No matter what your business is, it is always going to mean more for someone else to tell me how amazing you are versus you telling me yourself.
Let’s chat about consumer behavior for a moment. When someone is getting ready to make a purchase, there is often a research period. This can be a flash a second as they scan the bread aisle for their favorite brand, or months while researching their favorite car. When it comes to services, such as chiropractors, website designers, realtors, coaches, and graphics designs (and many many more!).
Consumer Questions When Making Purchases
I recently went through this process when purchasing a car online and here were some of the things that I was looking for:
- Is this company legitimate: it wasn’t a well-known company, a smaller competitor to a larger nationally known brand. A few friends I knew weren’t familiar with it so I was having to find other ways to see if this company was legitimate.
- Can this company provide what I need: this is pretty simple, did they have the car I wanted/needed? But did they also offer financing and other pieces that I wanted as deliverables?
- Does this company provide what I need in the way that I need it: We all have different needs from not only the products and services we are buying but also from the experience. How was the purchasing process going to go? How long did it take on average? On the most basic level, was this experience going to be pleasant or unpleasant?
- Are the products/services that this company provides within what I perceive to be the correct value: I love this topic! This isn’t the question of whether I can afford this product, although that plays into the equation for sure, but more about the perceived value. It’s our job as business owners to accurately express the value and benefits of what our services and products lend to our clients. I’ll be honest, I could have probably gotten the car I purchased cheaper at a local dealer, but I was very attracted to the idea of handling this process online without ever having to even print out a piece of paper.
- How do I move forward to the purchase if yes? Here is where we need to make it ridiculously clear on how to move forward with us.
How Client Testimonials Influence the Purchasing Process
All of the questions listed above are answered in two ways. First, through the information, you provide and second through other people’s opinions, which are called social proof. Client testimonials play a pivotal role here because they can answer ALL of the questions above and instill more confidence than anything you can put together yourself. While it does feel counterintuitive that the comments of strangers would be able to help make an informed decision, it is a normal part of our purchasing behavior these days. Looking at reviews is so normal, that it is even a part of our in-store experience. I recently found myself looking at a vacuum at Target, in-store, but looking on Amazon for the reviews since there were substantially more on the Amazon website versus the Target website.
The car company that I decided to go with? They had some terrible reviews… but they were all focused on one very specific part of the purchasing process, which was the delivery of the final registration. It was obvious that dozens and dozens of complaints came during the beginning of the pandemic and when discussing this issue with their salesperson, they let me know that yes, it was delayed because DMV’s were short-staffed and backed up, but that they were now providing a much longer temporary tag solution. This made sense to me as a consumer, and I ended up getting everything about 5 weeks ahead of the temporary tag solution, so no issue.
Next, I am going to go over 8 best practices and steps for getting client testimonials:
- Identify the consumer questions people are asking about your business.
- Know the top social channels that will best help your business for reviews. Yelp helps power apple maps, Google My Business reviews help with Google SEO, Facebook reviews show up in Google searches. These are probably my top places to request reviews since they not only help you by building social proof but with search engine optimization as well.
- Ask for a review during a high point in the consumer process. This may be post-purchase, right after purchase, or after a big win if it’s a coaching service. Know at what point your consumer is most excited and ask for the response then!
- Rotate where you ask for a review. Ask for Google reviews for a while, Facebook, etc.
- Always give the link for them to review! One-click-rule: When asking someone to do something, make sure they only have to click once to do it!
- Prompt them to answer one of the consumer questions so that your reviews can better help with sales! An example would be: If the process of signing up with me was easy, can you share your experience in your review?
Good luck with building your customer reviews and getting more sales!