When it comes to business, nothing speaks louder than results. And in the fitness world, customer reviews and testimonials are a powerful way to showcase results, build trust, demonstrate your ability to deliver an exceptional member experience, and offer social proof that you’re able to help clients achieve their goals.
In today’s digitally driven world, online reviews and testimonials are a must-have for your marketing mix. In this blog, we’ll focus primarily on customer testimonials—what they are, why they matter, and quick tips to help you collect more.
What is Testimonial Marketing?
Einstein Marketer defines testimonial marketing as “the use of a person’s written statement expressing their experience, gratitude, or dissatisfaction in your product or service.” And while the terms “testimonial” and “review” are often used interchangeably, there are a few key distinctions between the two:
- Customer testimonials offer a more in-depth explanation of the customer’s experience with your product and service, and typically includes an explanation about why the customer chose it, and how it’s impacted their lives.
- Another noticeable difference is where customer testimonials appear. Customer testimonials are typically given to the company directly by the client, whereas customer reviews are typically provided and posted to a third-party site.
- A third major difference is that because companies ask for customer testimonials directly, they’re usually always positive.
Why Testimonials Matter
Customer reviews, video testimonials, star ratings, and the like are all designed to inspire trust by providing information about other customers’ real experiences. You can almost guarantee potential customers will take to the internet to look for online reviews and customer testimonials about your business before they make any purchase decisions.
Here are a few statistics that may surprise you:
- 97% of consumers say the customer reviews they read influence their purchasing decisions
- 92% of consumers will hesitate to buy a product if there are no reviews left by customers
- 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from friends
- 75% of people online trust a business after seeing a positive review
- 94% of consumers refuse to support a business because of negative reviews
Methods to Collect Customer Testimonials
Now you know why customer reviews and testimonials matter, but you may not know how to effectively solicit customer feedback. According to BrightLocal’s 2020 Local Consumer Review Survey, 72% of customers will provide reviews and testimonials simply if a local business asks them to. While the best way to ask for customer testimonials will vary by your business and client-base, but here are five strategies to consider:
Sometimes the most effective way to get more customer testimonials is to simply ask your clients directly, face-to-face. Keep in mind that not everyone will be willing or able to provide customer testimonials on the spot, so it’s a smart idea to create a promotional card that clearly explains how, and where, customers can submit reviews and testimonials at a later time that’s convenient for them.
Email is often the easiest and fastest way to ask for customer feedback, especially if you utilise a facility management software to streamline the process. If your website already has a landing page with a submission form in place to collect reviews and testimonials, be sure to include that direct link in your email to make it as easy as possible for users to submit customer feedback.
3. Your website
Including a link to your testimonial page on your website can be the gentle reminder some customers need. You’ll want to make sure the link to your testimonial page is visibly displayed, and includes a clear, concise call to action in order to collect more testimonials and reviews on your website.
4. Social Media
In today’s highly connected world, more businesses are turning to social media to engage with members and build relationships with potential new customers. Highlighting existing customer reviews and testimonials on your social media pages helps establish your brand, builds credibility, and provides the social proof some people will need to see before considering your fitness facility. You can also utilise your social media pages to request customer reviews and testimonials, but you’ll want to space out these requests to avoid coming across too pushy or salesy.
Including a link to your testimonials page and submission form on purchase receipts ensures all clients know how, and where, they can provide customer feedback. It’s also a good idea to include this information in your other marketing materials—for example, posters, flyers, display signs, and your new member welcome packet, just to name a few. The easier it is to provide customer feedback, the more likely you are to get it.
The best way to get more reviews and testimonials for your fitness facility is to use a combination of the ideas outlined above. The more touch points you create with your customers, the more likely you are to get customer feedback. It will take some time and trial-and-error to determine which strategies are most effective for your business and clients, but securing more online reviews and customer testimonials is vital to promoting and growing your fitness business in today’s increasingly competitive landscape.
To learn how EZFacility’s comprehensive facility management software can help you connect with members, convert leads into long-lasting relationships, and streamline operations so you can focus on the most important aspects of running your business, click here to schedule a free demo today.