Chances are, if you’ve just created a website for your business, you already have the basics in place: your business’s name, what you do, and your contact information. There’s one more thing that’s incredibly important, though: customer testimonials! The simple concept of customers sharing their opinions can be surprisingly effective.
What’s the Difference Between a Testimonial and a Review?
People like businesses they can trust. One of the best ways a business can earn someone’s trust is to show that they’ve already gained the support of loyal customers. While reviews and testimonials are both statements from customers, there’s a difference between a customer review and a customer testimonial. A review is merely a customer evaluating a business or product. While those can also be effective in gaining business, customer testimonials are often more so. Customer testimonials are the very best reviews, often requested by the company itself.
Good customer testimonials are important for several reasons. The strongest customer testimonials are persuasive—they convince people to surrender their trust and their money to a business. Seeing a face and/or a name alongside a few details about a person’s experience with a certain brand or product makes a potential customer feel like they can relate to that person. They feel engaged with them. If a potential customer is on the fence about using your product, a customer review or testimonial may be exactly what they need to make that purchase. Even if the customer testimonials are written by complete strangers, the testimonial is a piece of evidence that shows your product or business is worth the money.
Good customer reviews establish a business’s credibility, and that can sometimes make or break a company. In the age of social media, it’s becoming easier than ever for people to feel a connection with complete strangers. Customer testimonials capitalize on that artificial connection. People are used to asking for recommendations. Interactions on social media between a business and customers are key.
Types of Customer Testimonials
There are different types of testimonials that can cater to different outlets, audiences, etc. These types include:
- Social media interactions
- Industry insiders
- Satisfied customers
- Video testimonial
The social media interaction—This is extremely common in our social media-driven world. These customer testimonials are often come straight from a customer’s social media—usually Facebook or Twitter—and are shared or retweeted by a business’s account. Whenever you use a social media interaction as a customer testimonial, it should focus on a specific product and be short and to the point.
The industry insider—This type of testimonial establishes credibility better than the others. With this type of testimonial, a respected authority in a certain field gives their opinion about your business or product. Not only does this type of testimonial show that you can satisfy customers, but it also shows that even industry experts recommend your business.
The satisfied customer—This is probably the most common type of testimonial. These are often displayed on a business’s website. They feature a quote from a satisfied customer alongside their name and photo. Sometimes these testimonials will also mention how long the person has been using your product or frequenting your business. The customer photo is a key part of what makes this type of testimonial so successful. It helps potential customers connect with strangers.
The video testimonial—This last option is obviously pricier than the above-mentioned. But these can be well worth the money, as they are the most engaging of all the options and give the audience the greatest possible connection with the customer. With a video, there are also more creative opportunities. However, keep in mind that even if you use a video, the testimonial should still be short and simple.
Where Can I Use Customer Testimonials?
Use customer testimonials in a variety of places. Don’t just limit them to one section of your website! Use them on your homepage and about pages and in a sidebar on your blog. Some customer testimonials might be better suited to some areas than others. You might even consider consulting your web designer (if you have one) about what method would be best for adding customer testimonials to your website. Another consideration would be a web application that allows you to set up a testimonial page or a plugin that allows you to post different testimonials on each page of your site. There are a number of possibilities here, so determine what works best for you and incorporate testimonials all over your site!
In fact, you don’t have to limit customer testimonials to your website. Put them on social media and email. Don’t forget print marketing!
How Can I Get Good Customer Reviews?
Now that you know how important customer testimonials are, you need to know how to acquire high-quality ones. Think about some of the specific things you want to accomplish through your customer testimonials. Do you want potential customers to know you’re trustworthy? Do you want them to know about a specific feature of your product? There are so many things you can accomplish with the right testimonials!
To get these testimonials, consider contacting customers directly and asking if they would be willing to provide you with a testimonial. Talk to your best, most loyal customers. You should also follow up by sending emails to them immediately after they agree. When you send these emails, ask the customers some specific questions to prompt their testimonials. Ask them why they chose your product and what they love about it; ask about the specific benefits of the product.
Interacting with customers on social media is another great way to acquire testimonials. Make sure you’re commenting on and liking your customers’ posts. This will help you build your reputation as a business. Encourage the customers you interact with to provide testimonials.
Keep in mind that using genuine customer testimonials does not mean you can’t edit the testimonials at all. Make sure to edit spelling and grammar errors. If necessary, add parentheses to include extra, important details.
And if you don’t have any customers at all yet, you can consider fabricating customer testimonials to get you started while you wait for the real ones to come rolling in. This is also a good idea if you’re going to create video testimonials.
If you’re a brand-new business and need help writing customer testimonials, Strong Estate can help! You can order them here.