The average business understands that marketing and advertising in combination with sales simply can’t be ignored if they want to generate revenue. However, many companies don’t understand just how powerful customer testimonials can be to attract new customers and spread brand awareness.
To help companies understand how important testimonials are, try this mental exercise. Visualize what would happen if in the middle of the night, you were locked out of home and didn’t have a single locksmith in your phonebook. You’d probably search for a locksmith in the area, but wouldn’t just call the first one found. Instead, you’d take a few moments to look at online reviews to make sure that the person was trustworthy.
Online reviews are the most powerful marketing tools today. Phonebooks aren’t used as much anymore and online searches dominate how consumers find new businesses. However, customers aren’t going to simply do business with the first company that pops up in a web search. Instead, they’re going to seek out reviews to get a sense of what other customers thought of the business in question.
Understanding How Online Reviews Work
To harness the power of testimonial marketing, it’s important to understand how online reviews work. The truth is that there are infinite ways for customers to express how they feel about businesses online. Some customers may maintain their own blogs where they exclusively write reviews of local businesses. This is very popular in the restaurant sphere, where amateur food critics give reviews of restaurants on their own platform.
While some customers will host their own online review platforms, most customers use already-established platforms, such as Google Reviews, Angie’s List or Yelp. When harnessing the power of reviews for online marketing, these are the platforms to closely monitor.
How To Get Good Online Reviews
Customers don’t generally feel prompted to leave reviews if their experience with a business was unremarkable. Generally, reviews are left if a customer loved or loathed a business. When a customer experiences stellar customer service, they want to share their love of the experience with the world. When a customer has a horrible customer experience, they want to warn others to steer clear of the business in question.
The main way that companies influence their customers to leave them good reviews is by consistently providing amazing customer service. For a business to get organic positive reviews, they can’t provide mediocre customer experiences. Instead, it’s essential that staff are always going above and beyond to satisfy customers. While this is how to get good reviews organically, some businesses influence customers to leave positive reviews using strategic tactics.
Many companies like to provide a discount or a coupon for returning customers who’ve previously left positive reviews. While requesting that reviews be positive can oftentimes be a violation of the terms of service agreements of major online reviewing platforms, customers will generally leave good reviews if they know that they will be showing them to the business in question to receive the discount.
Monitoring Online Reviews
To get the most out of online reviews, it’s important that companies consistently monitor all of the major online reviewing platforms, and keep an eye on the reviews they receive. This can be time-consuming, so it’s recommended that businesses utilize online review monitoring software.
When a customer leaves a negative review, companies should respond kindly and offer to make the situation right publicly. While this won’t remove the original negative review, it will demonstrate to potential customers that in the event that they have a negative experience, the business will proactively try to remedy the situation.
Online reviews are crucial to the success of any business. Businesses that follow this guide can get the most out of online reviews and testimonials.