A Crazy Little Thing Called Testimonials
According to Queen’s late (and amazing), Freddie Mercury, love is a crazy thing. But while love may be crazy, it’s wonderful for business if it comes in the form of reviews and testimonials!
Talking about crazy, here’s a crazy stat that should catch your attention… A whopping 90% of consumers admit that their buying decisions are actually influenced by online reviews. That means the companies that have favorable reviews on display are positively influencing 9/10 people that are looking to make a purchase.
If the 90% number is blowing your mind, just think of your own online buying habits. When was the last time you didn’t take a positive or negative comment into account before clicking the shopping cart button?
Here’s yet another crazy stat to think about…Consumers are also more proactive than ever when it comes to their buying decisions. Jupiter Research found that 77% of people take the time to read product/service reviews before they make an online purchase. Ultimately, people are listening to the advertiser less and looking to their peers to help them decided to invest or not.
And in a research report that defines the long-term benefits of providing good customer service participants ranked customer service as the #1 factor impacting vendor trust. Clearly, customer service not only affects revenue, but has a long lasting impact, with customer service ranking as the No. 1 factor influencing how much a consumer trusts a company.
That’s LOVE, people…wonderfully crazy love! So that’s the fast low-down on reviews…but what about testimonials?
Well, according to Nielsen, which surveyed more than 28,000 Internet respondents in 56 countries, 92% of consumers around the world say they trust earned media (like testimonials) above all other forms of advertising.
In a LinkedIn study, it was discovered that customer testimonials and case studies are considered the two most effective content marketing tactics. However, the trend today is favoring customer testimonials over case studies, probably because they are unbiased and transparent.
So it’s agreed…today, testimonials and reviews are powerful, maybe the most powerful tactics to gain customer confidence, leading to an inquiry or even sale.
Here are five tips to make some crazy happen:
1. Determine what your future customers want to read or hear to gain their love. Ask yourself what features or benefits about your product is the most important.
2. Identify present customers who would agree to share their feelings about one or more of those features and benefits.
Note that it’s not about you putting words in your customer’s mouths. Testimonials and reviews need to be authentic.
3. The lawyers must have their word.
Gather the testimonials from your customers but don’t forget to have them sign a release allowing your use of their name, likeness and words.
4. Determine how and where you would like to communicate the testimonials and reviews you gather.
Your website is an obvious place, but where on your site? And don’t forget other methods of communication like your newsletters, social accounts, email signatures and so on. And should you use text or video – or both?
5. Remember what your mother taught you: say “thank you!”
A hand-written note and a $10 Starbucks coupon or Visa Gift Card will do, but don’t forget to say thanks…it may even result in a referral!
So listen to Freddie’s words: “be cool, relax, be hip,” and go get some love, or if “you just can’t handle it,” just let us do it for you.