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Kate Peterson: Customer Testimonials That Sell

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Kate Peterson: Customer Testimonials That Sell Did an online reviewer say something bad about your store? Don’t fight it or try to make it go away — own it.

At The SMART Show on Saturday, retail expert Kate Peterson of Performance Concepts talked about what a great sales tool customer testimonials can be, and dug into what to do about negative reviews. Here’s what she says:

  • Monitor Yelp, Google, and other review sites in your market. If you don’t, you have no idea when a disappointed customer has complained online.
  • Don’t respond directly to negative reviews on the review site. “You’ve got to avoid defensive posturing. Other customers will side with the [complaining] customer,” Peterson says.
  • You can — and should — have a page on your own website for customer comments. But if someone leaves a bad one, don’t delete it (though you might edit offensive language). You’ll just invite further, angrier comments complaining that you censored them the first time.
  • If you can piece together who the unhappy reviewer is, have the salesperson who worked with them get in touch and offer to make it right. (“I saw this review. Is that you? Because if it is, I want to make you happy.”) The owner or manager shouldn’t be the one to get in touch, as that level of attention may cause the customer to clam up or deny posting the review.
  • Look at negative comments as a learning opportunity. No matter how off-the-wall the complaint is, perception is reality, and the customer’s reality is the only one that matters. Apologize, own the criticism, fix the problem, and thank the customer and tell them what steps you’ve taken.

As for positive testimonials, they’re one of the most powerful forms of the advertising at your disposal. You should like directly from your website to positive reviews on Yelp, Google, or other sites. And, says Peterson, don’t be afraid to actively ask customers if they use online review sites. The ones who do are your best source for testimonials.

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Wilkerson Testimonials

If It’s Time to Consolidate, It’s Time to Call Wilkerson

When Tom Moses decided to close one of the two Moses Jewelers stores in western Pennsylvania, it was time to call in the experts. After reviewing two candidates, Moses, a co-owner of the 72 year-old business, decided to go with Wilkerson. The sale went better than expected. Concerned about running it during the pandemic, Moses says it might have helped the sale. “People wanted to get out, so there was pent-up demand,” he says. “Folks were not traveling so there was disposable income, and we don’t recall a single client commenting to us, feeling uncomfortable. It was busy in here!” And perhaps most importantly, Wilkerson was easy to deal with, he says, and Susan, their personal Wilkerson consultant, was knowledgeable, organized and “really good.” Now, the company can focus on their remaining location — without the hassle of carrying over merchandise that either wouldn’t fit or hadn’t sold. “The decision to hire Wilkerson was a good one,” says Moses.

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Tips and How-To

Kate Peterson: Customer Testimonials That Sell

mm

Published

on

Kate Peterson: Customer Testimonials That Sell Did an online reviewer say something bad about your store? Don’t fight it or try to make it go away — own it.

At The SMART Show on Saturday, retail expert Kate Peterson of Performance Concepts talked about what a great sales tool customer testimonials can be, and dug into what to do about negative reviews. Here’s what she says:

  • Monitor Yelp, Google, and other review sites in your market. If you don’t, you have no idea when a disappointed customer has complained online.
  • Don’t respond directly to negative reviews on the review site. “You’ve got to avoid defensive posturing. Other customers will side with the [complaining] customer,” Peterson says.
  • You can — and should — have a page on your own website for customer comments. But if someone leaves a bad one, don’t delete it (though you might edit offensive language). You’ll just invite further, angrier comments complaining that you censored them the first time.
  • If you can piece together who the unhappy reviewer is, have the salesperson who worked with them get in touch and offer to make it right. (“I saw this review. Is that you? Because if it is, I want to make you happy.”) The owner or manager shouldn’t be the one to get in touch, as that level of attention may cause the customer to clam up or deny posting the review.
  • Look at negative comments as a learning opportunity. No matter how off-the-wall the complaint is, perception is reality, and the customer’s reality is the only one that matters. Apologize, own the criticism, fix the problem, and thank the customer and tell them what steps you’ve taken.

As for positive testimonials, they’re one of the most powerful forms of the advertising at your disposal. You should like directly from your website to positive reviews on Yelp, Google, or other sites. And, says Peterson, don’t be afraid to actively ask customers if they use online review sites. The ones who do are your best source for testimonials.

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials

If It’s Time to Consolidate, It’s Time to Call Wilkerson

When Tom Moses decided to close one of the two Moses Jewelers stores in western Pennsylvania, it was time to call in the experts. After reviewing two candidates, Moses, a co-owner of the 72 year-old business, decided to go with Wilkerson. The sale went better than expected. Concerned about running it during the pandemic, Moses says it might have helped the sale. “People wanted to get out, so there was pent-up demand,” he says. “Folks were not traveling so there was disposable income, and we don’t recall a single client commenting to us, feeling uncomfortable. It was busy in here!” And perhaps most importantly, Wilkerson was easy to deal with, he says, and Susan, their personal Wilkerson consultant, was knowledgeable, organized and “really good.” Now, the company can focus on their remaining location — without the hassle of carrying over merchandise that either wouldn’t fit or hadn’t sold. “The decision to hire Wilkerson was a good one,” says Moses.

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