Understand the importance of customer feedback and how to get customers to leave reviews for your growing business.
As many businesses know, when your customers rave about your products and services, it means the world. Getting glowing customer feedback indicates that you’re doing something right. But are you doing all you can to make the most of that customer feedback?
When customers sing your praises online via social media or on your website, it’s also known as social proof. The psychology behind using it to successfully increase sales goes something like this: when our peers share that they are happy with a product, we’re more likely to buy it, too.
"Social proof is a powerful tool. We rely on people like us to recommend products because we are more likely to trust the common man than an advertisement," says Ann Smarty, founder of ViralContentBee, in this article on the science behind social proof.
This type of social proof helps you with your online reputation management. Once you have it, what are some of the best ways to plug social proof into your marketing efforts to promote your business? How do you leverage positive customer reviews to bring in more satisfied customers? The following tips will help you understand how to use customer feedback to your benefit.
How to Use Online Reviews to Propel Your Business
Here are 9 ways you can use customer feedback to help promote your business:
1. Display Positive Customer Reviews On Your Site
Amazon is a master of this technique. The company encourages customer feedback and reviews and displays them on the product pages. This drives more sales. Customer reviews can also be featured on a testimonial page or sidebar on your site.
2. Post Customer Feedback on Social Media
Is a customer raving about your product or service? Turn it into a social media post. There are various ways of doing this, such as creating an image with a customer quote. It can be kept anonymous—you don’t have to attribute it unless you want to and have received permission to include the name of the company or person who provided the feedback.
3. Feature Customer Testimonials in Your Newsletter
If you publish a newsletter, consider featuring a customer testimonial from time to time. It doesn’t have to be a case study. It can simply be a quote singing the praises of your product or service
4. Include Feedback from Satisfied Customers in Email Campaigns
If you conduct email campaigns, factoring in a quote or two from happy customers can only help draw new sales your way.
5. Develop a Case Study
If you get a particularly glowing review from a big customer, you might consider turning it into a case study you can display on your site. With their permission, interview the customer about how they’re using your product or service and what it’s done for them. Ask them what results they’ve been able to realize.
6. Post Photos of Customers Using or Wearing Your Products
If you sell a product that customers can photograph themselves using or wearing, ask them to post the photos. Get permission from them to share the photos on your site and social media. If you have a brick-and-mortar business, you can also display some of the photos as social proof.
7. Highlight Earned Media Articles
If you’ve earned any media coverage, those can also be used as social proof. For example, in the case of restaurants, if you’ve received a positive review by a publication, you can frame that and hang it in the entryway of your brick-and-mortar location so customers can read it while they’re waiting for a table or takeout food. Of course, you should also post it on your site and feature it on your social media channels if you have them.
8. Feature Experts Who Use and Love Your Product or Service
If you have an expert in the field—also known as an influencer in some cases—who loves your products or services and raves about them online, be sure to showcase that on your site and in social media posts. If you have a physical location, you can also print it out and hang it up for all to see. People may be more likely to buy when a credible expert in the field endorses your offering.
9. Mention Certifications or Awards
Certifications or awards can also serve as forms of social proof. You’ll want to feature these on your site and perhaps post about them on social media and include them in your newsletter, as well.
How to Get Customers to Leave Reviews
Here are a few tips to help you gather social proof:
- Make it easy for customers to review your products and services. Use multiple customer feedback methods. To encourage feedback, provide a form on your site. Include a way to leave a review right there on the product page, as Amazon does.
- Consider offering a reward in exchange for a review. For example, offer a free month of service.
- Video reviews can be powerful. There are simple programs customers can use to make a quick video about what they thought of your product.
- Keep it authentic. Don’t feel the need to sanitize customer reviews. People like to hear from real humans who are fans of your offering.