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Testimonials are key

If you are running a business, you are always looking for ways to grow your pipeline and get customers through your door. You could promote quality. You could promote price. But these are words customers hear all the time.

But did you know that customer testimonials can make your business stand out from the crowd?

Testimonials are positive word-of-mouth referrals. They are one of the best ways to generate business and they are free. Why not contact your customers and ask them for one? You can add your customer’s logo and a link to their website or Facebook page, as a ‘thank you’.

SOCIAL PROOF

When trying to persuade a customer to choose one business over another, effective testimonials always work. The plain truth is that people are influenced by other people’s opinions.

This theory is called ‘Social Proof’, investigated by famous psychologist Robert Cialdini in his book Influence and the Power of Persuasion; we make decisions once we’ve seen someone else do it first. For example, if we hear “This book has sold 3 million copies!” we think ‘it must be good’.

Testimonials provide this social proof to your prospective customers. They give you credibility and show that:

  • you are reputable
  • people have had good experiences using your product or service
  • people can trust you
  • people can be reassured you will provide them with exactly what they’re looking for.

Promoting good customer feedback is guaranteed to bring in more work.

COLLECTING TESTIMONIALS

The good news is, that if you genuinely have a great business, testimonials are easy to get. To begin, start collecting positive feedback from (former) clients. You can do this in a couple of different ways:

  • You can contact them in writing. Ask them to write and send you a few sentences, describing what they liked about your business.
  • Alternatively, simply ask your customers over the phone or in person. You can then write their comments down yourself.
  • If you have a Facebook page – ask them to write a review on your page, make it easy for them and send them the link in a message or email.
  • Another is to supply a feedback form at the point of purchase. Negative feedback helps you become a better business, positive feedback can be shared.

 

HOW TO MAKE YOUR TESTIMONIALS WORK FOR YOU

1) Edit and make your testimonial clear

Testimonials need to be sharp and to the point. Avoid diluting the power of your testimonial with waffle. It doesn’t have to be published word for word. Pick out the best parts and cut it down (without changing the message) to just two or three lines. To make it stand out even more, you can give your testimonial an appropriate heading.

2) Add a photo

Adding a portrait photo next to your testimonial makes your testimonial seem more credible. When asking a former customer if you can feature them on your site, ask them if they would be happy to send you their professional picture to add as well.

You can also do something similar if your client has any video. Embed a clip next to their testimonial – this creates an interactive user experience where they can see what kind of other customers you’ve worked with before.

3) Make them stand out

The type of font you use can have a big effect on your testimonials but does depend on your overall web design and style. Also, it is important that you put your testimonials in quotation marks. This makes it clear that the statement is a quote, not just promotional copy that you’ve written yourself.

4) Add name and credentials

It’s not enough to write down a quote and just add someone’s first name. If you really want to get the most out of your testimonial, add more information. If you can, add the customer’s full name, company name and job title. If someone is an expert, list their qualifications – the more important the person, in the eyes of the customer, the more credible the testimonial.

5) Place them strategically on your website

Once you’ve collected a few testimonials, upload them to your website and Facebook page. The most common way is using a ‘testimonials page or section’ – curious customers can find it easily and see what others are saying about you.

One step better is a ‘clients page’. Ideally, this page should have testimonials and short descriptions. Almost like a portfolio, it details who you’ve worked for, what you did, and what they thought of your business.

Another way is to add them to various pages throughout the site. You could have a different testimonial on every page, relating to the product or service the page describes, or set them to rotate. This way the customer doesn’t need to search for good responses about your business – they just appear.

For even more effect, you can also add a very strong testimonial to your email signature. This will help your business reinforce your professional positive image every time you contact someone.

6) Continue collecting them

Once you have uploaded them to your website, do remember to keep collecting testimonials from new customers. When you know you’ve done an awesome job for someone, make sure you ask them for their feedback.

You should continue to upload new testimonials to your website as often as you can. No matter what type of business you are running, you will benefit from sharing your customer’s feedback with your potential customers. – No doubt about it!