Digital Marketing

Building a Strong Online Reputation: How to Use Reviews & Testimonials to Boost Sales

Boost sales by leveraging reviews & testimonials. Nurture your online reputation through gratitude, strategic placements, and learning from each feedback.

Lee Rutten
Lee RuttenNovember 2, 2023

The Power of Online Reputation

An online reputation will not only do wonders for your business but is seen as the pinnacle of industry success. Positive customer sentiment in the form of reviews and testimonials can propel a brand’s credibility to new heights. 92% of customers read online reviews before buying and 72% of consumers say positive testimonials and reviews increase their trust in a business (Big Commerce). In this article, we’ll show you how to kickstart your review strategy and let your existing customer base do the selling for you!

Reviews vs Testimonials. What’s the difference?

While they can sometimes be interchangeable, reviews and testimonials used for marketing purposes are slightly different. Reviews are the organic accolades we see on many third-party sites (such as Google, Yelp, Trip Adviser, etc). Testimonials are a strategic force collected directly from satisfied customers offering a curated snapshot of their favorable experiences.

Did you know there’s an art to collecting reviews?

Collecting reviews is like mining for gold. Each piece of feedback presents a raw nugget of insight to potential buyers. A collection of reviews can bring value and authenticity to your business presence. Properly showcasing these valuable nuggets can demonstrate the worth of your services or products, attracting prospective customers and influencing their decision-making process.

However, collecting reviews is a strategic process that involves careful planning and execution. Businesses should actively encourage customers to leave feedback after a purchase or interaction. This can be done through follow-up emails, surveys, or directly on platforms where reviews are hosted. The next step is managing and responding to these reviews. 

Wondering what to say to get those priceless reviews from your customers? Start by expressing genuine appreciation for their business and encourage them to share their experiences and opinions. Make the process as easy as possible by providing clear instructions on where and how to leave a review. Remember, communication is key: be open, honest, and approachable. Ensure your customers know that their feedback, whether positive or negative, is instrumental in enhancing the quality of your products or services, and that their satisfaction is your top priority. 

Here’s a template you can adapt when asking for reviews from your customers:
Subject: We’d Love to Hear Your Thoughts on [Your Product/Service]!

Hi [Customer’s Name],

hope this message finds you well! Thank you for choosing [Your Company] for your recent purchase/experience. We are continuously striving to improve and provide the best possible service, and we value your opinion deeply.

If you could take a moment to share your thoughts and experiences by leaving us a review, it would be greatly appreciated. Your invaluable feedback not only helps us, but it also assists other customers in making informed decisions.

[Provide a link or instructions on where/how to leave the review]

Thank you once again for choosing us, and we look forward to serving you again in the future!

Warm regards
[Your Name]
[Your Company’s Details]

But how do you craft magnetic testimonials?

Testimonials go one step further and are typically only collected from your most delighted customers. Begin by reaching out to those who have expressed high satisfaction with your product or service, asking for their consent to share their experiences as testimonials.

When requesting a testimonial, guide customers to help them structure their thoughts. Encourage them to be specific about what they enjoyed and how it benefited them. The goal is to highlight real-life applications and successes that resonate with potential customers.

Sidebar: for every review & testimonial you receive, ensure you’re replying to them with gratitude and a touch of personalisation. This not only fosters a positive relationship with the reviewer but also demonstrates to potential customers that your business values feedback and is dedicated to customer satisfaction and excellence.

You’ve got the reviews, where should they go?

Once you’ve gathered your reviews, strategically placing them is crucial in maximising their visibility and impact. Testimonials, being the cream of the crop, should hold a special place on your website, such as a dedicated testimonial page or a prominent section on the homepage. 

For reviews, think of them as a versatile tool in your marketing toolkit. They can be subtly integrated across various platforms and touchpoints where potential customers interact with your brand. Here are 3 potential ways to showcase reviews:

– Social media: sharing them as posts, stories, or highlights can make your profile more authentic and relatable.
– Product pages: by having them directly on these pages, you provide prospective customers with immediate access to others’ experiences and opinions, helping them make informed purchasing decisions based on real-life usage and satisfaction.
– Employing widgets or plugins: these tools can automatically sync and update the reviews across different site areas, ensuring that fresh content is consistently available.

I’ve received a negative review, can I remove it?

Removing a negative review depends on the platform’s policies, but it’s often challenging. Instead, focus on professionally addressing and learning from the feedback. Acknowledge the review, express apologies for any shortcomings, and convey any corrective actions taken. Using negative reviews as a tool for improvement helps enhance customer satisfaction and foster long-term success and resilience. 

Nurturing Your Online Reputation

When it comes to online business, reviews and testimonials aren’t just about showcasing customer satisfaction—they are the bedrock of your brand’s reputation. By curating, cherishing, and strategically positioning these nuggets of customer feedback, you weave a narrative of credibility and trustworthiness. It is a continuous journey of expressing gratitude, learning from each interaction, and enhancing your offerings based on genuine customer insights.