Believe Word of Mouth is Your Best Marketing? Here are 5 Ways to Get Customer Testimonials and Use Them to Grow Your Small Business
It is one thing to have satisfied customers and it’s another to have enthusiastic brand advocates generating word of mouth referrals for your small business. Here’s how to make it as easy as possible for your customers to talk about what they love most about your small business and five ways to use customer testimonials to grow your business.
Many small business owners claim – and believe – that word of mouth marketing referrals are their best source of new customers.
In most cases, personal recommendations from co-workers, friends and family carry more weight than other forms of marketing. Yet few small business owners have put together a word of mouth marketing strategy designed to gather and harness the power of customer testimonials to grow their business.
Without a word of mouth marketing strategy in place, small business owners can do little more than wait and hope that their most loyal and satisfied customers will be compelled to recommend their business to friends and family, online and off.
Make it easier for your customers to recommend your small business to other members of your target markets by making collection of customer testimonials a routine part of how you do business, and then leveraging those testimonials strategically to grow your business.
To get more customer testimonials and product or service reviews, ask for (exactly) what you want!
Make it easier for customers to tell you what they love about your business by asking specific questions about their experience with your business or your products and services instead of asking open-ended questions or using blank comment cards. Such as:
- What problem, want or need led you to our business?
- How long was it a problem, and how did it affect you?
- What results do our products or services provide for you? (I.e., how do we solve your problem?)
- What (one, two or three) things do you like most about our product or service?
- What do you like most about doing business with us?
- If recommending this product or service (or our business) to a friend, what benefits would you point out to them?
Once you have customer testimonials, here are five ways to use them to grow your business.
Get the Word (of Mouth) Marketing Out!
5 Places to Use Customer Testimonials
1. On your website, alongside product or service descriptions.
Use call outs (usually a graphic element where a small portion of text is larger, in a bold color/font, etc. in order to draw the eye of the reader/viewer) on your web site, menu or in other print or digital marketing where your products or services are described with customer testimonials showing how they have improved the lives of real people.
2. On social networks, in status updates.
Using testimonials on your social networks takes word of mouth referrals to a new level. Instead of one customer talking to one friend at a time, your customer’s testimonial could quickly reach hundreds or even thousands of your followers. What’s more, most people would be honored that you have recognized them in this way and would add this publicity to their own status updates as well.
3. On your website or blog in the form of a case study.
It’s easy to see how you can take a series of questions like those above and use customer answers to create case studies that you could use on your web site or blog.Writing a story around a customer quote, testimonial or survey feedback can be a great way to generate content on an on-going basis. Plus, this is exactly the type of content that lets a prospective buyer see themselves in the story, when you write about resolving a customer want or need.
If you can manage to use a customer testimonial or quote in an article that you write as a guest post on another web site or microblog (such as LinkedIn), that might be even more powerful as readers may perceive as a third party endorsement.
4. In email marketing.
Add customer testimonials and quotes to email newsletters, include them on digital coupons, and feature them as part of the special offers you extend to subscribers.
5. In press releases.
Leverage customer testimonials or short quotes in press releases. In addition to publishing them via paid, media-distributed press release services such as 24-7PressRelease or eReleases, you can also post copies straight to your own website or blog, send them to customers as email updates, publish them on social networks, submit them to trade publications and organizations, and send a copy to members of media as well.
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