Referrals and customer reviews are important, no matter what line of work you’re in.
They lend credibility to your business, and customers that are the result of referrals tend to spend more money and buy more regularly.
But, they must be real and genuine. (Check out this front page WSJ story about all the fake 5-Star Reviews.)
When people are unsure what to do, they’ll often look to what others have done to help them make their decision.
Checking Google or Amazon reviews, Travelocity or Yelp are commonplace today.
The power of word-of-mouth is even greater when the purchase is more expensive. Think about cars and homes, for example.
What is a customer review
A customer review is the feedback a consumer gives about their experience purchasing a good or service, as well as the product or service itself.
Your outlook changes when you recognize that everyone you work with has the potential to be a source of numerous referrals and customer reviews.
In this video, I talk about the importance of referrals and give you an example of using them to document your success. I have over 100 great customer testimonials here on my website and they have made a huge impact on influencing potential customers feel confident about booking me.
Keep reading after the video for more info on the significance of customer reviews.
Why are customer reviews so important?
- They lend credibility to your business.
- Customers that are the result of referrals spend more money regularly.
I have a book that I call my Raving Fans. It’s beautiful. It’s leather with gold-embossed lettering. The original story for this was John Gulesserian from Monza Menswear. He has a Raving Fans book exactly like this.
In my book, I’ve got letter after letter, and in the back, I’ve got many great pictures with the leaders of the companies who hired me. What I’m doing here is documenting my success.
Here’s the story about John and how this happened. I told him that I was curious about how he handled referrals while running such a phenomenal business.
He told me that he didn’t want to seem too pushy and that’s how he felt when he asked for referrals.
I pointed out to him that there’s another mindset to consider: You’re cheating people.
He’s such a good merchant, he runs such a phenomenal men’s store with a great product AND he’s so fun to work with.
I told John, “You’re cheating people because, if you don’t ask for referrals, those customers are going to go somewhere else and get an inferior experience.”
So, I taught him one simple strategy. We created the Raving Fan book. After every customer came in and got their new suit fitted, he took a picture with them standing right next to him.
We created a little page with room for a picture and the person’s business card. This was back in the early 90s – there was no internet so it was just hand-written.
We recorded why they shop there and what they loved.
He would take this book when somebody was thinking about shopping there and they would have a seat. Australia was great – you could hand them a beer and say. “Let me go pick out some suits you might like,” and he put this book out with story after story of business people and the footy players – football down there – who had shopped there.
I went back to Australia three years later and he had three Raving Fan books on the counter that people could review.