Your website and marketing materials may be well-written and persuasive, but today’s consumer is sceptical and savvy. How do you convince them that you’re not making empty promises?
How do you let them know that they can trust you?
This is where testimonials come in.
A testimonial is essentially an in-depth review written from the point of view of a satisfied customer; someone sitting on your prospect’s side of the table. They prove that you don’t just have clever marketing copy – you have what it takes to solve a problem or satisfy a need.
They give you credibility.
Let’s take a closer look at the power of testimonials and how to use them to effectively promote your business…
The Benefits of Testimonials for Your Business
The main benefit of testimonials for your business is the opportunity to use other people’s words to describe the advantages of your products or services. There’s only so much you can say about your own capabilities, before prospective customers start to question your claims, whereas a second opinion helps to validate your own praise.
Better still, testimonials express genuine gratitude towards your service or product for solving a problem. It’s important to remember that customers are always looking to know how you can make their life easier, and what better way to show that you can do this than by giving a real-life example!
If a prospect reads a testimonial from someone with a similar problem to them, describing how happy they are with how you solved it, they’re going to feel a lot more confident about buying from you.
Another reason for this is ‘social proof’ which, as described in the seminal book Influence (by Robert Cialdini) is the idea that people are more likely to do something if they see others doing it. This is why so many people own an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, despite there being hundreds of smartphone options to choose from. Testimonials offer ‘social proof’, making prospects feel more comfortable about choosing you.
How to Collect Testimonials For Your Business
Now you know why testimonials for your business are so valuable, how do you go about collecting them? Well, quite simply, you start asking! When you do, you’ll quickly find that your customers will be happy to provide you with them.
The easiest customers to collect them from are those who’ve just bought from you, as the experience, and their positive feelings surrounding it will still be fresh in their mind. Within a few days of them purchasing from you, drop them a quick line asking if they’d be happy to write a testimonial.
This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t ask less recent customers too – as many will still gladly write one up for you. In such cases, send them a polite message referring to what they purchased from you. To make things easier for them, it’s often a good idea to provide a few guiding questions to get them going. For example:
- What did you come to us for?
- How did we help you?
- What were the benefits?
Questions like this help to jog their memory and increase the chances of them replying with a glowing testimonial for your business. You can also send over example testimonials and a step-by-step guide to ensure you’re getting the information you want, and which can be especially helpful if you want reviews to be left on specific platforms – e.g. Google forms or Typeform.
It might be a good idea to add a personal touch by sending clients a postcard asking for their feedback, or even adding an incentive by putting all respondents’ names into a prize draw!
How to Use Testimonials Effectively
Once you’ve collected a number of testimonials, there are a number of ways to use them to promote your business.
The first is to have a dedicated page on your website that visitors can access easily – for example, from a menu option clearly marked ‘testimonials’. Alternatively, you can have them spread out across your site, so visitors see them regardless of the page they land on. The homepage of a website is the most popular choice to place testimonials, after a dedicated page.
If your products and services are in-depth or complicated, you might choose to post a series of case studies instead of testimonials.
Images are another way to make your testimonials more effective, so be sure to ask for a picture from the client or customer. If your clients are other businesses, they’ll be happy to give you one, as they will benefit from having their face (and a link to their business) on a webpage. Take Face for Business, a call answering service, for instance: for their client testimonials, they feature the customer’s logo as opposed to a photo. By doing this, their business gets a testimonial and the client gets free publicity and a boost in SEO – a win-win!
You can also share testimonials via social media to elevate your business. Different channels offer different ways to highlight the good work you’ve done for your customers. Facebook and LinkedIn make it easy as they encourage your connections to leave testimonials and recommendations on your page. Other social media channels, like Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, allow you to get creative. You could, for example, ask a client to post a picture of your product or service on Instagram. Or, they could tweet about the excellent service they just received from you.
And of course, signposting customers to leave a review on Google my Business will do wonders for your business’s reputation. Try to reply to reviews on here too, to build your customers’ trust. But make sure you’ve verified your business first!
Once you get into the habit of asking every customer for their opinion, you’ll soon have an amazing collection of testimonials that will work wonders for your business.
Written by Cleo Chaisty. Cleo is a copywriter for Face for Business, a leading UK telephone answering service. She writes expert articles on SMEs, start-ups, and how to grow your business.