One of the most convincing types of promotion you can do for your business is showing what others think about your products or services. Customer testimonials might not fully convince users to buy your product, but they add an element of trust you don’t get from a company description or promise.
About 91% of millennials trust online reviews as much as in-person recommendations. Testimonials serve as a type of online review, albeit a handpicked version where you highlight the best aspects of your business.
1. Dig Into Details
One benefit of using customer testimonials is the ability to dig deep and pull out some product details you might want to highlight. When someone else states your products work 10 times better than the competition, it sounds more believable than when you say the same thing. Choose the testimonials that best reinforce the features of your product you’d like customers to notice.
The easiest way to find descriptive testimonials is by gathering testimonials through a series of questions such as telling you about a time your product or service came through for them, or you were able to solve a problem. You can then choose the descriptions that provide the most well-rounded picture of what you do.
Exhibit Systems does a good job choosing testimonials that highlight customer experience elements, such as the booth always arriving on time or that they are responsive and keep the customer informed. They provide several different testimonials on their page to fully highlight how they’re able to help their customers.
2. Feature Favorite Customers
Not only do customer testimonials encourage those thinking about buying from you, but they give you a chance to feature your best customers with a photo and a few words. You can even add a link to their website if you run a business-to-business company. Adding a customer highlight alongside a testimonial helps both you and your customer, especially if you work with a broad range of both businesses and consumers and might provide a new company for a customer to work with or a new customer for one of your business clients.
3. Show Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
Each company offers something unique. What problem does your product or service solve for your customers? If you can highlight your UVP through a customer testimonial, other people see what value you provide. Think about how your business varies from your competitors, then ask customers if that is their experience and to provide a testimonial highlighting the UVP.
York Saw & Knife
York Saw & Knife shows their UVP through their customer testimonials. They feature a section titled “What Our Customers Are Saying.” The testimonial is in large letters and discusses a specific use for a “hard-to-cut material” and how their product solved their problem.
4. Collect Feedback
Asking your customers for testimonials also allows you to gather feedback from your customers. If a customer isn’t happy with your brand, they’ll likely let you know they can’t provide a testimonial and why. Pay attention to these comments and work to rectify any problems. You may gain a testimonial from that customer, or at least keep them from leaving your business and going with a competitor. For those who are happy with your company and send you a testimonial, you’ll see what makes them happy so you can keep doing it.
5. Use Videos
Around 85% of American Internet users watch video content every month. Adding videos to your website improves your site’s stickiness factor. Videos grab people’s attention and keep it. Keep videos short and to the point, and be sure to include a call to action at the end, so users know what action to take next. Videos provide content in a way that’s easily digestible for users.
Lifelock offers videos spotlighting customers who share what they love about the service or how it helped them. They feature a member reviewing how Lifelock helped them with an identity theft issue or protected them in some way.
6. Combat Negative Reviews
No matter how outstanding your customer service is, you are sure to get one or two dissatisfied customers along the way. Unfortunately, the pickiest customers are often the most vocal as well and may post multiple negative reviews against you. Even if every customer is happy, competitors will sometimes pose as a dissatisfied customer and slam your brand online. Testimonials give you a chance to combat that negativity and show some people love your business model.
7. Keep Users Engaged
Look for your customers who tell stories or jokes and have larger-than-life personalities. These people are likely to give you feedback in a unique way that captures your site visitors’ interest. A high-quality testimonial with unique language entertains your site visitors and makes them think, “Hmm, this is something different.” If you can capture the user’s interest, you’ve won half the battle. However, your testimonial must also keep users engaged long enough for them to absorb what you’re saying.
Steve & Kate’s Camp offers summer camps in various locations. They highlight each area with specific testimonials from parents whose kids have attended the camp. Each quote highlights something the parent loved about the camp, such as the positive attitudes of the staff or that their child was all smiles when they picked them up.
8. Use a Softer Sales Approach
Testimonials allow you to use a softer sales approach by showing the benefits of your products or services without coming right out and tooting your own horn. A softer sales approach doesn’t seem as spammy — a hard sales push often turns off consumers.
Use Testimonials as “Seasoning”
Think of customer testimonials as a seasoning and sprinkle them on for flavor, rather than pouring them all on at one time. A testimonial should highlight what you do well and make others think you are an expert in that area. With a little practice, you’ll choose the best testimonials to share the message you want with users.