So you have started a small business and are all set to touch the sky. You would want your business to flourish by leaps and bounds; however, deep in your mind, you know that it would require legitimate struggle.
- What is a testimonial?
- What is the difference between a testimonial and a review?
- What impact do testimonials have on growing your business?
- What to look for in a testimonial?
- The 7 ways to get you those customer testimonials
- Testimonial page
Sure, you have an exceptional product, but not necessarily a proper sales team to promote your product. And as a small business, you really need to be creative in your marketing as you don’t have a huge budget or team to do it for you.
This is where customer testimonials come into the equation.These testimonials help in endorsing your product or service even more than a sales team ever could.
I always say, that when a person enters your website, it’s a prospect to become a customer. As many of these leads you can turn into paying customers the better, and here you need to see the effectiveness of using testimonials. One extra customer review can be the turning point of converting your leads into becoming a buyer.
What is a testimonial?
Testimonials are recorded or written statements that prove your product trustworthy in the eyes of potential customers. They help in strengthening the reputation of your business and brings credibility to your name.
They give your website visitors a push to buy your service or product.
This means that testimonials are 89% better than any marketing content at increasing conversion rates and generating more sales.
According to a study conducted by Zendesk, positive testimonials affect 96% of the customers’ buying decisions. This is a considerable number.
I see many brands who today still don’t take advantage of building credibility by using testimonials. All brands, whatever category can benefit from this. Turning a prospect into a buyer by using testimonials including examples can be a very cheap way of doing it.
What is the difference between a testimonial and a review?
Testimonials are collected from the customers who have a good relationship with the business and good things to say about it. The main difference between a review and testimonial is that testimonial is the more detailed statement from customers about their experience with your service or product. Whereas, reviews consist of a general overview of the customer’s experience, and it can include one or two sentences or even some words. Businesses often cherry-pick loyal customers to write testimonials because they know they’ll only put up the positive testimonials.
The other notable difference is where testimonials and reviews appear. Testimonials generally are given by the customers to the company directly. On the other hand, reviews are given on third-party websites.
Finally, there is a huge content variation between testimonials and reviews. Since the company directly asks testimonials to the happy customers, they are almost always positive, whereas reviews can be both positive and negative.
What impact do testimonials have on growing your business?
The important message a testimonial conveys to your potential customer’s subconscious is that ‘Look, this person has tried this product or service and loved it.’, and this is how testimonials bring credibility to your website and thus help increase conversion rates and trust. It’s a huge advantage if you can get the majority of your customers to share their experience with you. It builds credibility, and if they can share examples of what they liked, and maybe disliked it makes you better as a person and business.
Would you buy an unfamiliar product from a new business? You would want to know what the users of this product have to say about it, whether the users are satisfied or not. This is where a testimonial comes into the picture. It makes the site more trustworthy and makes the purchase from it feel less risky for the new customers. It reassures new visitors that your product is trust-worthy and is tested by previous customers, and is, therefore, safe to purchase.
A high-quality and elaborate testimonial is all you need to attract your potential customers and boost your small business sales.
What to look for in a testimonial?
The quality is unarguably more important than the number of testimonials. Before discussing how to get more testimonials, let’s first talk about the essential characteristics a testimonial should have.
Collect honest and authentic testimonials only
Everyone can differentiate between a fake and an honest testimonial. It is highly unethical to make up a fake testimonial. It will make your website less trustworthy, and your business will lose its credibility altogether. A testimonial that shows your product as a miracle solution will only bring scepticism from the potential customers. Therefore, it’s a wise idea to never publish ‘too good to be true’ kind of testimonials.
Make testimonials specific
A testimonial that has specific data and details makes it more compelling. Let’s look at the two statements to illustrate this fact:
‘The best plugin I’ve ever used.’
‘This social proof plugin helps us increase our conversion rate by 50% over a month.’
You see, both the statements are super positive; however, the second one seems to be more effective. Why? It’s because the second one did provide specific details that help the reader relate to this statement. It helps your potential customers understand exactly how your product could be beneficial to them.
Testimonials should portray what makes your product so unique
Most of the buyers read testimonials at the decision stage. They probably have narrowed down their vendor options at this point. Therefore, it is essential for a testimonial to show how your company is different from the competitors. What features do you have that others lack? Convince your potential customer that your product has everything they need.
