The Importance of Testimonials and Reviews
Customer testimonials and reviews are vital to your business – period. It’s a vote of confidence– in most cases – of a business and the products they provide. The problem is that many businesses are wasting their time on social media and not making it easier for people to leave testimonials and reviews.
Think of a testimonial or review as a referral from your friend.
If your friend tells you how a certain pillow helped her overcome neck pain and cramps she was experiencing, you’ll keep this pillow in mind. And if you do have neck pain in the future, you’ll likely return to the product that a real customer told you worked.
This is the same scenario with reviews and testimonials.
Testimonials and Reviews Changed the Buying Cycle
Consumers want to shop online. Reviews are at their fingertips, there are no long lines, and products can be compared in seconds. A long time ago, well just 20 – 25 years ago really, the customer had to go to the vendor during the buying cycle.
The vendor would sing praises of the product, and perhaps a demonstration was offered.
Vendors controlled what you saw, and this was often the key to making a sale. Consumers in today’s world do their research, and the buying cycle may look something like this:
- Search for a product to fill a need
- Find a product and visit the company’s website
- Read about the product’s specs and features
- Compare products from competitors
- Read reviews and testimonials
- Make a purchase
And the buying cycle can be different for different products. Reviews and testimonials are often read right before making the buying decision. If another product is rated highly and yours has no rating or has bad ratings, guess who is going to get the sale?
But there is another catch: you can use reviews and testimonials in multiple areas of the buying cycle.
- Showcase testimonials on your website so that when the buyer goes to your site, they already see people praising the product.
- Create case studies on your products and present them to potential buyers. Consumers can be involved in case studies, and this can be a simple questionnaire asking consumers how the product helped them, what the product was used for and would they recommend the product to friends and family. A slew of other questions can be asked, too.
- Videos can be created by using customer testimonials, which is just another form of promotion for your business and products. You can approach a few clients and customers to provide their time to do these videos with you. It’s a bit costly, but it’s an effort that can sway a customer’s mind in favor of your product or service.
Businesses online will be able to ask for testimonials and reviews by collecting the consumer’s email address and mailing them for a review in the future or a few weeks after the delivery of the consumer’s items. Yelp and other review sites can also make a huge difference and should be promoted on your business’ main website and social media accounts to encourage testimonials and reviews.