In every business, testimonials have been proven to be a highly valuable persuasion tool. Whether you’re a large online corporation or a small brick and mortar business, the behavior of your clients is heavily driven by what they hear and read about specific product and/or services your business provides. The importance of customer testimonials in any business cannot be emphasized enough.
As the online world continues to evolve around marketing, you must remind yourself how influential the customer testimonial is to your brand’s longevity.
Take a moment to peer into decisions you make everyday before walking into a local business. For instance, if you go out of your way to try a new restaurant in town, what motivated you to eat there instead of at your ‘go-to’ diner? Sure, there may have been commercials on television, buzz on the radio, or an advertisement on your Facebook news feed. However, you were likely more strongly influenced by the flood of positive comments that other customers wrote about their experience, right?
On and offline marketing has been using customer testimonials for years. Hearing the personal experiences of others through word-of-mouth, video, online, or print media is the most compelling tool used to become an authority in your niche.
And in 2019, there are many avenues customers can use to leave reviews. From commenting on a business website, posting on social media, using review websites like Yelp, or posting their review on their own social pages, you can imagine how one bad customer experience can influence the future of your brand.
It’s crazy that over 50% of potential consumers research reviews and take what past/current customers have to say to heart over any savvy copywriting efforts businesses instill. This alone is a great reason as to why business reviews are important.
What’s more insane is that less than 40% of businesses add customer testimonials to their online marketing - and fewer include it into traditional advertising efforts. It's clear that they do not understand the importance of customer testimonials and are likely to suffer with their sales.
Testimonials Can Make Or Break Your Online Business
While positive testimonials are vital to the success and longevity of a variety of businesses, both on and offline, they are extremely important to brands that operate on the internet. A ton of businesses online, such as restaurants, website development, travel companies etc. rely on what happy customers have to say in order to attract future customers.
When done correctly, it’s a great cycle that businesses should continue to strive for! However, keep in mind that just one horrible review can drastically change the perspective that new visitors have of your business and what you provide, which can result in less website traffic and a decrease in sales.
This is especially true for businesses that are prominently online. Your customers can’t pop in for a quick visit into your establishment or talk to you in person, which is why positive reviews are so important in establishing trust. If you don’t seem like an authority in your space, why should people buy from you?
How To Get Great Testimonials To Attract More Business
To small businesses and startups especially, utilizing customer endorsements can be confusing, with some of the most common questions about them being:
a) Where do you get testimonials?
b) How do you get them?
c) Where can I use them?
d) What if a customer doesn’t have a positive experience to write about?
Thankfully, these questions can be answered very simply! The importance of customer testimonials for any business lies in the fact that you are making a customer's voice heard and they love that.
Thus, if you don’t ask, you won’t receive! Don’t over-complicate this part - just simply ask your past and current clients for an endorsement of their experience, especially if they rave about your product or service. Then, utilize their positive words everywhere your business resides; on and offline advertising, printed branding materials, in-store (if you’re a physical business) and of course, online.
Ensure that you make giving a testimonial straightforward to your customers. For a brick and mortar business, provide comment cards upon leaving. For online companies, direct clients to leave a review on your Facebook page or on your Google Business listing.
Of course, as video continues to change our online experiences, video testimonials strengthen what they have to say! And as an online business, clients can better show the work you did for them, especially if you’re just starting out. If future customers like what they see, they are much more likely to contact you for your services than a competitor with no video endorsements.
Another thing to keep in mind is to ensure that the testimonials you receive are specific to your business, as well as authentic in nature. You also need to change them out occasionally and let clients know that you have used what they had to say on your website and socials.
As an important rule of thumb, make sure that testimonials avoid deceiving claims, such as promising that all your customers will have the same experience. Also, it'll be better if you inform your past or potential clients that you'd be utilising their reviews and testimonials in your marketing channels, just so that they're aware and it doesn't take them by surprise.
Why Client Testimonials Are Especially Vital In Any Business
Let's assume that you are the owner of a website development company. When you Google the keyword ‘website developer’, you will receive over 1.2 million results - which means that unless you have a huge budget for Google ads or your company is a king in the website designing niche, you will likely not be found.