The 7 ways to get you those customer testimonials
No matter what business you run, every customer would want to know about other customers’ experiences before investing in your business, which is completely fair. Why would one risk their hard-earned money on an unreliable product?
Here’s how you can generate high-quality testimonials to boost your conversions.
1. Offer free things
One of the good ways to make the first few customers give positive testimonials is to announce freebies or make special offers. You can offer discounts for a limited time only to customers who are new to your services or product. All you need to do is to request a testimonial in return.
Suppose you have launched new software recently and you need to attract new customers. All you must do is offer a free trial period in return for a positive testimonial. These free trial services will lure new customers into trying out your product because why would someone not choose a free trial for an otherwise paid software in return for some words?
All the people who have signed up for a free trial should give a response to some follow-up queries. The question customers need to respond to include:
Did you have a great time using our software?
How did you find out about our free trial offer?
Please elaborate the reasons for not choosing the paid or upgraded version?
These questions will also help you target the shortcomings in your product and help you make it better.
2. Reward a customer who give testimonials
One of the best ways to collect happy customers’ testimonials is to offer them a chance of winning a prize. The prize could be anything from vouchers, coupons or discounts, for the ones who provide honest testimonials. Just put your creative caps on and design exciting giveaways or prizes to attract the customers and encourage them to write a few words about your product or service.
If you have a customer loyalty program, use it to get more testimonials. Offer your customer additional points in return for an honest testimonial. This will encourage them more to share their point of view about your product. Giving these extra perks will provide your customers with an incentive to write a few words for you and engage more with your brand.
Let’s face it; no one would want to invest their time in something that has no gain. Providing these offers and freebies is a win-win for both the customer and you.
3. Create your business’ social media profiles
There is almost no one who hasn’t heard of Facebook. For the past few years, it has evolved from an interacting social website to an impeccable marketplace. You can use this platform to generate testimonials for your product or service. What you need to do is to just create your business’ Facebook page and set it as a local business.
Facebook provides an easy platform for both customers and researchers to give and read effective testimonials. You don’t even have to put an extra effort to convince people to give testimonials.
There are other social media platforms too, which you can use to generate testimonials. LinkedIn is a great social media platform for receiving testimonials. Add your services or products to the company’s page and then request a recommendation for these products and services.
What’s more effective than a customer saying nice words about your product on a testimonial video? Encourage your loyal customers to add videos praising your service or product to their YouTube account or mention your brand in any of their videos. You can even create a playlist of your customer’s testimonials on your website.
Although Twitter does not have a recommendation feature like Facebook, you can still gather words of praise and testimonials from there. You can always save the tweets and incorporate them into your website’s highlight. Each time someone gives your product a positive comment, just ‘favourite’ it and keep these in an organised form like in the testimonial page of your website.
Use your social media game wisely to generate some authentic testimonials.
4. Get creative
There are various ways that can convince your customers to leave a testimonial. All you need to do is find creative ways to make people do it. Make testimonials an interesting thing to write and read. Ask interesting yet relevant questions to your customers. ‘What is the most interesting feature of our software?’.
Also, by using open-ended questions, you can avoid one-word answers from your customers. Select those questions that not only shows their opinion about working with you but also their story about their pain that caused them to search for a solution. And how and why they chose your product or service. What was their experience along the way of using your product or service?
Other than prizes and awards, you can also send your customers ‘thank you’ cards and mails, or even discounts on their next orders to make them feel more connected with your website.
5. Get your timing right
Initially, analyse your customer’s journey with your product or service to determine the exact time to request a testimonial. Ideally, a testimonial should be asked right after the customer experience success using your product and is happy with it. Customers do not usually hesitate to take out time to write a testimonial when they are delighted by the product and its results.
For example, if you work with clients, then the perfect time to ask for a testimonial is after your client achieves their goals. Another good opportunity to ask for a testimonial from your client is in the end of a quarter.
6. Get listed
Reviews and testimonials are a crucial part in shaping the reputation of your business. Specifically, sites that display online ratings, reviews and testimonials significantly impact the visitor’s purchase decision. These local listing sites include Yelp, Google Maps, Yahoo local, etc. The customer testimonials on these websites will not only help you gain more customers but also help with your SEO and online presence. These business listings enhance your business’ visibility and thus help to increase search rankings.
