Why Customer Reviews Are a Great Lead Generation Tool
A solid, reliable and positive endorsement is one of the best and most effective forms of marketing for any business. When someone takes the time to give you an online review based on their experiences with your brand and individuals within the business, it’s undoubtedly a boost for the whole company, but it’s also one of the best forms of lead generation around. While it might not (but can) form part of a data-inspired lead generation strategy, a customer review is a free form of marketing that helps to promote the brand and shine a light on everything that’s positive about it. Marketing, by its very nature, can be incredibly effective or incredibly frustrating. You might spend months developing what you think is the most creative, surefire campaign ever, only for your target audience to choose to snap up your latest promotion or to ignore it completely. Then someone takes a few minutes out of their busy day to leave a short review on your website or through a Google Review it can have far more impact than any marketing campaign and than many business owners might imagine. Let me explain why.
Taking note of what people have to say
People seem to take far more notice of what individuals have to say than a brand has to say about itself, and a lot of this is down to social media and the ways in which we are influenced. Before the digital age really took hold, people used to sit up and take notice of advertising campaigns and slogans, and a few great campaigns still have that same impact today, but a lot of businesses are choosing to utilise word-of-mouth marketing instead. Instead they are opting to capitalise on reviews and testimonials to help sell their products, services and brand because they feel that those comments hold far more weight and value than a clever marketing campaign on their website or social channels.
When you think about it, you’ve probably taken notice of plenty of different forms of word-of-mouth marketing already. If someone leaves a negative review of a restaurant you may have chosen not to eat there, and if someone has criticised a car dealership you might have chosen not to buy your car from them. However, if you’re thinking about buying a new television you’re going to read the reviews first to make sure that it does what you want it to, that it’s reliable and of great quality - well the same is true with businesses.
Before you sign on the dotted line of a contract you’re going to do your due diligence by reading online reviews and speaking to people with first-hand experience with that company, and that’s word-of-mouth marketing at its finest.
Turning people into leads and prospects into customers
A series of great customer reviews on Google are going to act as a form of lead generation, helping to turn prospects into customers and giving people basic information about your brand - including what you’re like to work with - turning them from a company that is interested in your product or service into a genuine, warm lead.
These reviews can help to create an immensely positive impression of your brand for people who may not have heard of you until recently, and it can also help to increase your social media following and organic traffic to your website which are both positive statistical elements that tie in nicely with your lead generation efforts.
They can also help to outweigh any negative, historical reviews that may have been left during the early days of your business where teething problems resulted in poor impressions and experiences. While these reviews might be the ones that people see and remember, the fact that there are far more positive reviews left more recently than the negative ones might help to impact their decision to work with you or at least get in touch to discuss how you might be able to work together.
From a sales perspective this helps to keep your pipeline full of new leads who have already researched the company, which in turn helps to keep the pipeline flowing and your chances of conversion high.
So, if you’ve worked with brands and individuals for any length of time where you feel like you have built up a strong rapport and they have a positive view of your brand and what you’ve done for their business, ask them to leave you an online review. You never know, that particular review might lead to your next lead.
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