The customer testimonial is a powerful marketing tool for business, and with so many ways to announce opinions online today, it’s a more powerful tool than ever. You can review just about anything–you can Yelp! any local business, leave a review about a book on Goodreads, or tell people exactly what you think about that new vacuum cleaner you bought on Amazon. So how can you collect great customer testimonials, and how can you best use them to promote your bar or restaurant?
Relatable and Useful
An effective testimonial is written by someone from your target customer base, someone like the customers you want to visit your business. For example, if you run a sports bar with an allegiance to the Green Bay Packers, a powerful testimonial on your website might be from “Brett, lifelong Packer fan and fan of Mike’s Sports Bar” about how watching the games at the bar is a great time. A testimonial like this appeals to a similar crowd.
The testimonials you choose should also be useful. If every sentence ends with an exclamation point, and says something like “I love this place! It is so so great!,” sure, it’s nice to hear something positive, but it doesn’t give any specific detail, and doesn’t demonstrate to potential customers what makes your business so great. People want to know what to expect when they visit your business, especially if it’s supposed to be “so so great.”
Unleash the Reviews!
Maintain an active presence on your social media accounts. When folks talk to your business page on Facebook, be responsive, because that encourages more feedback. If someone says something positive about your bar, ask if you may use that testimonial in your marketing. Be responsive to Yelp! reviews, whether positive or negative. Polite responses to customer reviews from business owners reflects well on your business.
And when you’ve got some good testimonials (and permission to use them!), stick them where people will see them–on your website’s header, sidebars, smack dab in the middle of your homepage. Put them on every page of your website, not just the main page. If a potential customer somehow lands first on your menu page, make sure he or she will see a customer testimonial or two. If you do print advertising, include a few testimonials on it. Add customer testimonials to your social media accounts if you can.
When potential customers read useful feedback about experiences from people who they consider similar, they trust these experiences. Put this trust to work in your favor by sharing the great things your customers are saying about you!