Nobody ever said running a small business was easy. In fact, it is one of the most challenging, stressful and difficult enterprises a person can undertake. It is working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and living your company brand identity and culture. It is the careful cultivation of a brand and image both on the streets and on the web, and management of everything you say and do to be sure that people view you and your brand in the right light.
In business, the sad truth is that a single misstep can ruin your reputation, and it is much easier to destroy your image than it is to build it. One essential tool in keeping your public image clean, clear and positive is to have a wealth of positive testimonials from satisfied customers. Learn why customer reviews are so vital to your business, building your brand and online reputation, and what you can do to encourage the best.
Image Management and Brand Building
Image management and brand building are the two most vital aspects of building your business. You need people to think of you first when the kind of services you provide are mentioned. Furthermore, you want people to view you in a positive light, as well as friendly, approachable, passionate and customer-centric. Having customers post testimonials and reviews not just on your website, but all over the web on sites like Yelp, Google, LinkedIn and more, will spread your brand and image like butter on toast, all over the web.
Giving Your Customers a Voice
Being approachable and transparent is absolutely vital to your brand image. Customer testimonials are one of the very best and easiest ways you can do this. Every testimonial you feature and highlight gives your customers a voice. This, in turn, lets them feel important and valuable.
We live in an age when social media is awash with people expressing opinions, and all too often those opinions are just shouted into the ether, which can be frustrating and even enraging to users. When you choose to allow, and even encourage, customers to post reviews of your company and services, and then highlight those reviews for others to read, they suddenly become very valuable. They become experts—or at least, they feel that way. That sort of justification is worth thousands of dollars in advertising.
Give Potential Customers Confidence
One of the first things a potential customer will research, after the services you provide, is your legacy. How long have you been in business, but more importantly, how many people have you served, and served well? The more reviews you post, the more satisfied customers you are showing off. Every single one of these translates into one more notch in your belt which will be likely to draw in a new customer, who in turn will hopefully post yet another positive testimonial!
Improved Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a term that has been bandied around for ten years or so now. Everyone knows that it is an important and vital part of online marketing, but so few people really understand what it is. SEO refers to optimizing your Internet presence so that you are more easily found by search engines when someone searches for something other than your exact company name.
If for example, you are a bookstore in Philadelphia, you want people to find your business when they hit a search engine and enter, “Philadelphia bookstores.” Even more, you want your business to come up at the top of the search. Why is this? The answer is simple: The further down on the search results you are, the less likely people are to click on your web link. If you are not on the first page of results, you can all but forget it where your web presence is concerned!
This ties into customer reviews because the more people who post about your company on services like Google, Yelp or other business review sites, your name is getting spread across the web, as is your contact information and links to your site and social media. This will make you more visible and increase your “hit” results when it comes to SEO. Customer testimonials are some of the most vital and effective optimization tools you can have.
Customer Reviews = Approachability
Every business wants to be seen as approachable, friendly and customer oriented. When you have a wealth of customer reviews online, you are going to be viewed in exactly this way. People will read the raves about your company and think of you as someone who genuinely cares about how their customers feel, and someone who has a passion for the services they provide.
This means they will be more likely to approach you for more information about your goods, services and business. Every positive customer review can generate several potential leads for new customers—it is then up to you to convert those leads into new business, and just as important, into new testimonials that will, in turn, create more leads!
It is a Domino Effect
If there is one thing to take away from the points made herein, it is that positive testimonials and reviews by satisfied customers are vital to your brand-building and image management because they truly create a domino effect for your business. Every review generates more leads, which in turn generate more business, which if you follow through right, generates more reviews, which then generate more leads…you get the idea.
At Letter Jacket, we seek not only to provide the very best in custom printed business envelopes and direct mailings of all types, shapes and varieties; we thrive on customer service. We love nothing more than when our satisfied clients spread the word and tell others about the services we provide. Read a few reviews and if you are a satisfied customer, please post a testimonial, not only on our website but on other search engines, social media and business sites all over the web!