Let me ask you question. If you’re making a buying decision—especially an expensive one—would you rather the company tell you how great it is? Or an actual person who bought the product or service?
Most people want to hear from real people. After all, companies spend a lot of time and money trying to convince you to buy their products or services. Happy customers or clients, however, likely aren’t getting anything out of the deal, other than the gratification of supporting a business they love.
That’s why people trust testimonials—and it’s why you should include them on your website. They build your credibility, speak to the value of your products and services, and can convince people who are on the fence to choose you over the competition.
They are marketing and sales gold, without cost you a dime. So, what are some best practices for using testimonials on your website? Follow these tips:
Don’t bribe people for testimonials
You’ve probably been online, scanned through reviews, and found statements like “I gave this review in exchange for a free product.” In my opinion, those testimonials don’t quite carry as much weight as the ones given free of charge. Ideally, customers should be willing to offer wonderful feedback about your product or service without something in exchange.
Make it easy for customers
Satisfied customers are usually happy to share their opinions. Still, make it easy for them to write the testimonial. We recommend providing a link to your Google My Business review page. And if you don’t have a Google My Business account, shame on you – here’s more information on it. You can find your link by:
- Logging into your Google My Business account
- Click on your location
- In the menu on the left, click Home
- Find the Get more Reviews section and click Share review form
- Copy the link
Now you can use this on your website or within an email to request reviews from customers.
If you don’t have a Google My Business account you can still make it easy for users to submit testimonials until you get one.
Create a survey or simple form and send it to customers within a month or so, after they have had a chance to use the product or service.
Include two or three open-ended questions that encourage them to share feedback versus just responding with “Yes” or “No” or a 1-10 ratings. For example:
- “How would you describe your experience with us?”
- “What was your favorite thing about our product/service?”
- “Why would you recommend us to your friends or family?”
- “How did our product/service improve your situation?”
- “What was your situation before using our product/service? And after?”
Use real names and titles
If customers are willing to attach their name, company or title to the testimonial, it speaks volumes about the legitimacy and credibility of the testimonials. Even better: Include a headshot of the person.
Testimonials from anonymous sources or that only include the first name of the speaker can often come across as made up. Just be sure to ask the testimonial giver if you can include his or her information.
Stick with powerful statements
Specific statements about their experiences with you or their products are more impactful than generic statements.
For example, “Evielutions was able to turnaround change requests in less than 24 hours, so we could keep the website launch date intact” is much more powerful than “Evielutions was great!”
Use the customer’s language
You may want to clean up flagrant typos and grammatical mistakes, but for the most part include the testimonials verbatim. They will come across as more authentic if you leave them in the voice of your customer.
Keep adding fresh ones
Designate a spot on your website, perhaps scrolling across the bottom of your home page, for up to 5 testimonials at any one time. Swap out weaker or dated ones, as stronger, more relevant ones come in. There are even WordPress plugins available that will embed the reviews directly from Google My Business page onto your website.