This is part two of a five-part series.
Continental Diamond store co-owners Jimmy and Helain Pesis have
had some terrific ideas when it comes to customer testimonials, such as
video-taped endorsements from local sports and media figures on the
store’s main website. But their nephew Andrew Furman, the store’s sales
and web marketing manager, initiated the push to get more customer store
reviews posted to Google and CitySearch.com to increase the store’s SEO
(Search Engine Optimization).
At a time when consumers place a huge amount of trust in online
reviews, Furman developed the idea of putting the web addresses for
Google and CitySearch.com on business cards. “People in the market are
looking at testimonials now more then ever before,” says Furman. “When a
customer lets us know they’ve had a good jewelry-buying or service
experience at our store, we hand them a card and ask them to post a
review on either of these websites.”
The business card-sized testimonials cards are placed in a small
plastic card holders on top of display counters throughout the store.
Furman has had them out for about 10 months. At first, Furman and other
sales associates asked customers to posted reviews on Yelp and Google,
but Yelp was recently dropped.
“Yelp contacted me about a month ago, telling me our customer
reviews couldn’t be seen on their website because they have a special
filter for non-Yelp users – certain criteria has to be met in order for a
review to be viewed,” says Furman. “They stipulated that we could only
solicit reviews from current Yelp users, so we started advertising on
Yelp, which has helped bring in more reviews on their website.”
In Yelp’s place, Furman decided to add in CitySearch to their
counter cards. The retailer was already advertising on City Search and
the website has a more open review posting policy.
Over the last 10 months, roughly 500 to 600 cards have been
handed out or taken by customers with a second box of 500 cards ordered
just last week. The store now has 140-plus online peer reviews. This has
helped put Continental in the number-two search-result position in
Google when using the key words “diamonds” and “Minneapolis.”
The first-generation review card with Yelp
The second-generation review card minus Yelp and CitySearch added