How To Build A Community Around Your Brand – Getting Referrals, Reviews & Testimonials

In our recent blog about How To Improve Your Customer Retention, we looked at several ways to use referrals, reviews and testimonials to increase your customer retention. Asking for and acting on feedback is critical to establishing trust with your existing customers. It’s also very important to win over new customers who are deciding if your company is one they want to do business with.


But keep in mind, choosing to do business with you is often not as simple as a quick transaction. Some consumers are deciding if they want to join your brand community because their purchase will become a recurring one, or they are investing in your products and services for the long haul. These are the most desirable customer types because you can count on their business and they are much more likely to share any issues with you, resolve them and become even more loyal – provided you support them with exceptional customer service!

As a business owner, it’s crucial to understand the value of your customer community and what they bring to the table as far as helping you to establish a community that others want to be a part of. Getting referrals, testimonials, reviews, follows and engaged buyers lends credibility, trust and social proof to your brand and will help you to dramatically cut down on what it costs you to acquire each new customer. 

We work with businesses all the time that do amazing work and offer beloved products and services, yet they have very little of these critical social proof items. The reasons are almost always that they didn’t ask. They are either too humble, don’t want to impose or they have had a good word of mouth referral system in place. But the digital world requires that these praises are documented and available for all to see. 

So you get that it’s very important to ask your current customers for these things, but may wonder the best way to go about it. Here are some tips for how to incorporate requests into your processes:

Reviews – More reviews are a very easy way to boost your company profile and lend more trust to your brand, not to mention the SEO boost that you get from search engines like Google!

Getting more reviews is as simple as asking for them. Put the link to your review page on your email receipts, include it in your newsletter or try a QR code for easy access in your waiting room. Wherever your customers are interacting with you, make it quick and simple for them to share their experience with others.


PRO TIP: Always ask for the review very close to the time of the customer’s recent purchase to ensure it is still fresh in their mind and they are feeling great about the wonderful service they just received.

And don’t worry about possibly getting a bad review. Your business needs a bad review so you have the chance to show how great your service is at handling things that go wrong. Many consumers don’t even realize how important it is to know a company will stand by them until there is a problem. Let them know you’ve got their back beforehand and you’re sure to earn their business!

Referrals – Referrals can be tricky to encourage because you don’t want existing customers referring people solely for their own benefit. It’s best to request referrals because your customers genuinely believe that they are doing good for the person they refer. 

You can start by asking if they know anyone else who would benefit from your service or products. Ask this during the initial sales process, during onboarding and shortly after they make a purchase (or repurchase) with you. Add the call for referral to your newsletter, include it on social media and discuss it with them in person.

Testimonials – A personal testimonial from someone a potential customer can identify with is worth its weight in gold. But even your most loyal fans may not feel comfortable putting themselves out there, so consider your options carefully when asking for a testimonial. It is usually best to ask in person and to request a testimonial from a client who you’ve worked with for a while and you know is comfortable with sharing their story. Use photos or video with your testimonials to greatly improve their impact. 

Post testimonials and reviews on your website and social platforms or share them in your newsletter. Websites with testimonials available to those researching on a site are significantly more likely to convert the visitor to a sale!

Social Media – Encourage your customers and potential customers to follow you on social media. Ensure your social accounts are linked to icons on your website, on your blog page, within your newsletter and any other communications you share with your customers. Post signage around your business with your social accounts and consider campaigns that will attract new followers such as contests or inviting them to share content onto your platforms.

Every business is unique, but there are many simple ways to encourage your current and potential customers to become part of the community that surrounds your brand and promotes you organically. Treat your customers well and don’t be afraid to ask them to engage with you through referrals, reviews, testimonials and social media!

This can often be a lot to cover. If your business would benefit from working with an agency partner to manage your brand community, Digital Monk can help! 

Give us a call today to discuss your needs further.

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