“If you won’t take our word for it, here’s what our customers have to say.” Testimonials are a tried and true go-to marketing tactic for many senior living providers.
3 Reasons Your Community Should Use Testimonials
Testimonials are popular among marketing professionals for several reasons:
- They tell a positive story about your business that highlights your staff, your organization, and your services, in a way that comes off as genuine rather than “salesy.”
- Because they’re told as a story, rather than a bulleted list of features written in ad copy, they’re more impactful and easier for customers to remember.
- Finally, because they’re told in your customer’s voice, rather than your own, prospective customers find them much more believable and reliable.
Testimonials are a powerful marketing tool because they are independent, third-party sourced opinions that guarantee that what you say about your business is true, and that you really do have a valuable offering. These recommendations from current and previous customers inspire confidence in prospects.
But there’s something even more powerful than testimonials… and that’s online reviews. As they’re both written by customers, online reviews and testimonials seem fairly similar. So what makes online reviews so much better?
Testimonials Only Work in a Vacuum
In order to read your testimonials, a prospect already has to be on your website or reading your brochure. Testimonials can help push someone down the sales cycle, but they don’t bring prospects in to your community – however, reviews can, and do. According to the 2014 BrightLocal Consumer Review Survey, the most common next step consumers take after reading an online review is visiting the company’s website. Testimonials only work if a prospect has already found your website. Reviews allow people to discover your website.
Consumers Trust Reviews Over Testimonials Since There’s No Middleman
Reviews are considered more trustworthy because they come straight from customers rather than being vetted and approved by you. This is especially important in the aggregate: five positive online reviews from a range of customers are much more impressive to a customer than the five positive testimonials you’ve culled and curated from the happiest of customers.
Getting Online Reviews and Testimonials
Like testimonials, you can choose whether or not to go out of your way to get online reviews. Chances are, if your customers think you’re doing a phenomenal job, they’re going to go out of their way to tell you. They’ll send you emails or letters of gratitude, or they’ll write you a rave online review. Typically, happy customers are more than willing to do both, providing you with both a testimonial and a review – all you have to do is ask.
If you’d like more online reviews, keep an eye out for these happy customers, and ask for their help. Say, for example, at the end of a phone call, a family caregiver tells you, “You know, I really appreciate how promptly you return my calls. Thanks again.”
Instead of just responding with a “Of course, thank you!” why not seize the moment to ask them for an online review? “Absolutely, thank you. I always make it a priority to get back to you and answer your questions. By the way, would you mind writing us an online review on SeniorAdvisor.com? Reviews are a really great way for us to spread the word about our company to future families.”
Using Online Reviews in Your Marketing
Once you have positive reviews, make sure to include them in your online and offline marketing materials. Post them on your website, include snippets in your brochures and share them on your Facebook page. Just remember, because you are using content from a third party, you’ll need to cite the website the review came from. For example, here’s how to properly cite review content from our senior living ratings and reviews site SeniorAdvisor.com:
- For online citations, include the site name and a link to the original content. For example: link an image of the review, the text or a quote from the review, or the phrase “Source: SeniorAdvisor.com” to your community profile page on SeniorAdvisor.com.
- For offline citations, include the site name. For example: add the phrase “Source: SeniorAdvisor.com” at the end of the review.
Online reviews are the new testimonials. Embrace these powerful new marketing tools, and your community will quickly see the benefits!