really eye catching. You could even put quotes on the back of your business cards.
Social Media is another area that you can use to spread the word about your happy customers. It could help you with creating a buzz around your brand, and the more people who see others talking about the great service they’ve had then the more likely they will be to get in touch themselves.
Using your testimonials to market our business can be very powerful, the possibilities are only limited by your creativity.
So whether it’s putting the positive reviews together in a video on YouTube, or having them printed on pens just don’t leave them on a forgotten page of your website, or even worse in a filing cabinet draw.
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