How to Drive Sales With Better Customer Testimonials
Are you making the most of customer testimonials on your website and marketing/outreach materials (like decks)? Today we've got tips to make all of that positive feedback you're earning even more effective in attracting customers.
Why You Need Customer Testimonials
Social proof is a powerful factor any time we decide whether to buy from a business. Think about how many times you've asked family, friends or colleagues for recommendations before you make a purchasing decision. Today, we supplement (or replace) the information we get from people we know with our own online research. Testimonials are especially important to potential customers or clients who are thinking about buying from you. Testimonials are stories, which our brains love. They help a prospect imagine what it would be like to work with you or buy from you. It shows them "Hey, someone like me had a great experience with this business."
Get More (and Better) Testimonials
- Build the request into your process. The best time to ask for a testimonial is when all of your hard work is still fresh in the mind of your happy customer. Unfortunately, it's easy to let seeking a testimonial fall through the cracks when you have so many other things going on. Think about how you can build this request into your process. For example, create a standard checklist you use for projects that includes sending a thank-you email and a request for a testimonial as a final step. (You may even want to create a template for this email. DesignGood can help you with this — just ask.)
- Make it easy. You'll be more likely to get testimonials if you make the process feel easy for your testimonial givers. No one wants one more thing on their to-do list, and writing down the story of their experience with your business can feel like a lot of work. Take some of the pressure off by giving them a length range to shoot for (two sentences, 150 words, etc.). Keep in mind, too, that some people feel intimidated or self-conscious at the prospect of writing something that others will read. You can allay their fears by mentioning in a low-key way that you'll polish up their testimonial so that they'll sound good. (We know you know this, but we're going to say it anyway: While it's OK to tweak their wording, it's not OK to change their fundamental meaning. In that case, it's better just not to use the testimonial.)
- Give some direction. A customer testimonial will be more valuable to you — and easier to write for the testimonial giver — if you ask them to write about a particular aspect of their experience with you that you want to highlight. For example: "We'd really love to highlight our staff's experience. If that's something that was valuable to you in working with us, could you mention that in your testimonial?" By the way, if you have an exceptional customer experience you really want to show off, you may want to tell the story yourself instead of relying on the customer to provide a testimonial. You (or a writer you hire) could craft a blog post or case study.
Maximize the Power of Customer Testimonials
Your testimonials page needs the same TLC you give to copy on other pages of your website. A few of our top tips:
- Be selective. While it may boost your ego to have a page jam-packed with glowing praise, chances are slim that a site visitor will slog through all that text. Add new testimonials regularly and cull the ones that don't work as well anymore.
- Keep them brief. Trim down wordy testimonials so that your site visitors don't have to hunt for the most valuable information.
- Make your testimonials scannable. You want a site visitor to come away with a great impression of you even if they only skim the page. Put important words in bold type and use subheads that highlight what you want prospective customers to know.
- Don't limit testimonials to a page. In addition to a dedicated testimonials page, you can also use quotes from past clients or customers throughout your website. A highlighted testimonial is a great way to draw visitors into the other content on a page.
- Show your work. If it's applicable to your business, show work samples in addition to testimonials to make an even stronger case for your expertise. That's what we do.
At DesignGood, our planning process ensures that customer testimonials are beautifully integrated into the websites we create for our clients. Give us a call to learn more.