Reviews-Testimonials-Recommendations: What are the Differences?
When consumers research products or services, it's undeniable that reviews, testimonials, and recommendations play an influential factor. Yet, what are the differences between these three?
Reviews versus Testimonials versus Recommendations
There are subtle differences between reviews, testimonials, and recommendations. Third-party tools (Yelp, Google, Facebook, etc.) collect reviews. However, testimonials are usually collected by a business itself. Meanwhile, recommendations are requested and received among those who are either acquainted or are members of a shared community. Usually, the one recommending is considered the expert or one experienced on a certain topic or area.
Why Reviews and Testimonials Influence Consumer Purchasing Decisions
Reviews and testimonials work in the following ways to assist prospective consumers in choosing your business over others:
Reviews = What
Reviews powerfully show what others say regarding your business. Positive or negative, customer experiences trigger reviews. As they're third-party managed, reviews are unbiased and seen as an indicator of the buying experience.
Testimonials = Who
Testimonials and recommendations are frequently solicited, so a positive experience is anticipated. Testimonials are all about who says it, not what is being said.
When a renowned personality relates an overwhelmingly positive experience, the customer is impressed and wants to buy the product or service, too.
Recommendations = Why
Recommendations are solicited from customers who, though not celebrities, reflect your ideal consumers who have found great benefits from your product or service.
Nowadays, recommendations are common on Facebook, including Facebook groups featuring cities and other locales. There, members give and ask for recommendations.
Acquiring Great Reviews
As reviews are based on your product or service's "What" and how customers experience it, the chief method for your customers to leave positive reviews is through your abundant delivery. Though you can request reviews from your customers, giving them incentives for their feedback and reviews, the best way for acquiring top reviews is to give them a superior customer experience.
Focus on comprehending what your customers would value as a great customer experience. It may be your product, service, or delivery. Or your quick or accurate service. Determine what it is and commit to it.
Is your business a restaurant that is popular for its menu, atmosphere, or workers? If you provide services, good reviews will likely be based on who you are to your customers.
Should your concentration be more on service or product quality, it will be more difficult to acquire good reviews. Rather, target the various ways your client or customer can be put at the center of all you do, how it's done, and how you interact about it with them.
One method to glean reviews is to simply ask for them. But instead of pushing and instructing patrons to review your business, there are more favorable options for getting reviews. Foremost is to deliver such an exceptional experience so that enthused customers become excited to refer and recommend your business. For customers unfamiliar with leaving online reviews, leave feedback cards that instruct them how to do so.
Acquiring Effective Testimonials
Knowing testimonials are inclined to be solicited instead of automatic, we have to notice who's giving the testimonial. Is it someone like you who is the customer? Is the testimonial from a personality you respect?
Businesses usually receive testimonials after their customer's purchase, but it doesn't need to be so.
Should your product or service have a buying process that takes longer, customer testimonials can be collected at various parts of the process. For technical or industrial businesses, there might be collections of multiple testimonials, such as consulting, pilot, and delivery phases.
After a sales request, soliciting a customer's testimonial is the next feared step in a sales process. For businesses sharing this sentiment, this is an indicator their priority is more heavily on business than customer experience.
To acquire testimonials, businesses must have the structure in place to request and gather testimonials. Keep a record of consumers who've received outstanding experiences with your business. Add the giving of testimonials to the sales process. Contact those satisfied customers and arrange to get a testimonial from them. How testimonials help your marketing strategy depends on who gives the testimonial. Seek consumers with a community impact who are excited about your business. Focus on these customers who lack your skills while prizing those you have, as they will be eager to tell others about their great business experience. By requesting video testimonials, which can be posted on Facebook, Yelp, or any other review website, you can bring fun to the testimonial experience.
Acquiring Powerful Recommendations
Similar to reviews, recommendations derive from a superior customer experience. However, recommendations are requested by potential consumers needing solutions.
As a result, you must provide your customers with a good cause to recommend your business. What you provide must be something distinct and remarkable that will earn your recommendation.
For quality reviews and testimonials, focus on the consumer rather than on your product or service. Pay attention to your customer's frustration and what your business can do to alleviate this.
Remember that each customer has the potential to influence through recommendations. If you take the time to give them an outstanding customer experience, they, in turn, will compensate you with their referrals.
Having a referral system in place encourages business reviews and testimonials. Besides encouraging a good relationship between you and your customers, it allows them to recommend your product or service to their connections while simultaneously reaping incentives for their referrals.
Combining All Three in Your Marketing Strategy
Reviews: Incorporate your positive reviews from the popular review sites into your website. Display the screenshots of 4 and 5-star ratings on your site. Give incentives and recognition to those who have left positive reviews. Respond to negative reviews and feedback to improve your business, posting this in your email campaign or social media. Give an incentive to the customer who pointed out where your business needed improvement.
Testimonials: Share the testimonials and stories of your satisfied customers, with photos, in your marketing outreach and through your website and social media.
Recommendations: Upon creating a VIP group for clients or customers, invite them to enroll. This group can help in your development of additional products or services. This, in turn, will encourage yet more customers. Place these testimonials and recommendations in your Facebook ads, too.
Knowledge of these differences between reviews, testimonials, and recommendations will bring more out of your marketing efforts. Putting these into practice will draw your ideal customers to your business, all with no additional cost taken from your marketing budget.
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