Customer reviews and testimonials mean a lot for manufacturing companies. It is important for manufacturers to pay close attention to the reviews and testimonials your company receives, as it has a big impact on the image of your brand. In a recent USA Manufacturing hour on twitter, Host Chris Giglio from Rovere Media led a discussion on how customer reviews and testimonials.
Impact on Decision-making
The chat started off with participants discussing how customer reviews and testimonials impact decision-making processes when selecting a manufacturing supplier or vendor.
Rebecca Prox, a Digital Marketing Pro said, “Like anything else, I trust what the majority says about a company. If there are enough positive reviews and testimonials, I'm more likely to explore that company for my needs.”
Nigel Packer from Pelatis Online said, “When the product or services takes the customer into new realms and technical language, referencing testimonials and reviews can help them with the buying decision. If you find the names of the people who posted the testimonial, then you can contact them and enquire about the company/product or service.”
Felix P. Nater from Nater Associates said, “Good reviews are convincing and can possibly serve as proof of reliability and dependability and credibility.
He added, “Testimonials reflect trust in the product or the service.”
Nater then questioned, “While testimonials are important written testimonials are questioned instead of being valued?”
The team at Truck Parts Inventory said, “They are key indicators for where strengths and weaknesses lie. These indicators have a high impact on who we and our sellers choose to work with. If testimonials and reviews are plentiful and balanced, then odds are the business opportunities will be as well!”
Pavel Stepanov from VirtuDesk said, “Customer reviews reflect your product/service performance. This builds or destroys credibility for that supplier/vendor.”
He added, “Positive customer feedback builds trust and trustworthiness. Prospective customers gain confidence in their decision to purchase a product or service when they realize that others have had a favorable experience with it.”
Ruby Rusine and the Social Success Marketing team said, “They can help me identify potential red flags. If a supplier or vendor has a lot of negative reviews, it could be a sign that there are problems with its products or services - or the company, per se.”
Nater replied, “I like your Tweet Ruby. Because reviews can serve as opinion, they are read by many. People looking for negative reviews focus on opinions before making a purchase.”
Kirsten Austin from DCSC Inc replied, “Good one!”
Whitney Koch said, “I perhaps spend too much time reading reviews, But I do because they give me an overall sense of what I can expect from that business, allowing me to determine if I want to buy from them or not.”
Host Giglio replied, “Same! And this extends way past manufacturing too, like the other night when I was shopping for a new electronic toothbrush on Amazon and had to read every review from the 5 stars to the 1 star to make sure I wasn't buying garbage.”
Host, Giglio said, “Customer reviews and testimonials can play a big role in the decision-making process when selecting a manufacturing supplier or vendor. They provide valuable insights into the experiences of other customers, helping gauge the quality of products, customer service, and overall satisfaction. Positive reviews and testimonials can instill confidence and trust, while negative ones may raise concerns or prompt viewers to explore alternative options."
Have You left a Review?
Next, the participants shared if they have ever left a review or testimonial for a manufacturing company, along with what motivated them to do so.
Prox said, “Can't say I've done that. Most of my reviews are in the hospitality industry.”
Host, Giglio said, “Interesting! Another industry where reviews are very important, hopefully your experiences have led to more positive reviews than negative.”
To which Prox responded, “For the most part, yes. If I find a hotel or restaurant that exceeds my expectations, I leave a glowing review. I don't usually leave bad reviews unless it's something that might not be a one-time thing. Every place can have a bad day once, right?”
Host Giglio then replied, “Bad reviews are just as important as good reviews. Without proper feedback a business isn't always aware of their pain points. I've definitely left my share of both, but I always make sure the negative ones come off as constructive feedback and not uninformed shouting.”
Austin said, “Not a manufacturing company (yet I should) but I have left good reviews when I was especially treated well or had a great experience with a company's team.”
Rusine said, “Not recently but my experience is often the motivation for leaving one. I also wanted to help the company get more business.”