To rise up your local search ranking effectively claim or create your business on as many review sites as possible. It’s always about spreading your business everywhere, as I’ve mentioned earlier with social media, and the same occurs for review sites.
Also, it’s always a wise idea to search for your own niche listing websites and create a profile on these websites. Get your website highlighted there as well because customers are more likely to visit a specific niche listing website if they want a certain product or experience any problem.
7. Try different types of testimonial
Who say testimonials have to be in the written form only? They could be audio or in video format. Sure, getting these audio and video testimonials does take more work, but they feel far more personal and authentic than the written ones. This is why they are regarded as more effective than their written counterparts.
Not only do these kinds of video testimonials look good on your website, but they also attract more audiences on social media. Remember the quote ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ (it’s a video in this case).
Video testimonials are far more engaging than written ones. The visitors will stay on your site more, and hence the chances of them purchasing your product will increase significantly. These testimonials will also increase the SEO value and thus increase traffic to your site.
Arrange a personal interview with them, and don’t forget to follow the below-written guidelines for a great video testimonial:
Prep them first: Creating content before getting in front of the camera would be easier and quicker.
Keep it simple: Three questions would be enough. Remember, you’re making a testimonial, not a documentary.
Edit it properly: Remove the irrelevant chatter and keep your testimonial limited to the point.
Take this video as an example and make the most attractive video testimonial ever!
After the collection of the adequate testimonials, there comes a step where you’ll have to organise them in one easy-to-reach page. You can also use the testimonial to back up the features of your product or service. Collect the testimonial that praises a particular service and add it on the page where that specific feature is described.
The main reason for creating a testimonial page is to make your testimonials visible to your customers on one page. This saves your customers time to search the internet about your product and help them make a decision easily.
Don’t forget to credit the original website you have derived the testimonial from. Always ask for permission before using testimonials from a listing site. Once you have the permission, flaunt your testimonial page as much as you can.
However, don’t just add your testimonials to one page, use them everywhere. Share them on LinkedIn, Instagram, use them in blog posts as quote testimonials. You have to understand that all these testimonials confirms everything you mention your product or service. By sharing it on Instagram, you might get mentions and drive in traffic. See your happy customers as ambassadors for your brand.
Remember testimonials is data, you should conduct an analysis hereof. You get a huge insight in how your customers see your product or service. Whether its previous customers or new customers. As a business owner it’s important you reflect of this to become an even better business owner.
Do you see different comments over and over in the reviews, then maybe you should work on that part, or embrace it, if you see the mentions are positive. By going through this data you’ll hopefully also get ideas of where you need to take your brand to, what are being mentioned the most?
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Getting testimonials from satisfied customers is an essential part of the marketing strategy in 2020. Simply claiming that you are the best is not enough to impress your potential customer to try your service or product. This is where testimonials come to the rescue. They not only bring credibility to your product or service, but also reassures your customers that they are purchasing a quality product.
Customer testimonials not only help to position your company in a reputable and positive light but are also effective in explaining how beneficial your service or product can be. Having a customer testimonial section will help in earning the trust of your potential customers. Therefore, the more the testimonials, the more trustworthy your website will appear.
Bonus tip: Using influencer testimonials or testimonials from bloggers can be an awesome idea, if you can get them to share their testimonial with their target group. Otherwise, just getting the testimonial from them, create even more credibility as they’re likely between names that people know, and they are a great voice and ambassadors to have on your side.
There is no better marketing strategy than testimonials; you just need to use them wisely.
How do you get customer testimonials?
There are a lot of strategies which will gain you valuable testimonials. Some main strategies include:
– Offer discounts and freebies
– Award the customers
– Work on your social media game
– Get more creative when asking for testimonials
– Ask for a testimonial when the time is right
– Get yourself listed in various listing websites
– Try different testimonial formats other than the written form
Where can I get a testimonial?
The best way to request a testimonial depends largely on your business and customers. You can get testimonials via:
– An email
– A text message
– Your website
– Social media
– Events etc.
How do you do a testimonial?
Writing a comprehensive testimonial requires some simple steps to follow like:
1. Determine the story you want to tell
2. Ask specific questions
3. Keep it conversational and short
4. Use customer’s name and picture (with permission)
Is word of mouth a testimonial?
Of course, it is, and it’s one of the best types of testimonials. Mouth advertising is the most reliable of all, embrace this!