There is a limitless range of businesses in this day and age, each vying for attention and prominence on the market. With small businesses and budding entrepreneurs appearing every day, the average customer can quickly feel overwhelmed with the vast range of options. Some of these options are high quality, while others are very poor in quality and depend on unsuspecting clients to make their money and turn out a disappointing result.
The solution to this dilemma has come courtesy of the Internet. The web can provide any customer with a testimonial or vast range of honest reviews from customers who have tested a business’s merit. This allows potential customers to make an informed decision without throwing their money away.
It’s clear that every business needs a vast range of testimonials and reviews at their disposal in order to impress and draw in potential customers. Here are the differences between testimonials and reviews, and why each is important for leading a business to success.
Testimonials are often evaluations written out by your customers, detailing what they thought of your services and how it benefited them. These are gathered by the business themselves, and it’s recommended that you provide the client with a detailed questionnaire to fill out. Although, in place of a questionnaire, the client can simply share their general thoughts on the service they received. These are very crucial for businesses and have a range of benefits that cannot be found with reviews.
- They’re thorough.
When you ask a customer for a testimonial, you have the option to offer a questionnaire filled with the most important points of your service. This helps guide their answers to be specific on the qualities new customers seek, honing the information to best benefit your business. They fill it out honestly and you now have information that otherwise may not have been found in a simple review. Most reviews have no guidelines and are left up to the client to decide.
- They give a face to the satisfied client.
In addition to being more thorough, testimonials allow you to tell something about the client. You can describe them in a way that seems more personal to readers, mentioning their background or what concerns they expressed – with their permission. Most reviews can be done anonymously or with little information.
- They can be controlled.
As you are the one to elicit the review, you have the ability to control when and if it’s presented to your customers. Ever say something stupid and wish you could take it back? Testimonials are the business version of this dream, allowing you to head off an unreasonable customer’s wrath at the gate. If the testimonial is negative, you can choose not to share it. In contrast, reviews are often out of your hands. This allows you to present your business in its best form.
- They’re an important part of your website.
Unlike reviews, testimonials are often featured solely on a business’s website – or, in less frequent cases, on other affiliate sites designed to promote the business. These are a great asset to a site, as they provide a well-rounded appearance that makes a visitor feel confident they are gathering all the necessary information. A website is often your first impression on a potential customer, so presenting your best in the form of a testimonial is vital.
Reviews are often a line or two of text, which a client posts on independent websites ranging from social media to specific reviewing sites. These can include anything from Google+ to Yelp, and are intended to give fellow customers a heads-up on the quality or lack of quality a business offers. These are done without the intervention of the business itself. However, it’s important to encourage your customers to review independently, as it has many benefits.
- They’re trusted.
Customers often trust freelance reviews, which typically are not elicited by businesses via a club or promises of a firstborn. You see this especially in product reviews on Amazon. In most cases, the customers writing said reviews are speaking with an entirely objective opinion, and either weren’t offered the firstborn or didn’t accept. Testimonials are in the business’s control, so naturally only positive responses will be listed. Reviewing gives the option of a negative review, inherently making them more trustworthy for potential customers when a positive review is submitted.
- They help share the word about your business
The more attention a single keyword or website attracts, the more likely Google is to make it a first-page search result. With this in mind, every time a customer posts a review of your business, they’re attracting attention to your name. This generates more internet activity and can eventually encourage Google to take note of your name’s popularity. With enough activity, should anyone type in your services, looking for a business to cater to their needs, yours will be the first result Google offers them. This is the highest form of word-of-mouth, as studies have shown most people never click to the second page of their search results.
- They encourage conversation
With the advantage of being posted on many sites, customer reviews do more than share the word. They encourage words, such as with social media sites like Facebook or reviewing sites like Yelp. These sites have commenting functions which enable customers to speak with each other directly, recommending your business or mentioning benefits they neglected in their review. You may also find cases where reviews are submitted about other businesses, but members can recommend your business as being similar to theirs. This gains you even more publicity via digital word-of-mouth.
Both are important for different reasons, and to market your business successfully, it’s vital to have a healthy balance of both. This ensures you’re presenting your business in many lights and in the best fashion for customers, persuading them to your services over the competition.
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