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Customer Testimonials: Worth Their Weight in Gold

In our opinion-riddled, digital global village, online reviews and customer testimonials are key. The persuasive power of word-of-mouth referrals from previous decades has been replaced with the potent effect that negative and positive customer reviews can have on a business' success. According to a recent BrightLocal Consumer Review Survey:

  • 86% of all consumers read reviews for local businesses
  • 95% of people aged 18-34 read these reviews
  • 91% of 18-34-year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Here are a few ways to get the word out about your products or services and grow your business.

A man holding a post-it note up.

Get active on the top online review sites.

Claim your business page on the most widely used consumer review sites such as Google, which still leads the pack, with 63.6% of people consulting this site's reviews before contacting a business. Do the same on Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor and any other sites relevant to your industry and location.

This is a great way to keep your hours of operation, address, phone number and email up to date and in front of prospective customers. It also gives you the chance to engage with your customers on each review site. Try to reply to each post, addressing both positive and negative reviews. This is an important step because:

  • Local businesses that are more active in responding to customer reviews make more money, on average. This may be because an engaged business comes across as more credible and responsive to customer needs, making people more likely to trust them and spend money with them.
  • Responding directly to negative reviews lets customers know you're listening, and you care about them having a positive experience.
  • Positive and frequent reviews are vital for your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) rankings.

Be proactive about asking your customers for reviews after they've made a purchase or used your service. This will help ensure that you get a sufficient number of positive reviews since people who have bad experiences are more emotionally motivated to submit negative reviews on their own.

Solicit customer testimonials for use on your website.

Consumers trust unbiased recommendations from their peers far more than advertisements from brands. They value genuine praise from other satisfied customers far more than marketing copy generated by agencies or big corporations.

Use customer testimonials to build trust and loyalty with your existing clients while showing prospective new customers how valuable your products or services are to others. This can be an extremely influential part of the decision-making process when customers are trying to decide who to give their money and business to. Use these steps:

  • Reach out to your top customers, asking if they'd be willing to write an honest review and let you publish it on your website.
  • Be sure to include a color photograph of your customer beside the text along with their name and a date.
  • Add fresh testimonials regularly. This is important because 85% of consumers think that online reviews older than three months aren't relevant. Additionally, updating your website with new content consistently may help with your SEO rankings because Google tends to like "freshness."
  • Every time a customer thanks you for a good experience remember to ask, "Can we feature your kind words on our website?"
  • When appropriate, publish these well-written, honest reviews on your social media accounts to establish your brand's authenticity and continue making valuable connections with new customers.

Satisfied customer testimonials can make great topics for blog posts, also important for boosting your SEO. Quote the testimonial, and then tell an interesting, upbeat story about how you went about addressing your client's needs or solving a problem.

If your marketing budget allows, consider using video customer testimonials. They provide you with a range of creative ways to reach new prospects who can connect with your current satisfied customers in a powerful, more personal way.


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