Leveraging Reviews To Market a Service Company
Tips For Using Reviews and Testimonials to Supercharge Your Marketing and Advertising.
Get more clicks and more calls!
We-We Marketing vs. Trust Marketing
“We-We Marketing” means simply talking about yourself in your marketing and advertising. “We are the best. We are the fastest. We are the cheapest…” What you say about your company matters very little these days. It’s what your customers have to say that matters the most to shoppers. The single biggest factor in obtaining – and retaining – a new customer is trust. Who are you going to trust – the company that says “We’re great!” Or the company whose customers say they are great. “Trust Marketing” is the concept of using customer reviews and testimonials to sell your company’s services.
Break Down the Trust Barrier
The Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) is the time between when a shopper is stimulated to shop for your services, and the moment that they contact your company. You may have some control over stimulus depending on what you are marketing, and you certainly have control once the shopper contacts you – that’s when you need to start being remarkable! But what about that time span in between when shoppers are online looking for and researching their options? Do you have any control over that process? Sure you do! You can start breaking down the trust barrier right away if you’re providing remark-able service. Make post-sale engagement a priority, because your happy customers will be online giving you great ratings and reviews and talking about your company. Then online shoppers will see your five-star ratings and raving reviews and the process of breaking down that trust barrier will have begun. But you have to follow through. Add trust elements to your review site profiles, your website, and your sales tools. Keep pounding away at the trust barrier and your customer will come through.
Let Your Customers Do the Talking
As we mentioned above, “We-We Marketing” is becoming obsolete. The sooner you make the pivot before your competitors do, the bigger a head start you’ll get. So start finding ways to use customer testimonials in your marketing and advertising. Instead of a campaign to prove you’re the city’s BIGGEST AND BEST, start a campaign to prove you are the city’s MOST LOVED! Let your customers do the talking. Here are some examples of companies that defied gravity by focusing on the customers first. Check out the Tempu-Pedic example, especially.
Make It About Your People, Not Your Product
People trust people, not companies. Companies just want to take our money, but people want to help each other. When people are shopping for a service company they will choose the company that they think is truly going to help them over a company that is just out to get their business. When you make your marketing about your service team – your people – and how much your customers love them you immediately begin to break down the trust barrier. Sure, you could say “We’re number one in customer satisfaction!” (if it were true).” But that message is still just we-we-ing compared to showing that you’re company is about people helping people. When you ask your customers for reviews and testimonials ask them to talk about your people. And when you tell the world how great you are, tell them how much your customers love your people. ReviewBuzz offers the only system that tracks individual employee’s reviews.
Prime Social Content!
All day long marketers hear about how important social media has become and how your company should be engaging customers and shoppers on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, etc. But everyone seems to be fumbling around in the dark trying to decide what their social content should be. Well, service company’s need look no further than their reviews and testimonials and they’ll see prime social content! Again, let your customers do the talking. Share your great reviews on all your social media sites. Include smiling photos of your proud employees with their amazed customers. Add testimonial videos. Share customer letters and voice messages. Why spend money on generating creative content for your social media campaigns when you can spend it on making your service team into Service Heroes? ReviewBuzz.com offers some simple tools for sharing your reviews on Facebook and Twitter.
Build Trust On Your Website
Your website is an easy place to fall back on “We-We Marketing.” But no amount of self-aggrandizing text and slick stock photos will have as much of an impact on breaking down the trust barrier as you’ll get by showing off your ratings and reviews and letting your customers do the talking. Add links to your review site profiles. Add testimonial videos. Make the copy about your wonderful people rather than your wonderful company. Again, people trust people, not companies. ReviewBuzz.com offers some simple tools for adding reviews to your website.
Advertising – print, radio, TV, outdoor, web – is an expensive and risky proposition that usually requires a lot of measurement and fine tuning before you get a positive return on your investment. Think about this: Instead of spending all your money on developing creative campaigns, take some of that money and invest it into training and post-sale engagement for the purpose of generating more and more reviews and testimonials, and then use that content in your advertising. Find a creative way of saying, “Our customers love us! And you will too!” And then stick with it – forever. All you have to do is refresh the content with your latest happy customers. Here are some examples of companies that focused their advertising content on customer-centric messages. Check out the Tempu-Pedic example, especially.
Video Testimonials Are Powerful Service Marketing Tools
These days grabbing a video is as easy as pulling your smart phone out of your pocket and setting it on the counter. But a lot of people feel uncomfortable in front of a video camera or having you spread videos of them around the web. And therefore a lot of people feel uncomfortable asking a customer to stand in front of a camera and talk about your company. But there are those that will do it, especially if you’re team is proving remarkable service and you’re asking them to talk about your people. Try to find creative ways to get your customers to participate. Make it a contest to see which of your service team members can get the most videos. Have some reason for your customer to want to help you make a testimonial video other than just using them to sell your company like a contest. Always do something extra for people that are willing to help your company in this way, but DO NOT offer incentives like this for posting reviews on public review sites – that’s a no-no and it can get you banned from the site. Share your videos on your website, on YouTube and other video sites, and on social sites like Facebook and Google+. They are very powerful, customer-centric, trust-building content!
Coupons and Special Offers On Review Sites
Offers and coupons are bigger than ever. Almost all review sites now offer the ability to add special offers to your listings. Although this is not technically marketing with reviews, it does take place on review sites, so while you’re in there, take a look around and see what other companies are doing in your category. Don’t just look in your own city, look around the country for some brilliant ideas to borrow.