You’ve got an amazing product –or service, and are excited to show it to the world. There’s just one problem: no one knows about it –or even you for that matter!
The truth is, having great products or services means nothing if you can’t get your customers’ approval. As a business, you can talk about your products or service all you want, but unless you have other people validating those claims, your word means very little. Customers today want proof, and word of mouth recommendations –both from close friends as well as from third parties online, carry a lot of weight. In fact, according to a report from BrightLocal, 88 percent of consumers trust online review sites as much as personal recommendations.
While many business owners dismiss testimonials as old-fashioned; or consider them to be something of an outdated pastime, testimonials are tremendously valuable and relevant today as well. Adding some to your website can add a significant measure of credibility to your site, helping to boost visitors’ trust.
Testimonials offer a number of advantages. If you’re looking to scale your company and grow your customer base, you’ll want to ensure that you have a way to obtain testimonials from your customers, and share them on your website and blog.
First, let’s look at some benefits that they offer –and then we’ll see how you can go about obtaining them.
Benefits of Testimonials
Testimonials offer a number of tremendous benefits for companies.
Here’s a look at a few now:
Customer testimonials, of course, are a great way to add credibility to your company; validating your message. They provide prospective customers with evidence that other people have found your products or services valuable. They can also help to position you as a thought leader in your industry, providing proof that you know what you’re doing!
Your customers see a different side of your company than you do. By obtaining their feedback, you’ll be able to get an insider’s look at how your company is really operating; showing you how your team –and overall operations are performing. They can even open your eyes to things that you may not have considered before, showing you where you’re excelling, and highlighting things that customers appreciate most.
Encourage Your Team
While testimonials are excellent for establishing credibility and promoting your business, they’re great for encouraging those within your company as well. Seeing positive feedback and experiences from satisfied customers can encourage and motivate your team like nothing else. Make sure your team is made aware of new customer testimonials, especially ones that mention them!
Speak for You
Let’s face it, you can talk about your products until you are blue in the face, but very few will listen. Get a customer who has tried your product and written an honest testimony, though, and suddenly people will pay attention. You don’t have to worry about proving the quality about your product or making big promises. Instead, let your customers advertise your product for you. A happy customer can be your best advocate. Plus, having a first-person account will help to add a personal touch to your message, helping it to resonate better with your audience.
What Makes a Good Testimonial?
So then the question arises: What makes a good testimonial?
You may be surprised to learn that not all testimonials are created equal. Some are vastly better than others! Generally speaking, honest and open testimonials are ideal, while ones that sound contrived and overly enthusiastic will come across as insincere or fake.
While it’s true that you can’t control the testimonials that your customers leave, you can help to influence the process. Here’s a look at how you can help to encourage your customers to give authentic and genuine testimonials.
How to Get Good Testimonials
Testimonials are essential to your company, and you’ll want to look for every opportunity to get them.
But it’s also important to remember that the best testimonials are honest and open. You don’t want a sappy testimonial that raves about how great your company is. No one is going to feel moved by that. What you want is an honest, down to earth testimonial from a real customer.
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Ask Them for Feedback
One of the best ways to get a testimonial from your customer is by simply asking them for feedback.
Consider asking your customers for their feedback immediately after they purchase a product or service from you. In order to get a great testimonial –one that’s not too vague or runs the risk of being off-point, here are a few questions that you could ask:
- Were you happy with our product or service?
- What did you like best about it?
- Were you happy with the customer service?
- Would you recommend this product?
- If so, why?
Then ask whether they would mind if you add their feedback to your website as a testimonial. In most cases, your customers will be fine with it.
If you’re leery about asking potential customers for feedback, don’t be. Asking for testimonials isn’t impolite or pushy. If you’re stuck and not sure how to ask, here’s a look at the approach that Andrew Griffiths, serial entrepreneur and author recommends taking.
His approach generally follows this kind of script:
“Mary I just wanted to say thank you using my business. I really appreciate it. In fact I am really committed to growing my business and I would love more wonderful customers just like you. So can I ask you to refer your friends and could you possibly write me a short testimonial. Here are a couple of examples, just one or two lines would be great. Are you happy to do that now for me?”
His approach is simple, yet effective –and is a great way to encourage customers to leave a genuine and helpful testimonial.
If you use LinkedIn, LinkedIn Recommendations can prove to be a great source for reviews. While you can’t get reviews on your company profile, you can ask for reviews for yourself, which is ideal if your business is based on your expertise.
According to one study, 80 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase from local businesses that have positive reviews on their Facebook Page. If you have a Facebook Page for your company, you’ll want to ensure that you’re set up to receive reviews. Start by making sure you’re set up as a Local Business; the option isn’t available for other types of pages. Next, make sure you enter your address. Then, chose a category and save. Now customers should be able to leave you a review.
Look Into Review Services
Review services such as Yotpo and Wavereview can be another great way to get more reviews. These services make it easier to collect reviews, ratings, and customer feedback; and simplify the entire process of asking for reviews too. It’s worth giving them a shot!
Select Where to Send Your Reviews
Consider directing your satisfied customers to specific review sites. The sites that you’ll want to target will vary depending on your industry, and where your customers tend to frequent. At my cabinet web store, RTA Cabinets, we rotate where we send customers between Google Business, Facebook, and Houzz; all relevant sites that are places where potential customers will be likely to spot the reviews.
Try Setting Up an Automated Review System
Save time by setting up an automated review system. This is a system that prompts your customers for reviews –usually by email or through retargeting ads, saving you from having to do it manually.
Ask for Photos
When possible, ask your reviewers for photos or videos. Not only will their photo help to lend credibility to their review, it’ll also help to make the review more engaging. A video testimonial especially can be a great way to get the attention of prospective customers.
Keep It Simple
Finally, keep it simple. Don’t overwhelm your customers; even getting them to post on social media with a special hashtag is a great place to start. You can then use a website plugin to pull the images through to your site. The Instagram Feed Pro allows you to display Instagram content –by hashtag on your WordPress blog.
Using Your Testimonials
So you’ve created an excellent product or service, sold a few, asked for specific feedback which resulted in some excellent testimonials –now what do you do next?
Creating a testimonials page is one idea, but don’t be afraid to use testimonials throughout your website. You could consider having each page show a different testimonial. This will reassure the customer throughout the decision-making process; which can help to increase your conversion rates significantly.
Testimonials are especially good on the first page of your website. They’ll help to add credibility to your site, and will be one of the first things that potential customers see.
Finally, don’t forget to use testimonials in your printed promotional material as well –like brochures or magazines, as well as in proposals. Seeing positive feedback could help to convince a prospective client who may be on the fence, to take action.
In today’s day and age where customers have a tremendous amount of choice, testimonials can help to set you apart from the competition. Look to gather feedback from your satisfied customers, it’ll prove to be a tremendously valuable resource; one that can help you to grow your company, and sell your products or service far better than you’d be able to on your own.
Do you collect and use customer testimonials?
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