User reviews have changed purchasing forever. Amazon.com really spearheaded this, and many other giant retailers have followed suit, but now with sites like Yelp and Foursquare, users can review your place of business, services or products instantly. Truthfully, this is good for everyone. Many small businesses lived in a vacuum before, never knowing where their weak spots were or how they could improve unless they mailed out a customer survey. Now you have access to the exact same data as everyone else, for free, and can make improvements based on user reviews.

Even more importantly, providing positive reviews right on your site is huge in drawing new traffic and creating trust. Depending on the type of business you operate, case studies help potential clients or customers understand what you do and how you’ve helped others like them. It is an excellent way to draw attention to services you offer that may not come up during a new client interview.

Testimonials are less about what you’ve done than how you’ve done it and give readers a chance to see what others are saying about you. Building strong customer/client relationships makes it easy to ask for recommendations. Unless they were not pleased, many customers will be glad to do this for you. If they drag their feet, don’t push. People are busy and, even though they want to praise you, they may forget. That’s okay. Move on to another satisfied client!

Video case studies and testimonials add even more punch and authenticity and are excellent posted on your home page. Seeing a customer talking about what you’ve done for them is a huge selling tool. The video quality doesn’t have to be high-end. Just getting something up is superior to waiting for perfection. Involving your satisfied customers is smart business today.

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by Steven Schlagel