You read that right- it only takes 4 simple steps to get your business the great testimonials and reviews it deserves! Our Friday guest post comes to you courtesy of’s CEO Andy Sernovitz who discusses the power of the positive recommendation, how it affects and motivates our shopping habits and the 4 ways that anyone can begin getting these types of reviews for their own.

True, honest love from a happy customer in the form of a testimonial or review can be incredibly powerful. More than any copy you could write, any ad you could buy, or any offer you could pitch – a recommendation from a happy customer motivates people to buy.

It’s more than just the warm fuzzies, recent research from Nielsen shows that 92% of us trust recommendations from people we know, and 70% of us trust reviews from strangers online. That’s much more significantly than how much we trust the traditional method of advertising, editorial content, and search marketing.

So how do we get this positive feedback? It only takes 4 simple steps!

1. Just Ask

Happy customers are glad to give you a review or testimonial. But they won’t think to do it without a little prompting. Just ask. Try sending customers a simple email that politely asks, “How’d we do? We’d love your feedback.” Put a form on your website where anyone can submit comments or concerns of any sort. You’ll be surprised by how many customers take advantage of the opportunity to tell you what they think!

2. Get Permission to Share

A great review doesn’t do much for you if you don’t have permission to post or share it.

It’s important you get permission to use a customer’s testimonial in your marketing material. It doesn’t have to be a formal contract, but do get an explicit okay in writing or in email. The easiest way to do it is to add a simple checkbox to your feedback forms. Or, anytime you get an unsolicited compliment, feel free to send a note that says something like, “Thanks for the kind words. May I quote you in our marketing materials?”

3. Put ‘Em on Your Website

This is the whole point! Love from your fans isn’t worth much unless your potential customers can actually see it. Now that you’ve got great reviews, testimonials, and recommendations from your happy customers, put them where everyone can see them. Put them on your homepage, on your sales or product pages, in your footers, and anywhere else visitors might be able to see them.

4. Link to Compliments Already Online

Once you’ve got a website full of positive word of mouth, go surfing for anything else online. You’ll find a ton on blogs, posted on Twitter, and in forums. Link to all of these. As long as it’s posted publicly, you don’t need explicit permission.

Want to learn more? Sign up for the Word of Mouth Crash Course!

If you liked these ideas, you’ve got to come to our Word of Mouth Crash Course in Austin, TX on May 10. We’re bringing together 33 mind-blowing marketers to teach these fundamental skills in 12 how-to classes, 12 real-world case studies, and 6 brilliant author sessions.

You’ll learn essential word of mouth skills in classes like how to create buzzworthy topics, how to get great reviews, how to create a fan community, and how to measure it all. You’ll discover how stellar brands like Dell, Discovery Communications, Threadless, Maker’s Mark, Costco, Movember, Domino’s, and Boeing earn word of mouth every day. You’ll also get practical, hands-on techniques to get started, earn great reviews from customers, and create amazing word of mouth.

About Andy

Andy Sernovitz teaches word of mouth marketing. He is the author of Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking and CEO of and