Customers have so many options today that they rely on trust more than ever before. You have the world at your fingertips with a smartphone. I can check the reviews on a local plumber in seconds and make a decision on whether or not to give them a call.
Bad reviews or testimonials will turn me off quickly and cost the company a sale.
Trust is everything, especially in a service-based business. An issue that many new business owners have is trying to get those initial customer testimonials to display for their business. You need to make testimonials stick out, but you can never use fake testimonials or reviews.
You need to get these testimonials and reviews naturally.
People almost always expect some negative points. People tend to complain more than they praise, but when you post a testimonial, you can be discerning on which ones you plan to post.
LinkedIn is where you go when you want professional testimonials. You can find a lot of regular people on the site, and you can use LinkedIn to connect to businesses, too. for you and your business is great.
This is a recommendation that works best for individuals.
But let's go a step further than just seeking recommendations for yourself. Perhaps you have 10 employees under you. These individuals should all have a LinkedIn profile that you can leverage to get recommendations on LinkedIn.
When a good recommendation comes along, don't be afraid to ask to use it.
A simple message you can send (feel free to edit it):
"Thank you for using our service. Your kind words are exactly what we want every customer we have to say about us. We appreciate you as a customer, and would like to use your recommendation as a testimonial on our website.
Don't worry, we will not divulge any personal or identifying information.
We will use your first name and last name initial. Please let us know your thoughts."
If you don't have a Facebook page already, you need to make one for your business right now. You can setup a local business page fast, and then you can encourage your customers to leave reviews. There should never be any money exchanged for these reviews.
They send an email to their customers after a service is complete, linking them to a page where they can review or rate the business. I have seen this done with multiple platforms, from Google+ to Yelp and everything in between.
If someone writes a great review, ask them if you can use their comment as a testimonial.
Most customers, if they're happy with the service you offer, will be more than willing to allow you to use their review as a testimonial.
Video reviews are extremely powerful. When a lead can correlate a review to a living, breathing person, something clicks that makes them gain trust in your business. You'll need to have a few things handy if you plan on getting reviews to put on YouTube and potentially on your website:
Video testimonials take some time and patience, so you want to make sure you have everything ready to go. Since the videographer is likely to charge in hourly blocks, schedule all of your clients to come in during a certain time-frame to make sure that you don't have to call the videographer out to the location again and spend more money.
Once you have these reviews and testimonials, use them to build trust and increase your brand's identity.