My friend’s backyard is amazing – it has these huge shade trees, a giant garden, and a fun play set for the kids. One day I asked her when the best time to plant a tree would be – so that one day I could have a great shade tree, too.
Rather tongue in cheek, she answered: 10 years ago.
The best time to focus on reviews was before today
If I want a great shade today, I need to have planted it several years ago. Likewise, if I want to keep a great tab on my company’s reputation (or product reputation), I need to be actively involved in the review and testimonial-building process.
What, then, could I do to be actively involved in building my product (or company) reviews? And how often should we be involved in asking for feedback?
Building positive feedback
Now, because time travel is still a TV-only thing (and it may stay that way, if the recent study showing that many of our dearly-held beliefs about atomic shape are thrown out), let’s focus on what we can do today. When you’re first building your company’s reviews and testimonials, ask friends, family, and colleagues for their feedback.
Always ask for honesty – your friends and family are already going to leave glowing comments, so don’t try to guide their comments too much. Doing that could actually make those initial testimonials appear too staged – and drive away potential clients.
Once you’ve got a few initial testimonials, start asking clients a few questions via a follow up email:
- Ask your clients to leave honest feedback (via a ratings system) or to write out a testimonial statement.
- Ask them what factors led them to decide on choosing your products and services (as opposed to a competitor’s).
- Thank them for their business and ask for feedback about the products or services so that you can continue to improve – many clients will help you refine your offerings for future products or sales.
Always ask for feedback
Finally, feedback is a never-ending request for businesses. Let’s say you have two identical products on Amazon: one with over 1,000 reviews (with a 4.3 star rating) and one with only 2 5-star reviews. Which would you trust, and why?
Almost everyone will pick the product with the 1,000+ reviews – because even though it’s got a lower overall rating, it’s shown to be absolutely reliable! It has, after all, over 500 times more reviews than the second product.
That second product, while it has 2 5-star reviews, will never outsell the lower-rated product until it gets more reviews. Then it’s a whole other ball game… one that I’d like to play in my friend’s backyard. Those trees are, after all, really amazing.