In 2014, with the online marketing world shifting heavily toward the latest technologies and tactics, it’s somewhat surprising that the most effective way to boost sales is the oldest – word-of-mouth.
Perhaps the methods have changed, but more than ever, customers are turning to buyer reviews before making a buying decision. In addition to boosting conversions, good reviews from customers that appear on sites such as Yelp or Google Maps can help you to attract more people.
There is no question that people influence people, but a recommendation from an actual user can be worth significantly more than the most costly marketing efforts. Having positive reflections of your business will help you to persuade visitors to consider giving you their business, and can help encourage people to learn more about your offerings. Here’s how:
Make Sure Your Customers are Satisfied
You should already be working to ensure that your customers are completely happy, especially since dissatisfied customers are much more likely to post a review than customers that are satisfied. You need to make efforts in order to determine both your unsatisfied and satisfied clients.
Depending on the type of business you do, you may also consider sending out an overall satisfaction survey, or even call each of your customers periodically to get a feel for the customer experience.
Something that you can consider trying is asking your current clients if they would be willing to take a call from a prospective client. If they agree, you can assume that they are relatively happy with the service or goods that have been received. If there is no answer, there may be a problem that needs attention.
If you find that you have a series of unhappy clients, or receive no response, be sure to take steps to see what you can do to correct the problem.
Request Reviews from Happy Customers
Once satisfied customers are identified, you can begin reaching out for positive feedback. You can use the testimonials that you receive in whole, or in part, on your site, in email marketing efforts, in proposals or even in social venues where applicable.
A good idea is to include a testimonial were a conversion would take place. Do not simply place them on the testimonial page, where many customers will never venture.
Here are some effective tips to use when asking a client for a review:
- Make sure it’s simple. You need to ensure that the process to create a review is simple and fast. You can do this by going through the process yourself and providing the person that you ask with screen shots, so they fully understand the process that they have to use. This will also ensure you are prepared for any questions that may arise from customers posting a review.
- Locate the best review sites for your industry. You can search the name of your business and the brands you offer to determine where reviews are already located. If you already have some bad reviews, you can decide if you want to respond to the comment openly. You should also search on some of the non-brand items that you have and review the results.
- Google reviews. If you focus your business locally, you will definitely want to obtain some great reviews on Google Maps. In order to post a review, a client must have a Google account. However, since not everyone has one, and may not want to spend the time creating one, you should provide an alternative review site option.
- Create an email request. If you send out an email on a related topic, add a review request. This will help you “kill two birds with one stone.”
- Create a review webpage. Take time to create a page on your website dedicated to linking your profile on Yelp, Google, etc. You can make this public and then ask visitors to write a review.
- Obtain your reviews over time. Do not force reviews by pressuring your customers. This will only make them avoid even leaving one. Acquire your reviews over time so that you have different reviews dated for different periods of time.
A testimonial or positive review is social proof for your products and services. However, you have to be sure to use them with both care and wisdom. If you are trying to persuade prospects to purchase services or products that you offer, you should display any and all authentic testimonials you’ve received to reinforce your value proposition and subsequently boost conversions.
By Brad Bortone