Reviews and testimonials are the ultimate way to offer would-be customers proof that your business is trustworthy and your products/services do actually provide the right results.
They are now even more important with Google Maps/Places and Yelp making customers reviews a key element for ranking well for local search.
How do you go about getting reviews and testimonials from your customers? Apart from calling every customer on your books, John Jantsch from the Duct Tape Marketing blog has outlined 5 ways to streamline the process:
1. Do the reference track
I stumbled onto this idea quite by accident, but it’s very effective. Every now and then a prospect would ask me for several references. I would provide a list of 3-4 happy customers and that was that. If a prospect reached out to these customers, most often they would copy me on their response. The amazing thing is that because they were basically telling someone else why they should hire me, it turns out these were the best testimonials I ever received.
2. Repurpose testimonials
When you get that unsolicited testimonial, no matter where it comes from, make sure you are using it in several ways. If a happy customer writes a review on Yelp, post that review on your website, in your store and in next month’s newsletter. If a customer sends you a raving review by way of letter, phone them up and ask if they would provide that review for your Google Places page too.
3. Teach the review process
Since online reviews are so important these days make sure that all of your sales folk know how to show customers how and where they might post reviews. Create a page that walks people through the process of creating a Yelp or CitySearch account.
4. Give reviews
Of course I’m going to suggest this one, give to get works here too. By making reviews, recommending your network on LinkedIn, and reaching out to companies you do business you start one powerful part of the review and testimonial foundation. It’s always a great way to show how you value the process and in turn benefit from the occasional authentic reciprocation.
5. Hold a review party
Invite your customers to a nice appreciation event, serve up some wine and then ask them if they would like to record a video testimonial or review with the camera crew you’ve hired for the night. People love to get on camera and you can further incentivize them by offering up a 5 minute video where they can talk about their business. This video content will be gold for your website and you’ll provide a great service by helping them create something for their site.
I love tip number five although I can see it being expensive and almost impossible if you have customers all over the country or even internationally. The most important thing to remember is that although it might be take an ongoing effort from you, reviews and testimonials on your site and local search listings are definitely going to help in the long run.
Do you have any other suggestions for getting customer reviews? If so we would love to hear them, feel free to share below.