The internet is everywhere! Nearly everyone has access to it, and most of us are carrying it around in our pockets. It’s no wonder that consumers are turning to the internet more and more to research products and services before making purchase decisions.
So what exactly are consumers looking for? Testimonials, reviews and other customer generated content are often trusted sources… and from a marketing stand point, a good review is a good review. I mean, there’s no such thing as a bad testimonial… right? That may be debatable.
Consumers are using the internet more, but many are increasingly skeptical of its content. How can we ensure that the positive things being said about our businesses, products and services ring true? We’ve put together a few things to keep in mind …
- Provide Quality Product/Service – The best way to ensure a positive message is being spread about your business is to keep your customers happy.
- Get Feedback – Even if you aren’t planning to feature testimonials in printed materials or on your website, feedback will provide you with invaluable insights.
- Be Timely – Strike while the iron is hot! The best time to collect customer feedback is when they are most committed to their purchase decision (typically the point of sale or upon delivery).
- Give Your Customer Options – How do you interact with your customers? Give them a variety of avenues to provide you with reviews. Here are a few examples…
- Surveys that accompany packing slips
- Email surveys
- Emails that prompt customers to leave reviews on third party sites (like yelp) or social media reviews/endorsements
- Paper surveys
- Consider getting feedback face-to-face or via phone. After which, send an email that mentions how wonderful their feedback was. Quote them in the email, ask permission to use the quote and invite them to make edits. You may find that your customers are, more often than not, completely willing to share their positive impressions.
- Be Specific – Make sure to ask your customers specific questions. If you ask an open ended questions (i.e. Are you satisfied with our services?), you are likely to get an open ended response (i.e. Yes, we are very pleased). Think about what it is that sets you apart in the market, and ask your clients to talk about those specific features. Here’s a blog post that may give you a few ideas.
- Get Creative – Don’t be afraid to think outside a traditional questionnaire. Video testimonials can be extremely effective. Consider posting YouTube or Vine (Twitter) videos. Do you have customers who blog? If so, they might consider featuring your business in a blog post, and we all know how valuable in-bound links are!
- Always Get Permission – NEVER use customer feedback (printed or via the internet) without consent.