Stepanov said, “I haven't since I am in a different industry.”
Packer said, “Yes, I have. The recipient company has a fantastic reputation, and I was not disappointed with their product or service level. Testimonials and reviews provide social proof to new buyers and are life giving sustenance to the company. I have also provided some reviews that point out weaknesses in products.”
Koch said, “I don't believe I have. Typically, reviewers have had a strong +/- experience driving them to leave a review. That can definitely skew your perspective as a prospect.”
Nater said, “A short written review gives the look an honest impression in helping decide if it’s the best choice before making a purchase.”
Truck Parts Inventory said, “We have left reviews, and almost every time it's been due to how things were handled across the board. Everything from personal treatment and attitude to overall satisfaction.”
Host, Giglio said, “Leaving a review or testimonial for a company is often motivated by experiences or a desire to help others make informed decisions. Positive encounters, such as receiving high-quality products, exceptional customer service, or timely deliveries, may inspire customers to share their positive feedback. On the other hand, negative experiences that fall short of expectations may also motivate customers to provide feedback as a cautionary measure.”
The group then discussed how customer reviews and testimonials can help a manufacturing company differentiate itself from competitors.
Prox said, “Using reviews and testimonials in marketing is a great way to differentiate your company from a competitor. Use those reviews in emails, social media posts, videos, etc.”
Stepanov said, “Positive reviews reinforce a positive brand image and can attract more customers, while negative reviews may raise concerns and deter potential buyers.”
Rusine said, “On reviews and testimonials, customers unwittingly highlight unique selling points such as its high-quality products, excellent customer service, or competitive prices.”
Austin said, “I think it's great for a company to explain who they are and what they do. When a customer, however, explains the benefits of that manufacturer's products it hits home to similar potential customers.”
Koch said, “Mfg companies should TOTALLY use the content of positive reviews as part of their digital marketing strategy. As others have said, they are social proof. It also helps those companies see what it is that customer like about them--that can be their differentiator.”
Packer said, “We see the retail, gambling and FMCG markets lean heavily on their testimonials and reviews to differentiate themselves. Unfortunately, the manufacturing sector are running behind. Old case studies and few testimonials on their websites. You have to ask if you want a testimonial.”
Stepanov added, “Reviews can highlight a brand's knowledge of a specific sector or niche. Customers that frequently appreciate a brand's in-depth knowledge, technical proficiency, or subject matter expertise build trust in the company.”
Nater said, “In today's digital communications world testimonial and reviews can be shared on online very quickly in a variety of ways.”
Nater added, “Testimonials and Customer Reviews can be featured on business websites in advertisements that target specific audiences, and in social media posts that customers can share with their friends. Being bashful should be abolished to be competitive.”
Host, Giglio said, “In a competitive manufacturing landscape, customer reviews and testimonials offer a powerful way for companies to differentiate themselves. By showcasing positive feedback, a manufacturing company can highlight its strengths, unique selling points, and areas where it excels. This can help it stand out from competitors and attract potential customers who are seeking reliable and trusted partners for their manufacturing needs.”
The group the shared from experience, what some of the key benefits of using customer reviews and testimonials in manufacturing marketing are.
Stepanov said, “Incorporating customer reviews and testimonials into marketing materials, such as websites, brochures, or social media content, can boost conversion rates.”
Rusine said, “Customer reviews can be used to create valuable content for your website, social media, and other marketing materials. This can help you to attract new customers and keep existing customers engaged.”
Packer replied, “Star tips here Ruby. If you have them then use them. Keep them current and announce any new reviews and testimonials to all of your social media platforms.”
Prox said, “Benefits include opportunities to do better as a company or gain more customers.”
Koch said, “I did not use any in my previous role because we didn't ask for reviews. But if we had, we could've included it on our website & created SM posts to share. Depending on the feedback, we could've worked the customer's words into other content.”
