Digital media has changed relationships between companies and consumers in both positive and negative ways. Customers now have a bigger voice in supporting or questioning a company’s products and services—as well as its social, economic, and environmental contributions. On the other hand, digital media has also made it easier for consumers to be lied to or tricked by dishonest marketers and “fake news” sources. It’s harder for companies to gain their customers’ trust and keep it.
One solution is customer testimonials. Hearing about positive experiences from current customers makes it easier for new customers to buy your goods or services. Third-party review sites encourage customers to share their experiences, bad or good, with others. And while some consumers may take that opportunity to complain, the happy customers will stick up for you.
If you’re not already utilizing customer testimonials, either on your website or through a third party like Yelp or Google, here are some reasons to start now:
Consumers are more educated. Prior to the popularity of e-commerce and social media, most customers would go to a salesperson for information about a product or company. But now consumers have a wealth of information from online reviews and testimonials. They don’t have to go to a salesperson, and frequently don’t trust anonymous testimonials.
You want consumers to know both the good and bad about your organization. A company with many reviews (both positive and negative) will be seen as more trustworthy than a company with no reviews. Encourage customers to review your site after purchase via email marketing or social media. And if you see a bad review, respond to it by providing a way for you and the customer to fix the issue.
You can use testimonials in case studies. Case studies are a powerful marketing tool, especially in B2B marketing. The best way to show consumers what your company can provide is through a detailed case study of a previous customer’s experience. While you should use facts and data to advocate for your company, a testimonial will provide the human element that customers are looking for.
Experiences are more important than products. Studies show consumers are now more likely to purchase service-based products rather than physical products. If you sell a physical product, you must also sell your customer on the follow-up service or additional benefits, or else they may opt to save their money for an experience-based purchase.
Many product-based startups are shaking the competition by providing excellent customer service and testimonials. For example, the Dollar Shave Club (a subscription-based razor brand), is challenging competitors with its fast and convenient delivery model. Customers rave about the Club, not because of their superior product, but because they provide personalized customer service with it.
The power of customer testimonials shouldn’t be underestimated in your digital marketing strategy. Learn how to get more reviews, and use them in your digital marketing campaigns here.