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Speaking nice

Say Something Nice Day – the value of testimonials

Speaking nice

Say Something Nice Day – the value of testimonials

It’s a sad fact that we’re often a lot quicker to complain than to praise. Think about the last time you headed to somewhere like Trustpilot or TripAdvisor and left a review. Was it because you had a great experience or a satisfactory one? More than likely, it was a poor one.

This is a shame, because even an occasional poor review makes a big difference to a business or organisation’s average rating. If you have three five-star reviews, a single one-star rating will instantly knock a whole star off your average. Traditionally, four stars still signifies a good experience, but many will be disappointed to get anything less than the full five stars. In 2019, the Guardian* reported that Uber drivers whose average ratings fall below an impressive 4.6 are disconnected from the app.

With it being so easy to find what people think of companies these days, it’s no surprise that they are so keen to seek feedback, and to make sure the feedback they get is excellent. As June 1st is Say Something Nice Day, let’s look at how important testimonials can be, whether you give or receive them.

Why should I leave testimonials?

Aside from the fact that it’s a kind thing to do, remember that positive feedback helps strengthen relationships with clients. Testimonials and good reviews are often reciprocal, so if you praise a business, you may find that they do the same to you in return, or consult you about your services, leading to a strengthened partnership.

Also, if they put the testimonial on their website or social media, with your name and company after it, it’s free publicity for you, and a sign that you’re a courteous businessperson.

What should I do with testimonials I receive?

If you get a great write-up, the first thing to do is thank the client for the review and feel proud, but don’t leave it at that! A study last year** showed that 79% of people have as much trust in online reviews as they do in recommendations from family and friendly, so put your testimonials to use.

Make sure you have the writer’s permission to use the testimonial on your website and social media, if they haven’t already made that clear. Some site owners like to set up a page specifically for their testimonials, while others like to dot them around their website. The latter approach can be particularly effective if you offer a range of services – for example, an accountant who offers services for businesses, contractors and self-employed people could have a page for each of these, and place a relevant testimonial for each service on its respective page.

You should share them on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn too. As images tend to get noticed and interacted with better than plain text, consider what you can do to make the review more visual. You could simply screenshot it, or, if you or someone you work with has graphic design skills, have a go at making them more meme-like, as we did with this one.

Should I leave poor reviews?

There’s a saying that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything, but that doesn’t really apply when leaving reviews and testimonials. You should still be polite of course, but if you have an unsatisfactory experience, you should be honest and say so.

Before leaving an angry one-star review on a ratings site though, make sure you’ve given the party you’re reviewing a chance to sort the problem out. I’ve seen people leave one-star reviews simply complaining that an item they ordered didn’t turn up, much to the bewilderment of the supplier. There are all kinds of reasons why an item might not be successfully delivered, many of them beyond the control of the seller, so give them a chance to put any problems right. As we’ve discussed, even a single one-star review can see an average rating take an almighty hit, so only leave one if you have attempted to make contact with the business or organisation and are genuinely unhappy with their response.

At Engage Web, we’re delighted to have a 5 out of 5 rating on our Facebook page*** at present, and we’re always keen to “Say Something Nice” about clients whose services we use in return. If you’d like to join our list of happy clients, why not get in touch?

John Murray

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