Word of mouth is the best type of promotion. It is the endorsement given by someone who uses your products and gladly recommends them to their family and friends. In terms of trustworthiness, you cannot go higher than that. So, how do you get this word-of-mouth promotion, where do you search for it and encourage it?
Your customers are the source of word-of-mouth recommendations, and these are called testimonials. Testimonials have been around for years and were notoriously abused by one-page sale websites. In truth, many people still doubt testimonials posted on websites. After all, anyone could write them, including the website owners.
This is why companies need to become more creative in requesting and posting testimonials if they want to get the maximum benefits from them. There are many ways in which you can give voice to your happy customers, but these are the simplest and most effective.
- Allow Reviews on Your Facebook™ Page
Social media reviews are highly trusted because you can see who left them and check their profile to know if they are a genuine person. Facebook™ reviews allow users to rate the company a number of stars (from 1 to 5) and to write down their experience of doing business with them.
The good thing about Facebook™ reviews is that you can embed them on your website. Thus, new visitors on your site can see selected reviews with the most positive description. There is also a WordPress plugin which posts these reviews on your website in real time, but the downside to it is that negative reviews will be also featured.
- Embed Short Surveys on Your Website
This type of pop-up review usually appears after people took an action on your website: purchased a product, tested a demo version of your services, etc. In order to make it effective, the pop-up review should be short, to the point, and ask for minimal personal data.
While this is not a testimonial per se, you can share the ratings posted by your customers and visitors in real time on your website, indicating that it is user friendly and offers a great browsing experience.
- Feedback Emails/Boxes
Started by large companies as a way to check customer satisfaction directly after interacting with the customer support team, feedback requests became widespread to all the industries. A feedback box usually appears at the end of an online purchase process and the customer is asked to rate their shopping experience.
Even more effective than this is the feedback email sent after you have the confirmation that your customer received the products. In this way, the feedback will be more in-depth, containing not only the opinion on the shopping and delivery process, but also the first impressions of the product itself.
- Surveys and Polls
Online surveys and polls are a great way of learning more about your customers’ preferences and expectations from your business, but it can also prove a magnet for collecting testimonials. This can be done in various ways:
- Asking people how likely they are to recommend your business to their friends
- Asking them to share their opinion of your business
- Asking them how likely they are to repeat the purchase from you.
- YouTube Video Reviews
Perhaps the strongest and most believable form of testimonials is when your customers post videos showing how they unbox their products and use them. These product reviews are extremely popular among viewers and they have become even more reliable than official product videos and descriptions. All you need to do is encourage your customers to share their unboxing experience. To make the deal ever sweeter, offer a prize for the most creative or popular review.
Last, but not least, remember that you have to respond to negative reviews, as well as to positive ones. The way you deal with unhappy customers represents a strong indication for new ones of what they can expect from your business.