Can I Get a Witness? Customer Testimonials And Reviews


Can-I-get-a-witness-customer-testimonials-and-reviewsHere’s a quick quiz: What’s the best kind of advertising you can possibly get? The answer is easy, right? Everybody with a drop of marketing blood in his or her veins knows that word-of -mouth advertising is the Holy Grail of the marketing world.

It’s one thing to know that, however, and something quite different to be able to tap into those amazing endorsements. What’s it like in your business? Can you get a witness? How can you get customers to talk about your goods and services?

Actually, that’s a big part of what social media is all about. People talk about things they like (and dislike) to their friends (and anyone else who will listen) all the time. Chances are very good that your customers are already talking about their experiences with you. Do you know what they’re saying?

A recent Techcrunch post talked about how Google now offers business owners a single online source to track and read all of their customers’ testimonials and reviews. You can check out that information here.

While it’s great to be able to see what people are saying about you online, what do you do if the reviews and testimonials are less than glowing?

First of all, don’t panic. Less-than-stellar reviews aren’t the end of the world. And they can actually work in your favor. I’m not talking about burying your head in the sand and ignoring bad news. But here are a couple of ways in which reviews that are not so hot can actually help you.

Sometimes customers can reveal problems with your goods or services that you weren’t even aware of. If they have a legitimate beef, thank them for that and apologize out in the open. Then ask if you can contact them privately to dig deeper into the problem and take it off-line. There are two positives here. One is that you’ll get unvarnished feedback that can help you do a better job at meeting peoples’ needs. The other is that the other people viewing this conversation will see your integrity (which is huge) and that you’re serious about customer care. Those are things that resonate with customers much more than phony glowing testimonials.

There’s another area where sub-par reviews can actually help you. Let’s face it: Some people will never give you a perfect score. They may rank you “3-out-of-5-stars”—but in their comments they rave about your product. Or they may like some aspects of your product and be disappointed in another aspect. But if the things they like (and rave about) are what someone else thinks are most important, that actually works in your favor.

The other positive thing about less-than-perfect reviews and comments is that they make you more believable. Sure, it would be nice if all your customers were completely enthralled with their experience with you. But life doesn’t work that way—and people know it. Why pretend? Transparency is a huge component of social media.

Sometimes, however, you get feedback that’s just plain negative. It happens. Sometimes people don’t want a solution: they just want to complain. Here’s some information that can help you deal with comments that are simply negative.

Can you get a witness? Sure! You may already have people “testifying” on your behalf. And even if they don’t say exactly what you want them to say, it can work to your advantage.

Inbound Marketing 101