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According to Statista, 38 percent of people say that reading online reviews is one of the most important steps to take before making a purchase. Another study from ResearchGate indicates that 86 percent of people say family and friends influence their buying behavior.
The data is clear: what people say about a business matters. Good or bad, your business reputation can affect your customer relationships and sales. That’s why it’s so important to showcase the positive experiences customers have with your brand. Here’s how to reap the benefits of testimonials.
Bragging never looks good on anybody, which is why talking up your business should be left to your customers.
You can say that your product or service is great in a million different ways, but if a customer does it, it has more impact. Think about it: you’re more likely to visit a restaurant or use a specific dry cleaner if that business has good online reviews, or if someone you know and trust recommends it.
Research also supports the benefits of testimonials. One study by SocialFresh indicates that customer testimonials are one of the most effective tools for content marketing, with an 89 percent effectiveness rating compared to other content.
Follow these best practices to receive effective customer testimonials:
Ask customers directly
If you’ve been in business for a while, you likely have loyal customers. Customers who are enthusiastic about the products and services you offer may be more willing to help than those who only visit your business a few times a year. Your loyal customers may also be flattered that you value their opinion. Channel their enthusiasm into a strong testimonial that will help you attract more customers.
Written testimonials aren’t the only way to showcase customer feedback. Videos can be a powerful way to engage future customers. This year, video traffic will account for an estimated 80 percent of all web traffic. Capturing a testimonial on video can be a powerful and visual way to share positive customer experiences.
Use customer satisfaction surveys
Many companies incorporate customer satisfaction surveys as part of their sales process. This feedback is not only valuable for helping you improve your offerings, but it also can be the basis of a really engaging customer testimonial. Look through your survey for positive feedback from customers, and reach out to each person directly for permission to use what they shared in your marketing.
Include a feedback form on your website
Find ways to automate how you collect testimonials. Add a feedback form or link to your website where customers can leave their opinion. Just like you did with the customer satisfaction survey, sift through this information to find the best feedback, and then follow up with each customer to get additional insights for a testimonial.
Offer an incentive
Your customers may need an incentive to share a testimonial. A discount on your product or services, preferred/VIP access to an upcoming event, or including a bonus with their next order is often the best way to get customers to participate.
What customers say about your business matters more than you may think. If you’ve worked hard to develop great customer relationships, showcase this with customer testimonials. People who are enthusiastic about your business will be the best ambassadors. Tap into this to make your marketing more effective and to build an even larger and more loyal customer base.