Everyone knows how word of mouth can increase or decrease your sales. With the introduction of the internet, now more than ever, people are relying on the word of their peers to tell them if something is a good buy or not. It’s for this reason that it is imperative to get testimonials from your clients. People tend to take you more seriously when they can see how happy your clients are with the product or service they have received from you.
The power of testimonials
Making use of testimonials in the right place and moment, you can increase the credibility of your brand and inspire trust from your potential customers. The more someone trusts your brand, the more likely it is that they will buy something or sign up. By making use of testimonials, you are wielding a powerful tool called social proof. Social proof simply put is the influence the actions and attitudes of others around us have on our own behaviors. You are proving to your potential client that you are trust worthy by making use of social permission – the “proof” element is that if others are doing it, it must be trustworthy. It puts people at ease to know that you are not running a scam looking to steal their money (which is becoming increasingly easy in the digital age). They can also be certain that they will be getting their money’s worth.
Most of the time people use emotion when buying something – they look for something that will make them happy. By placing a powerful testimonial in the right spot, you can reassure the people who might have doubts.
How they can be requested
The internet is growing exponentially. As time goes by, there are becoming increasingly more ways for people to share about their experience with your brand. Did you make them feel important? Did they get the quality they were expecting? How was their experience with you after the sale?
Ideally, you want to automate the process of collecting testimonials, but you want it to look as organic and authentic as possible. You also need to make sure to ask at the right moment. Asking for feedback before they have even had a chance to properly test your product would not yield the response you are looking for as it places unnecessary pressure on the client. You need to wait for the moment when they are the happiest with your brand – that would be the ‘success moment’.
There are quite a few ways to collect testimonials, we have a listed a few of them below:
- Follow up call – You can phone your client in the ‘success moment’ and ask for feedback. That phone call can be transcribed, and with your client’s permission, you can put that on your website. This is a very hands-on approach that is personal and shows your client that you care. It is also very time consuming and would only really work if don’t have a lot of clients. This method could work for someone like a real estate agent.
- Follow up email – You can email your client once the transaction is complete. The benefit to this is that you have it in writing and in the client’s own words for future reference. It still has the personal touch and is less time consuming than a phone call. The downside is that you now have to rely on people to take time out of their day to write a testimonial. Some of the time they will put it aside to do later and, more often than not, they will forget about it.
- Online survey – You can add a contact form on your website on a hidden page and direct people to it. This can include easy ‘Please Select’ options where they rate certain aspects of their experience with your brand. At the bottom, you can include an optional space if they want to write something to elaborate further on your product/service. Most of the time, if someone has completed the easy part of the form, they feel committed to it and they will proceed to write in their testimonial.
- Make use of social media – You can request that clients leave a review on your Facebook business page, post a tweet and tag your twitter handle, ask for recommendations on your personal LinkedIn profile, post a review on Google, and that’s just to name a few. You also need to pay attention to people who leave negative reviews on places like Hello Peter. This sort of testimonial is beneficial in giving credibility to your online social media presence, which is increasingly important as consumers are checking social media pages before committing to products.
- Video testimonial – Something that has been used for TV commercials is people giving a video testimonial of their experience. Consumers respond very well to visual content. It has become increasingly popular to use these kinds of testimonials on websites and social media as well. It is a powerful way to instill trust in a potential client based off of real-world experience.
How they can be used to the greatest effect
The most common way people make use of testimonials is on their website. It is typical to bundle up all the good testimonials they have and place them on a single page for people to have complete access to all of them. While it’s a good idea to do that, you can’t stop there. You need to sprinkle them all over your online presence like on your social media, use them as quotes on the about page, put one or two specific testimonials on a product page, add one to your newsletter, etc. A brilliant example would be to add a testimonial to your pricing guide/page that speaks specifically to how affordable you are or how your brand is worth every cent. This will encourage people to look beyond the price and see how they will get great value for their money.