When you made your last purchase on Amazon did you check the reviews before you bought? Before you hired that service company did you check them out online – Yelp/Angie’s List/Google Reviews first or ask for past customers you could call? Before you booked that trip or vacation did you check out the hotel/resort on Hotels.com/Priceline/ Trip Advisor first to see what others said about their stay?
The Law of Social Proof is vastly underutilized by most businesses in person or on their web site. The law states that when someone is unsure how to proceed they will look to what others have done previously to help them make a decision. Have you ever gone to a move, play or new restaurant because someone told you it was fantastic? Have you ever not gone because someone told you it was terrible?
I am a big believer in the power of documenting your success and what makes your product or customer experience superior, engaging and of great value. For me, I will get a call from a meeting planner who had a fellow employee who saw me speak at an association meeting they attend and insist the meeting planner book me for their companies next convention. That is social proof in action. To verify their decision they will often look for other validation.
On my website use social proof by placing quality written testimonials and video testimonials on my site. I have also just started a Yelp listing recently. Kind of unique for my business, but I wanted to get ahead of the curve. If you loved what I do at your event, I would be honored to receive your recommendation on Yelp.
What are doing to use the power of social proof?
Do you have a compelling, short video that will engage the viewer and tell your story? Do you have written testimonials and pictures with them? Do you have videos (under 90 seconds) of customers raving about you? Do you have case studies, free reports, “how to” articles sprinkled with how you have made a difference with past clients?
For more advice on this check out my article – Proof Positive: A Good Story Can Be Telling.
Let your thrilled customers/members know that documenting your success is important and where they can do it for you. If you are a retail business, have a quality YELP sign customers can see. If you are a service business simply ask them? When you exceed their expectations will they take a picture with you and give a quote you can show other thrilled customers? Will they let you take a short video of them? Let them know they can leave a review for you and where. It is important to have many reviews because if one person or a competitor leaves a bad review it will look bad. If someone has a problem engage them quickly to take care of it.
– the Dive Shop that markets several trips a year to exotic locations has videos of the trips they have taken on their site showing people loving the experience.
– the Cabinet Maker/Home Improvement Company who takes before/after pictures of the job and gets a final picture in the new kitchen/room addition WITH the home owner and a quote documenting their amazing experience.
– the Software Company who has case studies documenting what the customers experience was like before their software was installed and the massive improvement after it was integrated for the client – ROI, Total Cost of Ownership.
– the Business Broker/Realtor/Sales Person who has received quality recommendations on LinkedIn that prospects can review to help them make a decision. They also have quality testimonials, pictures, stories, case studies they can show in person too. Document you are worth your fee!
The key of course is to do the little things consistently to surprise the customer and generate massive value and a compelling experience. My unscientific poll says that 92.4% of you can do a much better job of using social proof. What can you do to improve now?
What unique ways are you using social proof?