When reviewing products or providers, what are you most likely to turn to for reassurance?
Sales copy? Marketing collateral? Or independent customer testimonials?
“90% of people trust what a customer says about a business more than what that business says about itself”.Testimonial Statistics
Whilst product specs and engaging feature descriptions can sell a customer in principle, it is customer testimonials that convert them to your cause.
They are the proof in the pudding. The evidence that you can walk the walk as well as talk the talk.
The Importance Of Testimonials
Nothing can match a glowing customer testimonial for potential positive impact.
They are one of the most important things you can put on your website, landing page, sales email or any other kind of communication.
“Customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for content marketing at 89%.”SOCIAL FRESH
The vast majority of your new and existing audience want to read testimonials for affirmation.
For peace of mind that people like them have found the solution to their current needs through using your services. To negate the emergence of any buyer’s remorse.
Testimonials help cement trust and credibility by providing social proof that, as an organisation, you can back up your claims.
They add a human element to your brand that ultimately helps to increase conversions as your potential customers become at ease with your operation and wholeheartedly believe they’ll get the result they’re looking for.
Fear of the unknown and comfortability in the status quo can be significant blockers to growth. Customer testimonials help allay any fears.
What Makes Great Customer Testimonials?
Clearly, the power of testimonials cannot be underestimated.
And there are many forms of testimonial, ranging from quotes to longform, social to video, that you can use to great effect.
But when it comes to the contents, there is a winning formula that should be encouraged and utilised wherever possible.
A simple, 3 stage process.
It is as follows…
Here lies the hesitation.
The before stage shares the doubts, difficulties, and negative emotions the customer felt regarding their circumstances.
Having this section helps to set the scene of life before they purchased your product or service.
The purchase has been made, and it’s time to “discover” the impact.
The after stage shares the results your customer was able to achieve on account of your product or service.
It covers how you helped eliminate the negative “before” through the provision of your offering.
Last but not least, the experience, or the emotional response.
The experience states how your customer felt after using your product. The sense of achievement gained entirely because of you.
This is where the power of the customer testimonial truly lies. In the exploration of the positive impact and emotion felt.
How To Use Customer Testimonials
Having established their importance, and the ingredients from which you can concoct a winning formula, we need to explore how to use customer testimonials.
The opportunities are nigh on endless and, in effect, limited only by your imagination.
Here we’ve covered 8 potential ways for you to use customer testimonials in your business…
On Your Homepage
This is your shop window and time is of the essence.
Clearly indicating to potential customers that those who have gone before were thrilled to work with you is bound to reassure them and prompt a deeper dive into your offering.
At every stage in the customer journey, there is room for customer testimonials.
As discussed earlier, there is only so much that you can say that customers will believe to be 100% true and accurate.
Mixing testimonials into your sales and marketing copy helps affirm your claims through solid social proof.
On A Product Page
Chances are, if your customers find themselves on a product page, they’re pretty interested in what you have to offer.
Testimonials at this stage can be a great differentiator.
A point of focus that reinforces how even though competitors may sell similar products, you’re the company to choose.
In A Case Study
Perhaps to be considered a step up from the testimonial, case studies give you the room to fully show off your potential.
Adding a direct quote to an explanation of your actions helps deliver the last stage of the testimonial model, “the experience”.
You’ve discussed the before and the after, now use a testimonial to blow away the reader.
Through Social Media
You should be where your customers are.
And if that place is social media, your testimonials need to be there too.
Whether in sharing a positive experience or directly engaging with happy customers, an active social presence can embed your reputation away from a more focussed, business environment such as your store or website.
Dedicated Testimonials Page
It’s a truism that there is safety in numbers.
So how better to give your customers confidence than by compiling every glowing review in one accessible place.
This is where you can let your testimonials shine.
Showcasing how you go above and beyond; time and time again.
In Your Sales Pitch
People don’t like being sold to. But they love to buy.
And patience for the pitch can often wear thin, especially when people know what to expect.
By dropping in anecdotes and stories of previous customer’s experiences, you can break up the monotony of the hard sell and win potential customers over, tackling objections at the very same time.
On Exhibition Materials
Last but not least, if you find yourself at an exhibition, you need to stand out from the crowd.
People remember stories rather than details so introducing customer testimonials to your event collateral will not only remind visitors of your offering, but give clear evidence of how you’ve helped people like them before.
Tips To Collect Testimonials
In providing a great customer experience, word of mouth referrals are bound to happen naturally.
However, a conscious effort to cultivate them will result in a larger number and a greater return on investment.
Taking a more proactive approach, without being overbearing, will help encourage delighted customers to share their stories with others.
Financial incentives can help encourage testimonials as well as following up on satisfaction surveys which reported especially high figures.
As a rule of thumb though, here are 5 top tips for generating red hot referrals…
#1 Exceed Expectations
#2 Ask (At The Right Time)
#3 Engage Existing Customers
#4 Align Your Values
#5 Create Avenues For Advocacy
Ready to explore how Anthill can help collate invaluable customer testimonials? Schedule a demo today.
Intrigued to learn more? Check out our Insights Hub to keep your business at the cutting edge.
April 21st, 2022-