It's life in the fast lane for our #Southend winner!
17th April 2012
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Thousands of people nationwide embraced our 14 Days of Love campaign, sharing the love and adding their testimonials in appreciation of the fantastic products and services our local businesses so consistently provide. 


The campaign had some fantastic prizes up for grabs in a daily prize draw, and anybody who had ‘shared the love’ for a local business was in with a chance of winning - which is precisely what lucky member Craig Hudson did! Having been delighted with the service received from local photographers, Studio Rochford, Craig spread the love on our Recommend a Business page, saying:


"Brilliant photos, lovely people to deal with. My children were at ease with Jo and Sally in no time at all, so we got some amazing portraits. No hard sell, just a happy, easy experience." 


This simple act of appreciation earned Craig an unforgettable Ferrari Driving Experience day at Silverstone when his name came up in the daily prize draw!


The power of the testimonial has never been as great as it is now, with the benefits to both consumer and provider being endless. Who books a holiday these days without reference to the likes of TripAdvisor, Holiday Watchdog or Holidays Uncovered, to name but a few? People will go to Amazon, not simply because it is one of the Internet's biggest market places, but because pretty much every product you may be looking to purchase will be reviewed on there somewhere. And these reviews and testimonials are submitted not by people giving it hard sell, but by people who have actually tried the product.


In adding a review or testimonial, you're not just showing your appreciation for a local business or businesses that have served you well. You and the whole community benefit from being able to check the credentials of a local business to make sure we're getting the right man (or woman) for the job, based on how others have found their service.


Any newcomer to the area, in the absence of local knowledge, will find themselves turning to the internet for local trades, businesses and services. If, as a business, you don't have your own website – that all-important virtual 'shop window' – thebestof Southend can provide could prove invaluable and customers have the benefit of a 'one stop' directory of some of the best businesses, services and events in the local area. 


Although the 14 Days of Love campaign has come to an end for another year, you can still share the love for local businesses via thebestof Southend, either by adding a testimonial to a business listing or as Craig did, recommending a local business that may not currently feature in our Business Directory. And businesses – do not be afraid to blow your own trumpet; if your customers are happy, then point them in this direction and ask them to give you a mention.


It only takes a couple of minutes and provides not just a boost for your business, but a service to the local community.


Pictured below: Craig Hudson, Claire Thompson from thebestof Southend and Jo Tennant from Studio Rochford.

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