Thankfully, this is where the power of amazing client testimonials come in! Many of your potential customers won’t just turn to Google results in their quest to find their ideal web designer. Website development isn’t a cheap investment, which is why most people will search many corners of the internet before raking out thousands of dollars to a development team.
Think about when you purchase a service from an online company - would you give out your credit card information to the company with little to no reviews and unrealistic claims, or to the business that has a website packed with positive, detailed reviews of their services? The answer is pretty simple.
With millions of website development companies competing against you, one of the core priorities to keep in mind as you build your brand is to get your hands on as many client endorsements that consist of compelling quotes. Of course, we spoke about website development as an example, but this works amazingly well for all products and services industries.
This will help you to build up a very powerful testimonial page that tells future customers that come across your website that your service is not only authentic but provides them with the proof that you can give them great results.
Unique Ways to Get Customer Testimonials
There’s no doubt that positive testimonials will help you to boost conversions and yield in more sales, but, where should you start if you’re a newer company? You can either ask add existing reviews you’ve received on your website, or kindly ask current clients to write new reviews.
We will walk you through some creative ways to collect testimonials!
1) Facebook Reviews
The first place you can turn to for reviews is Facebook, especially if you have an already established business page where customers may have left you a review previously.
If you don’t have a Facebook page dedicated to your website development business (or any online business for that matter) you should create one, today. Because it’s dead simple for you to ask people to add a review to it!
2) Video Reviews
Unless you live under a rock, you know that video is where the online world is heading, which makes video testimonials more powerful than ever before. Encourage customers who really loved the service you provided them to create videos and post them to their own YouTube account.
The more storytelling they provide in their video, the better. Encourage them to talk about the success they had thanks to your business and to mention your brand. Then ask them to send you the link to their video, which you can then embed on your website in the testimonial section.
We also recommend that you create a YouTube channel for your brand and build it up. Customers will be much more motivated to exchange their thoughts about your services if they can be exposed on a channel with a good amount of followers.
3) Reviews on niche websites
Yelp, Yahoo, Google, and Bing are great websites to be featured on, but tailor more to local businesses. This is why we recommend getting your reviews posted to niche reviews sites, depending on your industry.
For instance, hotels would strive to get reviews on websites like Trip Advisor and Expedia, while landscape companies would prefer niche sites like Thumbtack.
Your potential customers will likely receive the first impression of your business from these types of niche websites, which is why it’s important to create a good reputation on them. Then, you can copy those reviews to your own website for visitors to read.
As a savvy internet user, you can find these websites by conducting a simple Google search for a keyphrase such as ‘travel company review site.’
Reward Your Clients
If you’re wondering how you can encourage testimonials as a newer business provider, you can start by offering incentives for clients taking the time to post a review. Just like brick and mortar businesses offer cash prizes or gift cards, you can offer online incentives like special deals, discounts on purchases with your company, coupons, etc.
The beauty of this particular method is that you can be as creative as you want. Just keep in mind that the best rewards are bound to yield the best results. Also, you will need to disclose on your website about testimonials that were given in exchange to remain in good legal standing.
The best way to add credibility to your online business is a solid testimonial page (if you have lots of reviews to show) or at least a section so as to create social proof that increases conversions and revenue.
- Find existing reviews and compile them
- Check into social networks, as well as search directories and niche review websites for existing testimonials
- Ask happy customers to write reviews
- Ask happy clients to create videos and post to their YouTube accounts
- Offer incentives to reward customers to provide a review
- Keep an eye on testimonials of your services that might be floating around online
In the day and age we live today, business owners cannot afford to not have some testimonials and reviews from their clients. The importance of customer testimonials and how they benefit a business should be deeply ingrained as part of every business strategy.
Customer reviews and testimonials have a very strong psychological effect in driving decision-making process. They are very powerful weapons when done right and can lead to profitable results for any business owner. The benefits of testimonials go a long way, so speak to your customers and start getting theirs now!
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