Trust is hard thing for a brand to earn. The main problem is that customers gain trust of a brand through experience with that brand. After all, think about the brands that you trust most in your own life. Whether it is your go-to restaurant, your signature perfume, or your favorite make of car, the reason that you trust these brands is likely because you’ve engaged with the brand enough times to understand what it is all about. You’re comfortable making a purchase from these brands because you know you will be satisfied with what you get for the money that you spend.
The key challenge for brands is, therefore, figuring out how to build trust with customers who don’t have this kind of knowledge of or experience with the brand. That’s where testimonials and reviews come into play. Testimonials and reviews are a key kind of “social proof,” demonstrating that third parties think your brand is trustworthy. “People frequently consult online reviews before making a purchase, so offering some from your own customers—even if not all of them are perfect—is a good way to show that your brand is worth doing business with.” Steve Olenski explains in Forbes.
Testimonials and reviews can serve as a powerful form of validation, helping to develop customer trust even before a customer has made a purchase. Wondering what testimonials and reviews mean for your businesses success? From improved profits to enhanced brand visibility, the benefits of leverage the power of testimonials and reviews to build trust are numerous. Let’s take a look.
Good reviews and testimonials can drive purchases. Research shows that 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site that has customer testimonials and reviews (to clarify, a customer review tends to be an overview of the pros and cons of a particular product or service you over, while a testimonial tends to be a more long-form piece covering a customer’s experience with your brand). Furthermore, sites with over 50 reviews tend to see an average increase in conversion rates of between 4 and 5 percent when compared to sites that don’t have reviews. This all adds up to more sales.
That’s probably because customers trust reviews, and when they read good reviews of your brand, they will, by extension, trust your brand and feel more assured that they’re spending their money on something high quality and worthwhile. Research as shown that 4 out of 5 consumers trust reviews as much as they would trust a recommendation from a friend of family member. And when compared to product descriptions written by manufacturers, consumers trust reviews a whopping twelve times more. The takeaway here is that by making customers more likely to buy from you, reviews and testimonials can help you to drive sales, which in turn boost your bottom line.
Reviews and testimonials can improve your online visibility. Reviews and testimonials can essentially be a great form of free advertising. When they accrue on third-party sites like Facebook or Yelp, it can be an excellent way to enhance your brand’s overall visibility, which can in turn drive traffic and boost sales. After all, if buyers go looking for the best women’s clothing store or beautiful luxury linens and they find your brand because of a review on one of these sites, you’ll have just gained another customer at a pretty low cost. That’s a win-win.
Accruing reviews and testimonials can drive up your rankings in SERPs. Reviews can also help to improve your ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs), which not only drives more traffic to your site but can also help you to seem more reputable. “Enabling customer reviews on your site can have a positive effect on your company’s organic search rankings in search engines. For starters, each new review written about a product on your site increases the amount of unique content your site offers on that product, meaning you’ll be seen as having higher authority, more relevance, and, as such, a higher chance of getting those pages ranked,” Jason DeMers says. The link between reviews, testimonials, and SEO strategy is an important one, and it’s well worth investing time and resources into making sure your customers are leaving reviews.
Good testimonials and reviews can help brands to weather any storms. Good testimonials and reviews are good for your reputation. And ultimately, good reviews and testimonials can help you to build up a sterling reputation in the long-term, which can serve as a bulwark against any negative attention or criticisms should your brand face any kind of damaging crisis. “A business’s success is heavily influenced by customer reactions and reviews,” Aj Agrawal explained in Forbes. “An improved overall reputation aids a company’s recovery during periods of distress from controversy, and noting positive consumer experiences is one way to do that.”
Constructive feedback in reviews and testimonials can help you to improve your business. Reviews and testimonials aren’t just about showing the world how great your business is. They can also help provide you with valuable feedback that can help you to improve your business, its processes, and its products and services. Whether it’s a customer service complaint or an issue about a product not coming when it was advertised, reviews are full of valuable points of feedback. If you pay attention to them and respond to them, you will improve your business.
In conclusion, if you aren’t already doing so, you should actively be looking into ways to accrue good reviews and testimonials of your products and services and actively display them on your website. Believe it or not, even bad reviews can be good for business. Of course, you don’t want too many negative reviews and, ideally, the majority of your reviews and testimonials should be largely positive. But if each and every one of your reviews is overwhelmingly positive, it will sound fake to consumers—and ring alarm bells.
Luckily, bringing in reviews and testimonials isn’t too difficult. “You don’t need any special training to encourage positive online reviews; in fact, getting things started is easy,” DeMers insists. “All you’ll need to begin is a review function on your site, microformatted for Google’s web crawlers (if you don’t already have one), and a claimed presence on as many local review sites as possible. From there, it’s up to you to encourage reviews however you can.” If you aren’t getting reviews and testimonials in, start asking your customers. A small incentive or even a simple request can go a long way.
Need help with your overall marketing strategy or with tactics that will help build a strong brand presence? Contact the team at 10twelve today!