One of the most important things an online marketer needs to keep in mind is that customer reviews and testimonials are paramount. Having an influencer or two sing praises about your products and services is great, but honest reviews from customers who came in actual contact with your business can be equally important. The more reviews your business has, the more trustworthy and valuable they get.

People will look up your business before they decide to spend any money on your products or services. They will try to find warning signs or signs you are worthy of their time and money, and it’s more than likely they will turn to reviews and testimonials for these signs. The feedback can be a double-edged sword – if it’s good, it can land you new customers. If it’s bad, it can even chase away the existing ones.

Making Your Customers Happy

How exactly you should go about doing this depends on your business and your industry, of course. The general rule that you should provide top notch service and sell good products applies here, but because things often fall through the cracks, you will have use tools that will allow you to identify your weakest and strongest points.

These tools can be as simple as an online survey. You could ask your customers if they would fill out one after they’ve had dealings with your business. In the survey, you can ask them to rate their experience in different sections, like customer service, ease of use, or web site navigation. You can use the information you get from the survey to see what works, and what needs working on. Making adjustments will increase your chances of getting good reviews.

Getting Reviews and Testimonials

Now that you’ve taken steps to ensure your customers or clients have good things to say about your business, you might need to give them a nudge to do so.

One of the easiest ways to get customers to leave an honest review is to provide them with an incentive. Giveaways might be too expensive, but a small discount on their next purchase can be enough to get them to leave a review. You might not even need to give them anything. You could just remind them that their reviews are appreciated at the end of their purchase.

It should also be noted that the process to leave reviews should be made as simple as possible. People don’t like to jump through hoops just to be able to do something without a payoff. So if you’re going to make them jump, have the number of hoops down to the very minimum. Also, keep the forms they need to fill out as streamlined as possible – the goals is to inconvenience the customers as little as possible, and not to waste their time.

Getting Use of Social Media and Influencers

You probably don’t need a lecture about how important it is for your business to have a Facebook page. Well, your Facebook page can and will get ranked by people. Some of them will very likely be malicious people who simply like to do bad things, and some will be your competition that is not very happy when you’re doing well. But the people who like your business, and who you’ve done right by, might give your page good rankings. They might also use the page to provide valuable feedback. So don’t neglect your business’ Facebook page, and get ready to endure some negative feedback as well.

We’ve mentioned earlier that the customer feedback might prove to be more valuable than influencer feedback. Still, you shouldn’t forgo the influencers altogether, especially if they can provide you a type of review it would otherwise be hard to get – like a video review, for example. It might be worth your while to look into YouTube stars which review products and services in your industry and offer them a deal – they get your product or service for free, and they provide a review or a testimonial.

After a while, if you do everything right, you’ll see these reviews starting to pile up. Yes, you’ll probably have bad ones – every business does. And yes, you’ll try to improve your services to minimize the bad reviews, but you should also remember that you can’t make everyone happy, and some people just like to complain. Overall, if you keep the bad reviews to just a few, and if the good reviews outweigh them significantly, you will send a good signal to prospective customers.