Use customer reviews to increase business sales
Customer reviews and testimonials are the best tools for increasing sales figures in a company. An organization should know how to harness the positive feedback received from its customers and to make use of this on its website and its marketing materials.
In a digitized environment, it is important for people to know as much as they can about a company’s products and services before purchasing them. A company can present a trustworthy offer to potential customers by choosing the right reviews and by carefully positioning them close to a user’s area of interest.
More and more consumers search the internet for positive reviews before buying. This is why it is important for companies to use proper testimonials, which give sufficient details about their products or services. By adding testimonials in the mix, they can make a prospective buyer overcome his/her skepticism.
An effective testimonial can make a prospective buyer to become a regular customer. The characteristics of an effective review are listed below:
- A testimonial needs to showcase the benefits of using a product/service – the advantages brought by a product/service should be at the center of the testimonial, because they are important to customers who are not familiar with the company’s offer;
- Reviews should back up a company’s promises – offering real data and figures;
- Testimonials should be target-oriented – an organization should gather reviews from customers that belong to its target markets. Customers are not interested to read opinions from consumers with whom they cannot identify;
- A credible testimonial needs to include a customer’s full name and other details which can be of interest to potential clients. It can also be presented in an audio or video format, which will help in increasing its effects;
- Comparability – consumers would like to know what a company’s product/service has in comparison to others.
Some individuals give their feedback regardless of being asked, which means that they are thoroughly satisfied/dissatisfied with a product or really interested in giving their ideas for improvement. Companies should use the following strategies in obtaining reviews from their customers:
- Send follow-up e-mails requesting customers to give testimonials – after a customer buys a product/ uses a service, the company can give him/her an e-mail requesting a review;
- Offer future discounts – organizations can offer discounts on any follow-up order, so as to increase the number of testimonials received from customers. They will be more willing to leave a testimonial of their purchasing experience, if they are offered something in exchange;
- Ask customers directly – social media offers many opportunities for companies to reach out to customers. Also, by using such social interaction platforms, users can be reminded to share their opinions and experiences;
- Reach key players – companies can offer a sample to customers, for free, in exchange for reviews. As a result, some individuals can leave their testimonials on personal blogs or websites and they become key players, influence nodes. It is a great way to push sales and gather as many reviews as possible for a product/service, as the “word of (virtual) mouth” travels faster than most other mediums;
Reviews are used for increasing sales, but they need also to be efficient and not just clog up work time for the employee(s) checking them. Here is some advice on how to properly use testimonials: use reviews on every website; create mobile-friendly pages for reviews; have one page for each testimonial and request reviews on social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+.
Organizations should share testimonials that put them in a positive light, but they should not avoid using the negative ones in their materials and on the platforms. Customers know that not all testimonials are positive. A mix of positive and negative reviews will show prospective customers that companies take into consideration all types of feedback in order to improve their products/services. In addition to this, companies should avoid making the following mistakes:
- Editing testimonials to exclude information that customers might not want to read;
- Always request permission from consumers to use testimonials;
- Reviews must not be made up. Lying to potential clients will result in a negative image for the company.
Using testimonials in a correct and efficient manner will make a business thrive and gain faithful clients, who will share their experience to others as well. Prospective clients trust reviews received from former clients and analyze the information contained in these evaluations before they purchase a product/service. Also, testimonials confirm that a company is credible and trustworthy. In my opinion, future customers should be able to rely on reviews from a company’s websites, but ought to also search for opinions from external sources.