Don’t Forget to Share Your Customer Stories

Sharing customer stories can be an effective means of marketing your business in a number of ways. Reviews and testimonials are amongst the most credible forms of marketing because customer stories come from real people and real experiences. So too are case studies – more detailed stories written by clients who have used your products and services and been able to achieve the results they hoped for.

While it is true that some unscrupulous marketers try to manipulate sales at Amazon and other sites that accept customer reviews, it is also true that honesty is the best policy. The more genuine, positive reviews you get from your customers, the more you will look like the “real deal” and worth trusting.

There are different ways to get customer stories, and to share them.

Getting Customer Stories

The best way to get customer stories is to remember to ask for them on a regular basis. If you sell information products such as eBooks, for example, ask for reviews to be posted on Amazon. They can be written and video-based. Request they send written reviews and testimonials via email as well. You will soon have a library of customer stories related to your products.

Creating a Template

You can create a template that offers suggestions on how to write a review. It could be something like:

* What problem were you experiencing?
* What other products had you already tried?
* Why was our product the right solution for you?
* What results did you get in the end?
* Why would you recommend it to another person?

This will help get more believable details so not all your reviews look the same, and also give them some useful prompts in case they are not sure what to write.

Testimonials

Testimonials can be slightly different in that they are often longer, and frequently written by people who work in your niche or industry. They are very powerful tools because these people are considered to be experts in their niche. Getting a foreword for your latest eBook by a prominent person in your niche can be a powerful tool for that book selling well.

Case Studies

Case studies are like a before-and-after snapshot of a problem a person faced, what action they took, and what results they achieved. Case studies often provide screenshots, reports and statistics to illustrate what was done and what results were obtained. If you sell products or services designed to help your customer reach a particular goal, it might be worth it to ask for a case study. These questions can act as prompts:

* What problem were you experiencing?
* What other products had you already tried?
* Who implemented our product?
* What results did you get in the end?
* Why was our product the right solution for you?

Ask for screenshots and reports if possible. Get a legal release form that will allow you to use the material. Be sensitive about not disclosing any information that might harm the person or company in any way.

Sharing Customer Stories

Once you get the reviews and testimonials, share them:

* On your site
* In your sales letters
* At your blog (use a testimonial rotator plugin to help)
* Include quotes from advanced reviews in your eBooks and other products
* In your online marketing material, such as at Amazon
* In your email marketing
* On social media
* Snippets added to your signature in emails and on discussion boards

Make a more conscious effort to gather customer stories and use them, and see what a difference it makes to your marketing mix.

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Ways to Use Chatbots in Your Business

There are a number of ways to use chatbots in your business in order to develop a relationship with your target audience and keep your customers happy.

1. Customer Service

Customer service that is as close to real time as possible is bound to impress customers. Many large businesses have taken to Twitter and other social media sites to interact more rapidly with those who contact them. The trouble is, they have to be online to do so.

Chatbots, on the other hand, are online 24/7/365 to answer questions. Automation of this type can save a lot of time, effort and wages, while still keeping your customers and prospect happy. It does require some advance planning to set up a customer service chatbot using keywords which will trigger the correct pre-prepared response, but the technology has now improved to the point where chatbots are a good deal more accurate.

In addition, they have improved to the point where customers, particularly younger ones who are always in a hurry, are happy to use them rather than email or social media and then have to wait for a response.

2. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Many businesses create an FAQ portal in the hope that customers will help themselves and find the answers they seek. But there are always going to be some who don’t want to hunt for the information they need and also desire “human” contact and interaction. A chatbot with pre-loaded words from typical questions will help trigger the kinds of answers they are looking for. They will get their answers right away, often at a critical point in their decision-making process, which can lead to more sales and profits.

Think of your pre-loaded messages as the follow-up or autoresponder emails in your email marketing platform, except customized to match what your customers have asked for specifically. If you’re not already using a chatbot like Facebook Messenger, it might be time to explore how useful a chatbot can be.

3. Marketing

Marketing online can be very time-consuming because of the many different channels you need to cover. Basically, you have to be where your customers are. This means all of the top social networks, email, discussion boards and chat rooms, and more.

If you can automate your marketing, you can still promote your business effectively, but still save time and person hours. A chatbot can help because it allows you to message anyone who is connected with you. Think of it as a “broadcast” email in your email marketing platform, with you sharing important news with your followers. This news might include:

* A product launch – Letting people know your new product is available could just give it the boost it needs to be successful right out of the starting gate.

* A webinar (just starting) – Invite people to your webinar. Then, when your webinar is about to start, message a reminder to attend, and to invite others to do so as well if the people on your list know anyone else who might be interested.

* A special flash sale – Sales are a good way to stimulate more profits, especially when things are slow. Flash sales are also a great way to help give your followers the feeling they are appreciated and special.

* A live video event (just starting) – Invite them to attend your YouTube or Facebook Live video at a particular date and time. Send a reminder just before you are starting. Encourage them by making it clear they can ask you questions live on the video, for more interactivity and relationship building.

As you can see, chatbots can be invaluable for your marketing and customer service.

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