Almost every business website features at least a few customer testimonials, but most probably aren’t having much of an impact. In theory, there shouldn’t be anything as valuable as the social proof that comes from seeing kind words, endorsements, and case studies from happy clients. The way most are written and structured, though, makes them very ineffective.
Are the testimonials you’ve included on your website and digital profiles helping to convince potential buyers to do business with you?
To help you decide, or to get better comments if you need them, let’s look at what makes for a particularly compelling testimonial…
You Need Testimonials from the Right People
This is a simple point, but one that often gets overlooked. You want your testimonials to have a big impact on buyers and you have to consider whom it is that’s making a recommendation for you.
Certainly, it helps to have high-profile individuals speaking out on your behalf. Celebrities, political leaders, and authors all carry a certain amount of cache with them. Their words and recommendations have added weight. The same goes for executives at major companies, along with association leaders and members of the press.
Not all of your testimonials need to be from public personalities, though. There is also a lot of power in having reviews from everyday customers or clients who can relate your prospects. In other words, if you work with a lot of small business owners then having testimonials from other business owners who face similar challenges can be a great starting point.
Think carefully about who you are getting your testimonials from, and whether you are doing enough to convey their position or authority to readers.
A Strong Testimonial is Short and to the Point
Someone who is thinking about working with you isn’t going to want to read a long essay about another customer’s experiences. And, the longer a review is, the less memorable it becomes.
Ideally, the testimonials you get customers should be a few sentences, or less if possible. And rather than highlighting vague benefits like “good value” or “nice people,” they should focus is tightly as possible on specifics. You want buyers to mention problems you solved, jams you helped them get out of, or specific aspects of your customer service (as an example) that go above and beyond what they expected.
To make the testimonial stand out even more, it could include specifics like dollar figures and percentages. Your customers might not be comfortable sharing those details in some instances, of course, but the more concrete they seem, the bigger impact they’ll have on someone who is thinking about spending money with your company.
Given that you have a lot of ground to cover in just a few sentences, and probably know more about what you want customers to say than they do, you could offer to write the testimonial for them. This increases the odds that you will get a usable comment and that the task won’t sit unfinished for weeks or months. Just be sure you get their approval before attaching their name to anything you’ve written.
It’s Important to Back Your Testimonials Up
By having short and specific testimonials that highlight your value and expertise, you’re already miles ahead of your competition. To really give your credibility a boost, though, you’ll want those positive comments and stories to be backed up as thoroughly as possible.
In this context, that means making them real for potential customers. You do that by adding photos, job titles, and even links to case studies or social media profiles. That way your prospects can see that the kudos your company is claiming have come from real people who have actually worked with you.
Authenticity and congruency are big points of value here. If your customer offers to write a testimonial for you, or even to tweak what you sent, go ahead and let them. There is something powerful that comes with having a person’s own words next to their face and other identifying information like a location or job title.
Backing up your testimonials just means proving that they are real. You can do that by posting client-submitted video feedback, or just getting their permission to share a photo and a few details with the comments they’ve given.
Put Testimonials in Their Place
Finally, the last piece of the testimonial puzzle has to do with putting them where they belong on your website. Many marketers will choose to put all of their feedback and case studies in one place, figuring that buyers can check them out at their own pace. A better idea is to be strategic and intentional about when and where they are seen.
For example, a testimonial that relates to a certain type of product is much more valuable on that product page than it is anywhere else in your website. The same goes for story about a particular employee. That could be included in the person’s bio rather than having it be buried in a blog post.
The very best testimonials that aren’t specific to any one aspect of your company should be placed in areas where you’re asking prospects to make a decision. In other words, let them read about the great things you’ve done before signing up for an appointment or picking up the phone. Put that piece of praise you have from a well-known personality on your homepage so visitors can see it when they are first getting to know you.
Deploying testimonials effectively is just as important as getting them, so don’t overlook this final crucial detail.
There’s a Reason Our Website Design and Online Marketing Clients Speak Up
At Weblinx, we’ve accumulated hundreds of testimonials, compliments, and case studies over the years. That’s because we treat every client’s situation as if our own success depended on finding the right outcome (in the end it does).
If you’d like to know what could be possible when you have a team of knowledgeable, focused, and committed creative professionals working to grow your business, then it’s time we meet. Contact us at 630-551-0334 x1 today to schedule a free consultation and see how we can help!