When marketing your business, it can be tricky to convey your company’s strengths while not coming off too transactional. You want to sell yourself without sounding like a forced and calculated advertisement … but how?
The solution is incorporating your customers’ real experiences into your messaging through the use of testimonials.
Testimonials vs. Reviews vs. Case Studies
Testimonials are different from reviews and case studies, two other common ways to showcase your customers’ experience with your company. Testimonials are a strategic and curated version of reviews but less in-depth than a full case study.
A review is feedback left by a customer – positive or negative – that you have little control over.
On the flip side, a case study will dive deep into showcasing how your company has impacted a client, complete with an analysis, data, and quotes that your internal team will build.
When organizing your testimonials, it is important to be as specific as possible about how you have helped your client. It is your time to set yourself apart from your competition just by using real feedback from real people.
Here is an example of a testimonial from one of our client’s websites:
“From start to finish, [client] was professional, knowledgeable and respectful.The crew was very helpful providing me with the necessary maintenance information for continued growth of the plantings. They did a stellar job cleaning up after they finished. I appreciated their thoroughness and thoughtfulness.” – Christopher L.
Why Testimonials Matter To Your Business
Due to the transparent and genuine nature of testimonials, it is imperative that your potential customers have a window into the experiences of your current customers.
This is important because 82% of consumers look up a business online before using them. These consumers are looking for relatable and noteworthy feedback from real people, not strategic landing page copy.
How do we know this 82% of consumers should have access to testimonials? While 92% of people trust recommendations from their peers, 70% of people will trust a recommendation from someone they have never met.
By providing clear and positive feedback to potential customers, you are now bringing to their attention your selling points through a trusted voice: your current customers.
Bonus: Frequently updating your testimonials on your website provides fresh content for search engines. That means you are boosting your SEO for free!
How To Get Testimonials
The best way to collect testimonials is by simply asking for them. Make it a practice within your company to follow-up with clients after a completed project or transaction. Ask those customers how their experience was, and if they would mind having their testimonial used for marketing purposes. Catching them during the aftermath of a pleasant experience will increase your odds of a) receiving a testimonial and b) having it be a positive one.
Guide their testimonials to highlight your selling points by sending them specific questions that prompt both informational and inspirational answers. Encourage them to write in their own words instead of crafting marketing promotions.
You can also create a short survey to send to your clients after a completed project or transaction. This can be created on websites such as Survey Monkey. Surveys should be kept short and concise to make it easier for customers to fill out. Steer clear of yes/no questions and instead supply open ended, engaging questions. Examples of such questions include:
- What was the most positive moment of your experience with this company?
- What are some of the benefits you experienced from our services?
- How much time/money did our services allow you to save?
As an exception to the testimonial focus, also consider leading customers to third party reviews such as Google Reviews. If you are already receiving testimonials, there is no harm in asking your clients to submit their thoughts on Google for future searchers to find as well.
According to Moz data, about 9% of Google’s search algorithm is impacted by new consumer reviews. That means if you gather enough reviews, you might receive better search results.
Where To Use Testimonials
Once you have these coveted testimonials and curated the perfect bunch, it’s time to put them to good use! Here are some of the best places to display and utilize testimonials:
- Your Website: Build a page on your website dedicated to just testimonials. You can view an example of such a page on our client LaffCo. Painting’s website here.
- Landing Pages: Pick out testimonials specific to a product or service. Find that product or service’s landing page and display the testimonial there. This is a great way to sprinkle testimonials throughout your website.
- Social Media: Whether you create original graphics or share within a caption, social media is a great way to connect with new customers by highlighting your success with past customers.
- Contact Forms: Wherever you have a form on your website, try to have a testimonial nearby. A quote about your company’s ability to connect, communicate and engage with customers is best because it will show your lead that they are in good hands.
Sweet Rose Studios built in a testimonial that compliments our client, Quik Touch Soccer’s, 2019-2020 season landing page:
When using testimonials, always make them stand out. Use block-quotes, graphic design, or formatting to make them a scroll-stopping or eye-catching item. Build a more personal feeling around testimonials by providing the name, date, company, or photo of the person you are quoting. The realer the person behind the quote feels, the more potential customers will trust them.