Customer testimonials and reviews are proven to have a direct impact on your bottom line. In fact, companies that maintain a solid online reputation with established customer loyalty increase revenue at twice the rate of competitors.
How customers perceive a business is especially important for small companies because they need to establish the brand equity and familiarity that larger corporations dominate. Therefore, the online reputation management of your business is vital to achieving goals and deserves time, investment, and attention. Let’s review five ways to use customer testimonials to boost your online reputation.
- Obtaining customer testimonials on Google is a huge factor in increasing online visibility and reach. Most people when looking for a product or services, start their search on Google. Once your company has five customer testimonials on Google, your location will appear on the Google maps in the search results. Moreover, if you can achieve a five-star rating based on your Google reviews, you will stand out against the competition and people will click on your website.
- Posting customer testimonials on your website creates trust with visitors. It’s easy to create compelling copy that drives your benefits and stresses your value offering to the public. But, where’s your proof? As the saying goes, talk is cheap. You need to back up your claims by featuring outstanding customer testimonials in a place where site visitors will notice them, such as the homepage. Don’t make them search for the proof, put it right out there for the world to see.
- Product reviews demonstrate the reliability of your product claims. People trust the opinion of others. One study of 3,600 consumers demonstrated that as much as 79 percent trust customer reviews as much as personal recommendations. Offer some freebies to your audience in order to get quality reviews, but remember to stress the importance of an honest and non-biased review to your product testers. Not that glowing feedback isn’t valuable, but if it sounds over-embellished or scripted, people will be less likely to trust it.
- Yelp has earned a solid reputation for being a platform people trust when researching companies online. A great benefit of featuring reviews on this particular platform is that Yelp syndicates these reviews to many other locations on the web. This increased reach means that your company will show up on multiple search engines. The Texas Mattress Makers from Houston proudly boast on their website the fact that they hold the number one ranked mattress store and Houston and feature a convenient link to their impressive Yelp profile.
“As a small business our reputation is paramount to increasing brand awareness and credibility. We feature this asset prominently with a strong, dramatic statement to encourage the user to engage by verifying this claim for themselves,” said a representative from Texas Mattress Makers.
- Earning customer reviews on social media platforms is super effective for solidifying your online reputation. People spend most of their internet lives on these sites and by bringing the proof of your business to social media, a wide audience can build this familiarity and trust with your brand.
Easy Ways to Get Great Reviews
If you want people to leave feedback about your business, the main point to remember is that easy does it. You have to make it fast, convenient and simple for customers to leave feedback, otherwise, they won’t. Plain and simple. The following are tips for encouraging customers to leave testimonials:
- Send automated email post-transaction, to review the product or review the business. The infographic provided by Salesforce gives a nice overview of the different online survey providers and sorts them according to level of difficulty.
- Lease a Kiosk tablet for shops with a physical location. As soon as people make a purchase, ask them to leave a review.
- Create a simple handout, business card, or receipt with survey given to customers at time of payment.
- Post a sign in a physical location that reminds people to leave a review online or even set up social media booth where customers interact, connect, and hopefully leave feedback.
Manage Your Reputation Don’t Let it Manage You
Managing customer testimonials as they come in is equally important as obtaining them in the first place. The following are tips to follow to manage testimonials like a pro:
- Unless you have many different products that are being reviewed, you need to respond to every single review that comes in, both positive and negative. Show appreciation and explain if needed.
- When someone leaves a negative review, always personally contact that individual and attempt to resolve the issue before you respond publicly. If the issue cannot be resolved, then publicly posting your side of the story is appropriate, but be careful to never sound condemning and always explain what you had offered to resolve the situation. If you do reach a resolution, ask them to modify their review or mention your efforts.
- Pay attention to the review sites most specific to your niche. If you are in the auto industry, there are sites that list car dealers and others do not. Take a look at the following infographic courtesy of Salesforce, and you can see the industry breakdown of online review platforms.
- Use an online review platform to manage reviews across multiple networks all in one place. Tools such as Bright Local and Reputation.com are good resources for online reputation management software.
Don’t Let Negative Reviews Sink Your Business
Negative reviews have the power to sink your ship, fast. This is why it’s so important to take the needed steps to fix them right away. If you are feeling lost or need help with online reputation management, learn how we can help you achieve your vision of a sparkling online reputation on a down-to-earth budget by reaching out to us for a free quote. If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with a friend or colleague.
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