A business lives and dies on its reputation. Testimonials, if used correctly, are one of the most powerful tools in a company's marketing arsenal and can go a long way towards cementing trust and credibility with your customers.
We’ve all come across businesses with homepages choc-full of anonymous one-liners, proclaiming that their product has changed the world. But in the age of fake news and consumer distrust, it’s becoming more important than ever that the testimonial you collect is of good quality and, more importantly, genuine.
Prising this quality information out of your customers can be tricky, but never fear, we’re here to help guide you through. Here’s our five top tips on how to get a good testimonial.
Your customers are busy people, so if you want somebody to give you a good testimonial, make the process as painless and convenient as possible for everyone involved. Asking the right questions is one of biggest factors that shapes the quality of the testimonial you receive. Most customers won’t know where to begin, so ask questions that guide them on a journey and explicitly tells them the sort of information you’re looking for.
Start with your happiest customers, as they are likely to want to help you out. Then keep an ear to the ground on your social channels, in emails and during face to face meetings for positive feedback. Try to act quickly and acknowledge the feedback as soon as possible because the sooner you ask for a testimonial, the more detailed and reliable it’s likely to be.
People love a good story and every good story has a hero, but how do you ensure that your business is the champion of yours? We are not suggesting that you should be asking your customers for the next Harry Potter, but by getting your customers to share a personal experience, it transforms a wishy-washy testimonial into a powerful and emotional piece of content that resonates with consumers.
But remember what we said? People are busy! So, keep it short and sweet – 30-50 words max. This keeps it punchy and grabs the attention of the reader from the get go.
A whole bunch of positive sentiment and five-star reviews may look good on the surface, but it doesn’t help your customers make an informed choice. The most powerful testimonials focus on specific results, benefits, or features that demonstrate why your product or service is greater than the alternatives.
Pop quiz: What looks better?
“Wow! This broom is the greatest broom of all time! 5 *****”
“Thanks BroomsRUs for supplying the most sturdy and reliable brooms on the market. The delivery was quick and efficient and, because of you, our sweeping productivity has increased 54%.”
What people say is important, but how they say it is even more so. The most convincing testimonials are unedited and natural. Let your customers do the selling for you by telling their own stories in their own words. This allows the reader to better connect with what they are saying and helps prove they are real opinions of real people!
At Feefo, we ensure that all the feedback we collect only comes from genuine customers, giving consumers the assurance they need that the reviews they are reading are from real people. With testimonials, this is often harder to prove, as a barrage of glowing praise selectively chosen by businesses can make people sceptical.
To help reassure your customers try to personalise your testimonial as much as possible. Start by getting their first and last name – after all, an anonymous testimonial is about as believable as a flying broomstick. If it’s a testimonial from a company you’ve done business with, take it that one step further and include their job title (the more senior the better) and company name. But for everyone - make sure you include a picture whenever possible! Just seeing a happy smiling face of a customer on your website is proven to increase conversions by up to 102.5%.
Whilst we are on the subject, the more visually engaging the testimonial the bigger impact it will have on a shopper’s buying decision. Online shoppers are 64% more likely to make a purchase after watching a video, so whilst being able put a face to a name is good, actually seeing and hearing them speak is even better. If you can get video footage of people endorsing your business first hand it humanises your brand and engages audiences unlike any other content you can offer.
So, get your customers to dig those smartphones out their pockets and stop taking selfies and cat pictures for just long enough to record a short message of support for your business. We’re not looking for anything that’s going to win an Oscar – just a short and snappy 30-60 second piece to camera should do the trick!
Now you know the secrets of getting good testimonial it's time to go out there and start reaping the rewards of your company’s hard work. Embrace the stories your customers have to tell and make them work for your business. Testimonials are one of the most influential and cost-effective marketing tools at your disposal, so make sure you’re doing everything you can to make the most of them.
Whilst testimonials are a powerful weapon, they will never resonate as much with customers as genuine reviews. Reviews provide your business with impartial feedback that consumers can trust to gain a true insight into how you operate. They back up all your wonderful testimonial, and together they help cement the positive reputation you’ve worked so hard to build.
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