What makes you credible?

Sarah Matarazzo
Monday January 21, 2019

The rise of mainstream online review sites such as Trip Advisor, Trust Pilot and Feefo has made customer satisfaction reviews a vital part of the overall buying process. Whilst high-street stores have historically had the benefit of keeping positive and negative reviews in house, these online review sites have laid bare honest feedback about brands, driving market transparency and an increased focus on exceeding customer expectations.

The same can be said of eBay. With so much choice on the market, your customer reviews can be the difference between making a sale and missing out to a competitor. The harsh reality is that if two similar products are similarly priced from two similar suppliers, it’s a no brainer to choose the company with stronger customer feedback.

So, the big question is – what makes your business credible?

It’s one thing telling your customers how great your products and services are, but nothing adds credibility to your business like genuine, positive customer testimonials.

Honest, unbiased reviews

Your sales spiel and website content might cover all the USPs and buzzwords, but customers tend to put up a natural defensive barrier when they feel they’re being sold to. Customer testimonials and reviews are written in simple, easy to understand language that your customers will understand and can relate to.

As shallow as it might sound, it’s also much easier to accept a recommendation in good faith from those who have no financial gain in providing one. There isn’t a company out there that won’t tell you how great they are at what they do, but the good news is that there are plenty of customers who are more than happy to share real-life feedback about their experiences!

Marketers know this too. It’s no wonder that we’re regularly told statistics that offer safety in numbers via third parties:

“95% of customers agreed that…”

“50,000 satisfied customers already use product/service”

“As voted for by X magazine”

"Nothing adds credibility to your business like genuine, positive customer testimonials. "

Listen, learn, repeat

Listening to and acting on honest feedback from your customers is one of the most crucial parts of positively developing your business. Their hands-on experience using your products or services will help to unearth areas of improvement that you may have missed or highlight inconsistencies in your delivery.

It’s never nice to read negative reviews about your own products and services, but the reality is that you can’t be expected to please everybody. Whilst it’s nice to receive praise, it’s constructive feedback that will truly help you to grow. Listen to your customers and act on their suggestions to help them feel appreciated and valued.

Customer engagement – giving your brand a voice

In terms of your credibility, one of the most damaging traits of a business is to ignore customer feedback altogether. It creates an ‘us and them’ scenario that strips your business of human values and replaces them with a sterile, robotic personality.

Even if you don’t wish to act on the feedback you’re getting, almost every site containing reviews will give the target business an opportunity to at least respond to their customers. This breaks down the wall between corporates and consumers, attaching a voice and personality to the brand you’ve created. If a customer has taken time to provide feedback on your business, whether positive or negative, it’s common courtesy to take the time to reply and show that all feedback is read and considered.

Giving staff the credit they deserve

By sharing positive feedback with your staff, you’ll help them to feel part of a successful, supportive team. How a business treats its staff reflects massively on your overall reputation, and your approach to this area will trickle down to your customers. Determined, supported staff will go above and beyond the call of duty if they feel appreciated, and nothing gives them this glow of satisfaction like being mentioned by name in customer testimonials.

Encourage your customers to leave open and honest feedback whilst shouting from the rooftops to your staff about the great job they’re doing – according to actual customers.

Reviews, testimonials and feedback play a major role in your overall credibility. As well as pointing out what you’re doing great and not so great, they’re a fantastic opportunity to open up dialogue with your loyal supporter base. The more positive reviews you receive, the higher you’ll feature on these review sites which can, in turn, drive you up Google rankings for higher visibility.

Remember, these testimonials are a great resource for your social media platforms, website and video content, so share them with as many people as possible to show potential customers what they’re missing!

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