Are You Using Your Customer Testimonials to Promote Your Business?

Updated on 28 September 2020

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By Sylvia Schutte MD, Stratitude, a full-service marketing agency.

Customer testimonials are great for business. Not only do they give credibility to your brand, but they also show potential customers that you offer something that people enjoy, value and will happily invest in.

Testimonials are sometimes paid endorsements (as with influencer marketing), but are more often given voluntarily by satisfied customers, upon a company’s request.

Don’t just take our word for it – here are the numbers:
• 92% of people say that they read testimonials when considering a purchase.
• 95% of online shoppers read reviews before making a purchase, especially for products or services with a higher price tag.
• 88% of buyers have based their buying decision on an online review.
• Businesses that have excellent testimonials, experience 31% more spending from customers.

Four steps to obtaining, crafting and using valuable customer feedback:

Step 1: Be on the lookout for positive feedback

Whether it’s in an email message (“Thank you for great service”), on social media (“Thanks so much for a job well done”), in a handwritten thank you note (“It’s great working with you”), or in-person (“You’ve been so helpful”) – these are all worth gold.

Step 2: Ask for feedback

Asking for a testimonial can be awkward, so be sure to never directly ask for one. Rather send an email asking recent customers to rate their experiences. When you receive great feedback or a five-star rating, ask your customers to elaborate on their experience.

Approach your best customers in person. By reaching out personally, you not only get more direct information, but you also strengthen your relationship with them.

Be sure to ask the right questions. Ask questions about how much money they saved, what’s the biggest benefit they get as a result of your product, what they liked about the service, and if they would recommend you to their friends and family, etc.

Also, ensure that you ask for their permission to use their testimonial in your marketing. Including a name, picture or video with the testimonial makes it more trustworthy, but you must get your customer’s permission first. This is not only a legal requirement, but it will also make your customers more comfortable.

Step 3: Craft your testimonial

“Great service” or “I love it” is too broad and generic. Include more detail about what makes your business so great and how it adds value to the lives of your customers. Be specific and authentic.

Remember, you don’t have to use testimonials in the exact format that you receive them. Edit spelling or grammatical errors, and paraphrase if it helps to get your message across better. Just be sure to send any significant changes back to your customer for approval, before you use it.

Then, include elements like a name, date and photo of the customer that gave you the testimonial. This all adds to the authenticity of your testimonial.

Step 4: Publish your testimonials

Now you can finally use your customers to help you promote your business. Here are ways that you can use testimonials in your marketing:
• Put testimonials on your website homepage. Your homepage typically gets the most hits on your website and if you put it in a prominent place, visitors will immediately see it when they land on your page.
• Create a customer testimonial page on your website. This is a great place to upload all your testimonials and to ensure that older ones don’t get lost when updating the page with new testimonials.
• Share testimonials on social media. After all, your customers might not go to your website every day, but they are on social media all the time. You can even include short reviews in your social media advertising campaign.
• Use testimonials in case studies. If you have a great testimonial, write a case study where you outline the challenge, the solution that was offered by your business, and what the end result was. Include photos and references and if possible, include a link to a customer website to further add to your credibility.
• Use testimonials in email marketing. If you’re promoting a specific product in your newsletter to customers, include a testimonial from a customer who recently bought it and raved about it.
• Use blog content. Include testimonials as quotes or as footnotes in your blog articles.
• Happy customers will often agree to appear in a video where they talk about your business. Record them and use the videos on social media or display them at talks, trade shows, etc.

Instead of bragging to customers why they should do business with you, let your existing customers do it for you. It works!

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