The Value of Customer Opinions
As the founder of Vapor Systems, a company that markets nationwide a device that cleans, sanitizes,
and deodorizes using only ordinary tap water, I have tried many different ways to grow my online business.
I've tried everything from banner ads to trading links to search engine
submissions, but what I personally found to be most effective is asking satisfied
customers to write a short review of our product.
Many months ago, we started asking potential customers
who called with questions how they heard about us. Although we did not know it at the time, someone had
published a positive review of our product line on Amazon.com. This, we learned, was the source of many
of the inquiries we received. And this got us
Vapor Systems is fortunate to receive a number of kind
emails on a regular basis. We find it easy to tell
from the tone of these emails which customers would be
happy to publish a short review about us on the Web.
After some investigation, we found that
is a place many consumers visit before making a purchase.
Our original thought was to direct our
customers to the ePinions site. We still do this, but
for those customers who are willing to use their real name instead of an ePinions-like moniker, we have turned to
publishing their testimonials on our site.
We have found that doing a small favor, such as
providing a replacement part at no cost, will cause
customers to want to write a testimonial. For
example, we recently received a very kind letter from
a customer in Massachusetts. This customer wrote to
ask how to purchase a replace attachment. She ended
her email with: "I love this product--everything
smells so clean without that chemical smell!"
We promptly responded by saying that we would send her the
replacement part at no cost. And this is the response
we received when we asked if we could use her comments
as a testimonial: "Thank you. You most certainly may
use parts of my email as a testimonial. I love this
product! I have mold allergens and I have an
asthmatic kitty and we both appreciate the relief the
Vapor Vac give us!" We added her comments that very day to our testimonial
After receiving Val's message, I asked her to explain how a review as general as
"steam vs. vapor," could lead to sales. She explained: "Our experience
shows that many people looking to buy a vapor
steam cleaner first do a search in Google or Yahoo to locate a merchant. For example,
is a link to a customer review on ePinions about steam vs. vapor that has
translated into sales for us. This review is a reason some people say they have picked us to
do business with."
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by Barbara Brabec
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