References are a powerful selling tool for most businesses. Testimonials provide social proof that others like your organization’s products or services. They increase the ‘trust’ factor of your business. It makes selling more effective and less costly. What are techniques you can use to gather testimonials from your satisfied customers. Here are several interesting, non standard techniques.

Luna Park, a theme park in Sydney, Australia, has implemented an application that integrates smart phones, bar code readers, photo taking devices, Facebook and email to provide a real time feed of what users are doing at the theme park to their Facebook friends plus a summary of the day. It’s called My Experience. During the day, there are posts to your friends on what rides you are taking and a picture of you on a ride and a score on how ‘daring’ you are. What is this? It’s a testimonial for the theme park. Indirectly, the act of posting a stream of actions taken by users is providing their friends word of mouth feedback using Facebook that they are having fun and after the fact, that they had fun, at Luna Park. Or they can send an email to their friends with a summary. Great word of mouth!

A testimonial or referral from a customer is one of the best forms of marketing. It is not uncommon for businesses to want to post customer testimonials everywhere they can to encourage others to buy: advertising, store signage, press releases, websites. Watch a video on this new technology and technique adopted by Diesel Jeans. As most Facebook users have more than 100 friends on average, this technique provides word of mouth reference spread to over 100 friends in seconds with just a few pushes of a button from a smart phone or using a service like SnapmyInfo for regular cell phones with a camera. Do you know anyone that doesn’t leave home with their mobile phone? Consumers have the ability to easily provide referrals for your product, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

Customers can now leave feedback about your company, business or brand on line in various review sites like Yelp, Google Maps, Twitter, etc.. There are many social media monitoring tools that allow an organization to listen for this feedback but what should a business do when they have negative reviews?

Customer Testimonials or References are one of the key measurements of customer satisfaction and loyalty. Word of mouth marketing is probably the most effective means of marketing. A personal endorsement from someone will help close a sale. Social Proof is the theory behind customer testimonials Eleven techniques being used today for social proof are discussed in this article.

Word of mouth (and with the internet, this has become World of Mouth) is having a bigger and bigger effect on who customers chose to do business with. One of the key sources of information consumers use today are ‘reviews’ (in customer satisfaction terminology- ‘testimonials or references’). Here’s an interesting technique to help an organization gather reviews: Run a contest. Check out what Lenovo, a PC Manufacturer is doing.

Facebook has just announced Deals for Places, a way for local businesses to attract new customers to their location and to reward loyal customers. Using the power of the 500 Million users on Facebook, customers who check in to a business tell all their friends and family where they have been, effectively creating a testimonial for that location. This post covers why a business should be interested, what kinds of deals are available, how to get started and what to do first.

Ensuring an organization has References and Testimonials for its products and services is a well established customer satisfaction best practice. A new trend in the industry is accessing these on line and now through mobile phones. Pictures of actual reviews on mobile phones (smart and regular cell phones) are included in the article.

Have you checked out Google Maps? It is a very convenient service to help you find directions to where ever you are going, including in many locations, a street view of the place you are planning to visit. But there are more features on Google Maps than just finding your way. Did you know customers can leave reviews of sites they visit on Google Maps?

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