Reviews, opinions and testimonials both in private and in the business world affects us in many different ways. Many times we don’t even think about it. If you for example need a recommendation on a good movie, you would rather ask family and friends. You could of course check the film reviews, but what is always better than ”professional” opinions are those that come from credible personal contacts.
This rule also applies to the business world. Make sure you make it your standard to ask your customers about their customer experience after hiring you. Before customers are likely to hire you or buy your product, they often want to hear what others have to say about you.
Say you are an craftsman and get a request for renovating a house. Before you get the job the customer will usually ask for relevant customer references, preferably from a spot near the customer and that the job was as delivered as expected.
Answer the customers questions before they’ve asked them
Instead you should work proactively. Make sure you answer prospective clients requests by having visual customer references published on your website and in social media. Visual customer references mean that you show your earlier work both in pictures and in text together with the customer experience of buying your product or hiring you. Before, during and after pictures are the best way to show your finished work. A text that describes the work you’ve done should be together with these pictures. Now when you can clearly see the work in text and photos you also want to read what your customer thought about you and her experience. This last point is formulated by the customer for it to have any value.
The digital mouth-to-mouth method
Customer references have a high credibility because they come from someone who’ve had a direct experience of your product or service. 92 % preferably trust recommendations from friends and family than from any type of marketing. In B2C this could be your friend recommending a hairdresser. In B2B this could be someone from your network recommending a construction company. A company that recommends you and is satisfied with their experience has a high marketing value and builds credibility.
Show your happy customers
Display your customer references both on your website and in social media. You can show them in different ways on your website and for example categorize the customer references based on which product or service that is being reviewed. Then you know that you always show the relevant references for the visitor. Earlier when there were no good third party solution, many companies have found it bothersome to ask a customer what they think about the product or service that they’ve delivered. Even though you know that you have satisfied customers, you would prefer not to hear the truth. What if the customer gives you a horrible answer? According to a survey done by Verizon, customers gives a positive review in 92 % of cases as long as you ask them. The benefits of working actively with getting happy customer experiences are considerable. Just make it a habit to always ask your customers!
When and how you should ask your customers
Is it a small job then ask the customer during the work progress how it feels and if it meets the expectations. If it’s a bigger project you should have a conversation with your customer about when the project is about to be done. Ask how it goes and how it feels. Your customer then tells you how happy they are with the results and how everything feels better because of your product or service. Now it’s time to ask if they could tell their customer experience so that others can take part of it, that it would mean much to you but also help and guide new customers.
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