If you want to buy a product, what makes you go over the edge and actually buy the product? Positive references of other people!
When you start reading the references, you've already decided that you want the product and that the price is fair. You only need a last push to make the actual decision.
Positive references can even make people decide to buy a product that is too expensive or from a supplier that is more expensive than a supplier with less or less positive references. Therefore it is valuable to put effort and time in receiving references from your customers.
Also not positive references are welcome! Make sure you do something with the input (improve the product, change the service, etc.) and make sure that you comment on the reference to make people aware of the effort you've taken. Use the reference, not only to improve your product or service but also to bring your product under the attention through social media and to update your web pages.
If a product has many references, positive and not positive, this makes the product and the references more trustworthy.
Note: people don't like to answer many questions, so only ask what you really want to know. Does the product meet your expectations, does it function as expected ... And give them an opportunity to comment.
Good luck with getting references and make them work for you!
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Written by: Kim van den Berg