This could be the shortest blog post ever. The answer is yes. Well…that about sums it up. Thank you for your time. What’s that you asked? You want to know why, where, what, and when? OK.

Why?

Earlier this year TKO had a complaint posted on Facebook. We immediately reached out to the individual with no response. We attempted to contact them but found no listing of this person in our customer file. The review mentioned a competitor by name in a positive light and the users profile was blank. All of this caused us to question the legitimacy of the complaint. Since a business cannot delete Facebook reviews, I asked four customers to post reviews sharing their experience working with TKO Graphix. All were positive. After the four were posted the poor review scrolled to the bottom of the list and eventually it disappeared (we assume taken down by whoever posted it.) Balancing a negative review is only one reason. Testimonials from advocates are becoming the marketing initiative of the future. Consumers trust their friends, acquaintances, and other consumer’s more than advertising spin. Connecting prospects with satisfied customers may eventually be more important than advertising or any other form of marketing.

What?

Not only good reviews, but reviews sharing challenges you’ve faced and mistakes you’ve corrected. Lessons you’ve learned and what failure has taught you. Here’s an example, No problems just Opportunities. If reviews never share the trials and tribulations of doing business consumers may wonder if the reviews are real; companies that are genuine are perceived as more trustworthy. Who would you rather do business with, a company that has never admitted to a mistake or one that shares mistakes and how they rectified them?

Where?

Share testimonials on your website, blog posts, and social media networks including Facebook, Linked In, and YouTube. I recently posted a review on Amazon for a book I thoroughly enjoyed. The author made it easy for me—he shared the amazon review site link. Make it easy for your advocates to share by linking where and how to post reviews. For example, Google Review Support or Write a Yelp Review. The book I favorably reviewed on Amazon is Failure The Secret to Success by Robby Slaughter.

When?

A service company I worked with received a poor rating on a business review site. I went to the review provider and explained the company had never met the person who complained; had never given them a quote, and hadn’t done work for them. The organization had received one phone call from the irate consumer requesting an in-home estimate, unfortunately, the company wasn’t available the time requested. The prospect refused to consider another time. The potential customer gave the business the lowest rating possible, which brought their overall standings from an A to a B. The service directory said there was nothing they could do. I advised the company to solicit testimonials for this site. They did, and it worked.

Another Voice

Our friend and occasional TKO Brandwire contributor, Chris Theisen from FlexPac added this. “Asking for reviews or testimonials is a great strategy to not only help prospects make decisions on whether or not to do business with you but it’s also a great way to get feedback on less than optimal experiences. You can use the feedback to better train your staff, and alter your products/services to improve your business.

You should solicit each customer after every purchase as part of your follow-up communication after a sale. It can be as high-tech as automated surveys or emails with links pointing to places people can review you, or as low tech as a postcard or leave-behind after the sale with info printed on how to review the business.”

Give Consumers What they Need 

Today consumers and businesses alike vet companies online before making contact. Give potential customers the content they need to choose your organization by seeking and sharing testimonials. Not only should companies solicit reviews from customers it should be part of their marketing strategy. Of course to be able to ask for testimonials you must offer a superior product and outstanding customer service. Do you request reviews from your users?