Getting customers to see your business as trustworthy is a primary obstacle to building solid relationships. Testimonials give your website credibility and indirectly sell your products better than even the most brilliant ad copy. The testimonials you display are opportunities to win trust, but if you misuse them you may alienate potential customers.
The Internet is full of misinformation and false claims, which unfortunately makes people suspicious of company websites and blogs. Customers know you are trying to sell them a product or service and expect some degree of marketing but they want proof. Testimonials from real customers help you overcome the objection that new visitors may have about not knowing they can trust your business. Once they see that other customers took the time to endorse your business they are more open to believing what they read.
Don’t forget video testimonials. Videos increase the impact of customers’ words and alleviate doubt that the testimonials come from actual people. Embed videos directly to your site and upload them to YouTube for the greatest exposure. You may even go viral!
What to Look For
An ideal testimonial is specific, authoritative and speaks to the right audience. You want the testimonials to paint a picture of the experience new customers can expect. They should deliver the information you most need to communicate. Testimonials that rave about how clean your bathrooms are or talk about a product you no longer offer are off topic and should be replaced with relevant data, unless you are running a bathroom cleaning busines.
Although some customers will be thrilled with your business and eager to tell the world, it is unlikely that they will specifically ask to write a testimonial. Teach your sales and customer service representatives to collect data from happy customers and to follow up with them for testimonials. Put the focus on the customers and get them to talk about their experiences. Everybody loves to talk about themselves. If you make it sound like you want them to fill out a questionnaire or complete a survey most people will say “no.” However for customers willing to take a survey, leave a blank space at the end for comments to be used as testimonials.
Where to Put Testimonials
Testimonials on your home page and next to your blog posts grabs readers’ attentiom; they also lend credibility to everything else on the page. However, space is limited on these pages. You might look a bit desperate or arrogant if your home page is all testimonials. Add a testimonials page to fit as many testimonials as possible on your site in a professional manner.
Do not edit, paraphrase or write your own testimonials. As tempting as it may be to combine or modify real testimonials you are better off keeping them 100 percent authentic. Displaying only part of a testimonial, such as “great service… we will be back,” is acceptable, but not as effective as longer testimonials.
Also, get permission in writing from the people who provide your testimonials and ask to use their full names; testimonials with only initials appear fake.
Positive, honest testimonials may be the best thing you can put on your site, not just to win customers but also to make your competitors envious. Glowing testimonials make competing companies wonder what they are doing wrong, maybe even lose some confidence.
Sarka-Jonae M is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.