Stepanov added, “Positive feedback and testimonials support the company's products and services. They reassure potential buyers that the manufacturer's products meet or surpass their expectations and deliver value.”
Nater said, “I have used Testimonials in competitive opportunities to show the Prospect the similarity between their situation and/or problem and that of the Clients who provided me the testimonials. It has worked.”
Nater added, “Testimonials in the past have given me the edge by giving me the upper hand by showing my familiarity with similar operations.
Host, Giglio said, “The benefits of utilizing customer reviews and testimonials in manufacturing marketing are numerous. They provide social proof, allowing potential customers to see real-life experiences of others who have worked with the company. Reviews and testimonials can enhance credibility, build trust, and reduce perceived risk, particularly when making substantial purchases or establishing long-term partnerships. Additionally, positive feedback can be leveraged in marketing materials, website content, and social media campaigns to reinforce brand reputation and influence purchasing decisions.”
Next the group shared some strategies that they have seen manufacturing companies use to encourage customers to leave reviews and testimonials.
Rusine said, “We don't beg for it, for sure. However, in most cases, the reviews are offered to us for which I am grateful.”
Koch replied, “That’s great!”
Rusine responded, “We're always grateful for these precious thoughts from our clients, Whit.”
Prox said, “Add a line to an email, use it in a social post, link to it from a website, provide an info card in a shipment, ask someone face to face.”
Koch said, “I can't say I have seen a mfg company do this, but an incentive would be a start. This could be something like an Amazon gift card or maybe a discount off a future purchase.”
Stepanov said, “Not sure about the manufacturing industry but we usually ask our clients to leave reviews. We also sometimes provide limited merchandise to them.”
Host Giglio replied, “Offering incentive is usually helpful and typically gets a positive response in my experience.”
Nater said, “Publicizing Customer Reviews with the product promotes the satisfied Customer. The Customer Review will be significant in a specific category to attract critical feedback. Customer Review might be used as a sustainable competitive promotional advantage.”
Host, Giglio said, “Manufacturing companies employ various strategies to encourage customers to leave reviews and testimonials. Some may implement post-purchase follow-ups, requesting feedback on product quality, customer service, or overall experience. Others may incentivize reviews through discounts, rewards, or contests. Utilizing email campaigns, social media platforms, and dedicated review sites are also effective methods to prompt customers to share their experiences.”
Trust and Credibility
Finally, the chat wrapped up with participants sharing how they think manufacturing companies can use customer reviews and testimonials to build trust and credibility with potential customers.
Prox said, “"Don't take OUR word for it... hear what our customers have said..."”
Packer said, “Include them in proposals especially if the other company is in a similar sector.”
Rusine said, “As social sellers for B2Bs, it is your social proof. [Def: Social proof is the idea that people are more likely to trust something if they see that other people trust it].”
Julia Gardner from Hourly – Insurance & Payroll said, “Customer reviews and testimonials are valuable to the marketing and social media teams as a way for building trust with your audience!”
Nater said, “I might use a well written Customer Review as a way of improving other Customer Reviews in showing potential customers the value of the products and services being offered.”
Host, Giglio said, “Customer reviews and testimonials hold significant potential in building trust and credibility for manufacturing companies. They serve as unbiased endorsements from real customers and act as a testament to a company's reliability and performance. By showcasing positive feedback, manufacturing companies can reassure potential customers, mitigating concerns about product quality, customer support, and delivery reliability. In an industry where trust is paramount, leveraging reviews and testimonials can help establish a favorable reputation and differentiate a company from its competitors.”
Anyone who champions U.S. manufacturing can join in on a new conversation each week on Twitter using the hashtag #USAMfgHour. The chat starts at 11 a.m. Pacific Standard Time/2 p.m. Eastern. Share positive blog posts, helpful articles, news, important information, accomplishments, events, and more with other manufacturers and supporters from throughout the country.
Are you interested in hosting a #USAMfgHour chat? Contact organizers @DCSCinc, @SocialSMktg and @Radwell_Intl
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