Leveraging Reviews and Testimonials for Your Business

Reviews and testimonies from your existing clients are extremely important for your business. People can write reviews for you whether you are selling products and/or services. The testimonials and reviews are solid evidence that you not only have those products and/or services to offer but that they are effective and valuable as well. Of course, it is important for you to understand that you are the only person who cannot write a review or a testimony for your business. Simply, they would hold no credibility coming from you.

Listening to what other people have to say
If you are anything like most people who have the intention to buy something from someone else, you will check to see what other people have experienced and how they feel about that experience before you even consider buying from a particular business.

If a large percentage of the reviews or testimonials are negative, you probably will look for another business that is selling the same products and/or services. If that second (or third or fourth) business has more positive reviews and testimonials, you will probably choose to buy from that business. That is just common sense. Why would you want to buy something that is inferior and doesn’t work the way that it is supposed to work? With the level of competition out there, as a business owner (or as a representative of that business), you need to offer only excellent products and/or services. Otherwise, you will be finished before you even get started.

There are two possible mistakes that a person can make when he or she is considering buying something. The first one was just discussed. The second one is if that person doesn’t look for any reviews or testimonies at all.

Every business needs reviews and testimonials
When it comes to reviews and testimonials, it isn’t a matter of their being something nice to have. They really are a necessary part of your business. There is often no other way to get the idea across to a large number of people that what you are offering is something of value and something that other people should pay attention to because it (they) will benefit them and their business. It is really that simple.

In fact, it isn’t even enough to simply gather reviews and testimonies. You need to share them on your social networks, through Email, etc., so that other people become aware of just how much you can do for them. You may not realize exactly how powerful positive reviews and testimonials are for your business. If you don’t have any yet, it is definitely time to start collecting them. Once you have been able to do that, the next thing that you will need to do is to make sure that people in your online social circles are able to access them as well. At this point, you may be wondering exactly how you are going to achieve that.

Organization: You may have gathered positive reviews and testimonies but they may be currently living in a repository, without being organized in any way. Keeping on top of everything that other people are writing about your brand and your business is critical to your leveraging those reviews and testimonies fully. The first thing that you will want to do is to come up with a way to combine those reviews and testimonies with the rest of your content marketing strategy. If you do that, they will be at your fingertips to be able to use at will. That will allow you to take the greatest advantage of what you have and the chances are very good that it will propagate more reviews and testimonials of similar nature.

Respond: In truth, you will probably get mostly positive reviews and (definitely) positive testimonials. However, mixed in with the positive reviews are probably a small number of negative ones as well. It is very important that you understand how to deal with those negative reviews constructively and effectively. In fact, it is probably safe to assume that you will learn more from the negative than the positive reviews and that the negative reviews are the ones that will allow you to tweak your business approach so that it causes positive results.

Pay attention to the metrics/analytics: This is really important for your business. If you don’t pay any attention to the analytics, how are you going to understand what is working and what is not working? It is easy to gather the analytics because there are programs that actually do it for you and they have been proven to be extremely effective. The analytics will show you where you need to make adjustments (or abandon certain practices entirely). It is very important for you to keep your finger on the pulse of your business at all times.

Use reviews and testimonials to increase your brand’s exposure: Most likely, your business, just like most businesses, is a word-of-mouth business. If that is the case, reviews and testimonials from other people will fortify what you are offering. Those reviews and testimonials will increase your visibility, give you added credibility, and boost your professional reputation, not to mention giving you invaluable added brand exposure.
Reviews and testimonials are critical to your brand’s success. The consumer may be willing to do extensive research on the types of products and/or services that you are offering but it is a shortcut for that consumer to be able to read the opinions of another person who has already had the experience.

If you feel that you have not been able to gather enough reviews and testimonials so far, ask for them. In general, people will be more than willing to help you out. In fact, it is a part of the solid, enduring relationship that you are building with the other person. Reviews and testimonials are the only way that another person will decide whether to hire you (or buy something that you are selling) or hire someone else. They certainly will not believe you when you say that your brand is the best, at least, not if you have not been able to prove it yet!

Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies.

His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.

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