I suspect that there isn’t a dealer alive who doesn’t take pleasure in any opportunity to talk about their company and its products. It can have a positive influence on a listener’s perception of the firm. But, as good as that is, it pales in comparison to a customer sharing his or her experience with the dealership or product. When the customers speak, people listen.
A case in point is a three-year-old shoe retailer called Shoedazzle. And, no, it’s not your mother’s old shoe store. Shoedazzle is an online shoe-of-the-month club that claims more than 13 million members. And while it has some big names associated with it, including co-founder Kim Kardashian along with LegalZoom creators Brian Lee and Robert Shapiro, it’s a good example of the power of using customer video testimonials.
Inc magazine’s Jennifer Alsever recently featured Shoedazzle as a model of successful marketing by integrating video testimonials on its website. Citing a teenage girl as one of Shoedazzle’s “most persuasive spokespeople,” Alsever reported she “gushes over the service’s low prices” ($29 and up) and further quoted her as saying: “The prices are, like, perfect.”
Specifically, Shoedazzle invites customers to do a short webcam video about their experience, what surprised them or what they love about Shoedazzle. A California software company, VideoGenie, was contracted to collect 20-second videos from customers who could simply click on a “record” button on Shoedazzle’s website and speak up. The videos are automatically uploaded and emailed directly to Shoedazzle. After a review, Shoedazzle sends emails to the customers telling them their videos have been posted.
Does it work? In the first month alone, Shoedazzle reported more than 70,000 videos were viewed online. And, Shoedazzle claims it definitely increased membership — it’s free — and business.
While Shoedazzle’s program is very large, sophisticated and expensive, the concept of having customer video testimonials is something marine dealers can adapt. Getting short testimonials can be done online or simply within the showroom or marina with an inexpensive HD video camera (under $200). There’s nothing difficult about it.
Shoedazzle is a success story that illustrates what an asset customers can be when they speak of what they like about a company and its products. Consider inviting a few of your best customers to do the same for you.