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Kate Peterson: Customer Testimonials That Sell

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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

Retirement Made Easy with Wilkerson

The store was a landmark in Topeka, Kansas, but after 80 years in business, it was time for Briman’s Leading Jewelers to close up shop. Third generation jeweler and owner Rob Briman says the decision wasn’t easy, but the sale that followed was — all thanks to Wilkerson. Briman had decided a year prior to the summer 2020 sale that he wanted to retire. With a pandemic in full force, he had plenty of questions and concerns. “We had no real way to know if we were going to be successful or have a failure on our hands,” says Briman. “We didn’t know what to expect.” But with Wilkerson in charge, the experience was “fantastic” and now there’s plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying a more secure retirement. “I would recommend Wilkerson to any retailer considering a going-out-of-business sale,” says Briman. “They’ll help you reach your financial goal. Our experience was a tremendous success.”

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Tips and How-To

Kate Peterson: Customer Testimonials That Sell

mm

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials

Retirement Made Easy with Wilkerson

The store was a landmark in Topeka, Kansas, but after 80 years in business, it was time for Briman’s Leading Jewelers to close up shop. Third generation jeweler and owner Rob Briman says the decision wasn’t easy, but the sale that followed was — all thanks to Wilkerson. Briman had decided a year prior to the summer 2020 sale that he wanted to retire. With a pandemic in full force, he had plenty of questions and concerns. “We had no real way to know if we were going to be successful or have a failure on our hands,” says Briman. “We didn’t know what to expect.” But with Wilkerson in charge, the experience was “fantastic” and now there’s plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying a more secure retirement. “I would recommend Wilkerson to any retailer considering a going-out-of-business sale,” says Briman. “They’ll help you reach your financial goal. Our experience was a tremendous success.”

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