Those who sell retail goods have a number of marketing resources at their disposal. Among the most effective advertising techniques is word-of-mouth, an endorsement of someone who has used the product passes on their critique to those they know. This critique can fall into two different categories, the customer review and the testimonial. Focusing mainly on the idea of the customer review, let's take a look at what makes these methods of advertising preferable to other forms.
They are cost effective. Looking at the television during a popular hour of television, or even listening to the radio, you would think that a clever or humorous advertisement would be a sure thing when it comes to marketing techniques. However, no studies have ever conclusively proven that a good commercial actually helps to sell goods. On the marketing side of the equation, they certainly help a product gain awareness, but that does not mean a rise in sales. And companies are literally spending millions of dollars a year on this type of campaign, from everything from TV spots to ads on park benches. Customer reviews, on the other hand, do not cost even a percentage of what it takes to launch a big, slick advertising campaign.
They connect the consumer to the product. A customer review means that potential buyers don't get the message about the product from an advertising firm or from the company. Instead, what they get is the honest opinion of someone who has actually tried the product out for themselves. A review, whether written or on camera, will help potential buyers see that the product worked for a person they can identify with.
Now, it is important to note that testimonials can offer the same sort of backbone to an advertisement. But, some would argue that a customer review might be more effective. The reasoning is that a review has the flavour of someone who was perhaps trying to find something lacking in the product in the first place; there is a little bit more room for a full evaluation of the overall merits and drawbacks of the product. This is because it is being evaluated from purchase through to use. In a testimonial the product is only being evaluated in the aftermath of use. A full evaluation would be nearly priceless to narrow down the search.
What that means, in turn, is that a customer review whether in written or verbal form will typically be more detailed than the average testimonial, which is preferable when you have the time and space for it. Let's say for example, that you are about to get dental implants but would like to get the latest reviews before you select a clinic. Should you visit the website of dentists you would find testimonials from previous satisfied clients.
Take a look below at examples of reviews left by happy real estate clients.
And don't forget that just like a testimonial, it is imperative that a customer review includes information about the person who completed the review. If the review is being placed on a website or other format where multi-text paragraphs are possible, it is also a good idea to include a bunch of different types of review. For example, most people look for some kind of rating system when they are reading a review, so it is good to have a range of these that will look familiar to the viewer right at the outset (five stars, thumbs up, that kind of thing).
A customer review can be a very powerful tool when it comes to marketing your product. It hits right where retailers need it most; it connects a potential buyer to the product and helps convince him or her that a purchase is truly in their best interest.
Some companies rely on reviews to keep their business afloat and drive new customers to them. A rug cleaner who works on their own who goes to people's homes to provide rug cleaning or steaming services has to rely on his or her customers to provide glowing recommendations so that their business can get those positive word of mouth recommendations that will lead to new clients. If they get a great review it could mean more business. If they get a negative review, not only will the person who gave them the negative review not hire them in the future, they'll go out of their way to make sure nobody else hires them.
It doesn't matter what services your company provides or products it sells, you want a good review. All estate agents for example, want their clients leaving satisfied so they'll give their friends a glowing review about their performance that will entice them to come use them in the future as well. Same goes for a company that sells doll clothes. If you're not satisfied with the product or service you have no reason to use them in the future. A lot of companies need repeat business to keep them going.
You probably read a lot of reviews when deciding on items while shopping on sites like Amazon. If you read any negative reviews you either decided not to buy that product or hire that specific company. Why would you knowing full well those products were defective and the services provided by those companies weren't of the highest quality?
If you went ahead anyways and hired a company based on a bad review and still wound up with bad service you have no one to blame but yourself. You were given ample warning not to hire them. Customer reviews are meant to save the consumer, that's you, from spending their hard earned money on products or services not worthy of their money. Why buy a poorly reviewed item only to have to return it because it breaks after a couple of weeks? Same goes when hiring a company to provide their services. You only want the best. Reading customer reviews gives you all the information you need from people whose opinion you can trust because they know first hand whether or not those services are worth paying for.