If you’ve ever wondered what people who’ve used your product/service really think about it, then chances are – prospective clients are wondering the same!
It’s called review marketing.
Client testimonials are not only necessary; they are an integral key aspect of any brand, especially if your business is web-based.
If someone has stumbled on your website and knows nothing about it other than the information that you provide, testimonials will allow them to hear the thoughts and opinions of others and what they have to say about your product or service.
Reading about positive experiences will likely overcome scepticism and translate into new relationships. Don’t worry about having hundreds of glowing reviews at first; after all, a few quality testimonials based on real experiences will speak infinitely louder.
As a business, it’s important to treat your positive reviews as an asset and to take negative reviews seriously.
The new trend of review marketing is the online equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing-some studies have found that even one review can boost your sales by ten percent!
Some industries are especially reliant on reviews-one study found that online buyers of electronics and clothing are the most likely to spend time reading reviews and acting on them.
All of the recent statistics released about reviews point to the growing importance of online reviews. If your customers aren’t leaving you reviews online it’s time to start asking for them!
Review Marketing: What it is and how to use it
Review marketing involves using your reviews online and on social media to generate leads and draw in new customers.
It’s no secret that online reviews can be a powerful tool for bringing in new business. A recent US survey found that 8-in-10 internet users trust online recommendations as much as they trust personal recommendations-this means that buyers are giving as much weight to anonymous opinions as they would to the opinion of a friend!
Getting reviews on Google and Facebook or industry-specific sites may make a world of difference for your brand. So how do you get online reviews and capitalise on them?
1) Get your customers to talk
Aching for some online feedback? Host a random drawing for verified customers who leave online reviews of your product or service! Make each review worth multiple entries so that customers will be motivated to review you on several different platforms.
If you’re just starting out or you don’t want to take the contest route you can also offer your products or services at a discount, or even for free, for customers who are willing to leave reviews.
This is a good way to build up some momentum and to encourage people to share their thoughts on what you have to offer.
2) Respond to your customers
Take the time to write personalised responses to all reviews-good, bad and neutral. Your customers will be impressed and grateful that you took the time to get back to them and it will show that you take your reviews seriously.
3) Make sure your reviews are displayed on your website
Your reviews will automatically show up on platforms like Facebook or Google, but you can use them to advertise elsewhere too. Set up a banner or a page on your website to display reviews, or if you have a brick and mortar store, show off your reviews on a poster or a digital board for all to see.
4) Remind your customers to leave you a review
There are quite a few simple methods you can use to elicit reviews from your customers. Try leaving a card in your packaging that directs them to your social media pages or sending an email after they’ve placed an order to ask them to share their experience. It’s best to strike when the iron is hot!
Help! I received a negative review!
At some point, it might happen: you’ll open your inbox to find that dreaded bad review. Don’t get too worked up when you see it. Instead, take a step back and try to see things from your customer’s point of view.
Do they have a valid reason to be upset with your product or service? Or did you happen to catch them on a bad day? What can you learn from this experience?
Like you would with any other review, take the time to respond to your dissatisfied customer.
Make sure that you use sympathetic language, and above all, be professional in your response-other customers will take note if you respond in a way that is degrading, dismissive or abrasive.
You must determine if you need to offer something to remedy the situation-a discount on a future purchase, a refund or some other form of recompense might be needed.
Although you probably wish the bad reviews didn’t exist, remember that these reviews help legitimise your company and that they won’t make a massive difference if you have enough good reviews to balance them out. If you handle your negative reviews with grace everything will be alright!
Client feedback surveys: another powerful marketing tool
The best companies out there with top customer satisfaction and feedback all understand the importance of implementing quality customer feedback surveys; it is the best way to discover how satisfied your clients are and to identify areas of improvement.
These surveys go hand in hand with reviews but they generally aren’t publicised, which may encourage some of your customers to be more open about their experience.
You can use these surveys to spot areas that need improvement and to make improvements to your products and services. These surveys can also offer insight into your customers and the forces that drive their purchasing decisions.
What makes a good client feedback survey?
Keep your survey questions short and concise. The fact of the matter is – if someone is willing to take out the time to fill out your survey, then you should respect their time. In general, your customers shouldn’t feel obliged to spend more than a few minutes responding to your survey.
If you offer a highly-customised product or service that warrants more in-depth feedback you may be able to get away with a slightly longer survey.
2) Ask open-ended questions
Having multiple choice questions are great when it comes to keeping things quick and easy, but also leverage this time to ask meaningful questions that won’t just result in a “yes” or “no” statement.
Again, as their time is incredibly valuable, don’t turn them off with intimidating text blocks. One or two questions near the end of the survey is typically a safe practice.
Be sure to include a text field for additional comments or feedback-some questions may want to convey feedback that doesn’t neatly fit into other parts of your survey, so be sure there is a place for them to share their thoughts!
3) Give your customers time to think
Don’t fall into the trap of barraging your client with a bunch of questions at once like, “How did you hear about us? How likely are you to recommend us to a family/friend? Why or why not?”
This is very off-putting and will most likely result in the disinterest of having the person complete the survey. If you want quality answers, ask quality questions – giving people time to think it out. You will probably get some of your best responses from asking open-ended questions, as mentioned above.
4) Make your survey easy to navigate
Don’t overwhelm your customers with multiple questions on one page, big blocks of text or unnecessary images or graphics. Instead, ask one question at a time, and have some sort of progress bar that allows people to see that your survey is quick, easy and worth their time.
Using review marketing to grow your business
Positive reviews can be an excellent source of organic leads. On highly competitive or visual sales platforms you can bet that customers will be looking for ratings to inform their purchasing decisions, and if you don’t have reviews, you might be overlooked, even if you’re offering a great product at a killer price.
By gathering reviews and displaying them for all to see you add credibility to your brand.
If your potential customers see that you are confident in what you have to offer they’ll have a greater sense of security and they’ll feel better about doing business with you-review marketing is a win-win for everyone involved!
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