It is human nature to seek approval. Before we buy a product or sign up for a service, we want to know what other customers or clients think. Was the experience good? How were they treated? Did they get what they expected? Was the product worth the money?
This is where well-placed testimonials are an important marketing tool. For an internet-based business, especially, where face-to-face contact with customers may be non-existent, testimonials can speak volumes.
If you have incorporated a method of incorporating email feedback or comments into your website, you may receive content that is appropriate for testimonials. You can also solicit testimonials directly from your past clients. The value of collecting balanced, realistic and analytical commentary on your product or services is high. The adage, “if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is,” holds strong with respect to testimonials. Too good, and they will sound like you wrote them yourself. Display testimonials that are credible by referring to a specific incident that was addressed or a problem that was solved.
Publish your testimonials on your website. Feature them on your front page, and on the pages where you are asking potential customers to make the decision to buy. Make your list of testimonials visually interesting, short and easy-to-read. It is good practice to have testimonials update on your order pages. This makes the testimonials look current. A thumbs-up from a happy client may be a motivator to a sale.
Another place for you to consider testimonials is in your social media pages. These are places your customers visit to see what everyone else is saying about you. Consider posing questions that solicit responses that have the same effect as “mini” testimonials. For example, on Facebook, throw out a quick request for feedback via your wall. On a Facebook fan page, you can also start a discussion or allow reviews, like Caswell-Massey has, using one of the tabs.
LinkedIn is an excellent place to maximize testimonials and referrals. If your internet business is in the service industry, or you a consultant, LinkedIn is especially appropriate. Create a professional profile, populate it with content and make certain that you request recommendations from colleagues and clients. Collecting three recommendations is required by LinkedIn to achieve a “complete” profile, but there is no limit to how many you can add to your roster. Balance the recommendations between references to your talents and the merits of your products or service.
Testimonials can be written, video or audio in format. Studies have shown that customer reviews are most trusted by web users, and that video testimonials are also highly trusted. It is advantageous to make the customer – the reviewer – visible in order to increase effectiveness. Consider where you are going to use the testimonials, and how you are able to display them. Obviously, your website allows you to be more flexible or creative than Facebook or LinkedIn. Collect testimonials and then use them to motivate sales.