Customer testimonials and customer reviews are like sisters. They have a lot in common, but they're very different at the same time. Online businesses lean toward customer testimonials while brick and mortar businesses lean toward customer reviews. But guess what? Both kinds of customer feedback are important to both kinds of businesses.
It's important that when potential clients or customers visit a website, they can see social proof from other people who have had good experiences with the business. This makes raving testimonials extremely valuable for a business. This is true for both online and brick and mortar businesses.
If you don't have testimonials on your website, it's time to get busy and get some. It's not always easy to ask a client for a testimonial so we approach it as feedback instead. We have different feedback questionnaires for different services that Type B offers so that we can ask project specific questions. To give you an idea of what questions to ask, here are examples of questions that we ask design clients after we've launched their brand new website:
- What do you think of your final website design?
- What did you like best about working with Type B?
- What is the most important thing people should know about working with Type B?
- Is there anything you'd like to add?
We could make the questionnaire more in-depth, but clients are more inclined to take the time to respond when it's super short and these questions do the job. You might find others work best for you. The questions listed above are for a client who is getting their first website. We have different questions for website re-design clients, search engine optimization clients, and website maintenance clients. After we receive a client's responses, we can easily pull a testimonial out of their answers. Super easy!
Customer reviews are a different beast. Online businesses rarely ask for reviews but brick and mortar businesses often get reviews without even asking. Customers can write reviews on many different sites, such as Google+, Facebook, Yelp, Yahoo Local and MerchantCircle, to name just a few. Some review sites are more popular for specific industries, like Zomato, Angie's List or TripAdvisor.
When it comes to search engine optimization, Google gives a little credit to all of these sites. It's important to have customer reviews spread out between multiple platforms. However, Google gives the most credit to reviews on Google+. Unfortunately, Google+ is often one of the least popular networks for customers to leave reviews on. Keep at it though. You want at least a few Google+ reviews to increase your local ranking, better yet, have more than your competitors, whatever number that is.
If you don't request online reviews from your clients or customers, now's the time.
For some small business owners who work with clients one-on-one, like personal trainers or massage therapists, it's often easy to just ask your clients to give you a review online. They're usually glad to do it for you. You can also include links to your favorite review sites in your emails and on your website. Then it's much easier to encourage customers to click a link on your website to write a short review. Make it super easy for clients to give you an online review!
So, if you don't have both customer testimonials and customer reviews, you have some work to do. Keep in mind that a good review strategy doesn't happen over night. It takes some time and effort to get reviews where you want them, but you'll be so glad you made reviews a priority.
Have any questions we can answer for you? Leave a comment below and we'll be sure to reply!