There’s no better lead generation tool for your business than positive word-of-mouth feedback. At first glance, it may appear that there’s little in your control when it comes to what customers say about your products and services. However, there’s actually a lot you can do to facilitate and share positive feedback. In this article, we’ll discuss why customer testimonials are important, how you can obtain them, and how you can use them to generate leads.
Why Bother with Customer Testimonials?
Consumers are much more inclined to believe feedback from other customers than from a business itself. A recent study found that 79% of consumers trust online feedback as much as personal recommendations, and 73% of consumers are influenced by customer feedback when it comes to trusting a business. Anything you can do to facilitate testimonials and use them in your marketing will help generate new leads.
How Do You Obtain Testimonials?
Customer testimonials can come from both unsolicited and solicited sources:
- Unsolicited sources include social media comments, emails or calls from customers, and quotes from online reviews
- Solicited sources include customer surveys, testimonial contests, case studies, and in-store comment boxes (the original, analog way of obtaining customer feedback)
Soliciting feedback can happen in your store, in emails you send to customers, on your social media channels, or as part of the checkout process. Think about what makes sense for your customers and the type of feedback you want to obtain before putting a plan into action.
How Can You Use Testimonials to Generate Leads?
Once you’ve gotten positive customer feedback, what should you do with it? Share it! Consumers are much more likely to become leads if they hear that other people have had great experiences with your business.
A few ideas for sharing testimonials include:
- Featuring customer quotes on social media
- Incorporating testimonials in your marketing emails
- Using feedback in your print or online advertising (with permission, of course)
- Including a quote carousel or testimonial section on your company’s website
- Posting customer quotes in your store on a quote board or wall
Once you start getting a regular flow of customer feedback, be sure that you have communication channels in place to share it with prospective leads.
The Bottom Line
Testimonials, whether from close friends or strangers online, are a powerful lead generation tool for small businesses. If you’re not already using testimonials to get new customers in the door, make sure you incorporate this into your business marketing efforts for 2014.