Part One: Different Types of Customer Testimonials and When To Use Them
Customer testimonials are an invaluable asset to any business, and can be utilized in a variety of ways to encourage new customers in search of a solution you provide. A recent study found that adding testimonials to your site can increase your conversions by 34%, proving the value these can have on your bottom line. In this series, we’ll help you get stared with collecting and positioning customer testimonials to drive new business.
Chances are, you’ve come across a wide variety of customer testimonials when you’ve been searching for a product or solution in the past. It’s easy to tell potential customers about the value your business provides, but it’s always more compelling when it comes from an unbiased source. In the first part of this series, we’ll review the various types of testimonials you can employ, and more importantly, the best time and place to use them to yield the best returns.
This is one of the most common forms that testimonials take. A (usually brief) quote singing the praises of a product or service that serves as a testament to its efficacy, professionalism and dependability. Though there are many different ways to use and display a quote on your site, be sure that a person or company is credited, by name. This not only confirms that it’s a testimonial, given by an unbiased third-party, but also allows the reader to attribute it to a real person, with a name and a problem like they have. It allows them to envision themselves as the satisfied customer, and makes them more likely to buy.
These don’t need to be reserved for your site, alone. Try including them in other media forms by reading them at the beginning of a YouTube video, Snapchat series, podcast, or creating an image/meme out for use on Instagram, or other social platforms. This allows you to diversify the audience, so that they’re hearing these testimonials through whichever medium they prefer. Showcasing them in this way can also be helpful in prompting more customers to provide them, in hopes of being featured in the future.
Testimonials received on social channels can often feel like a gift, since they’re typically unprompted. People feel compelled to share opinions and reviews for products and services, usually when they’re either particularly disgruntled, or very impressed. If your business is lucky enough to be on the receiving end of the latter, then you can expect to be granted an easy asset.
For this reason, they also tend to be rave reviews, so make sure that you’re making the most of them. Social posts (especially on Twitter and Instagram) tend to have a short shelf life. Remedy this by taking screenshots or embedding them on your site, as well as sharing on across your own social pages. You can also keep a live feed of your mentions and shares, so that the most current are always on display and never get stale. Make sure you save the links, so you can easily find and use in future efforts.
With these types of testimonials, the advocate is a well-known industry expert. This compounds the authority of their statements, and positions your product/service as an even more appealing solution. If possible, obtain testimonials from a few different experts so that you can rotate them, in case some people aren’t familiar with one, they’re more likely to recognize the significance of another. These can be bloggers, local journalists reviewing your product or services, other well-known and respected people in your field or community.
Case Studies or “Success Stories”:
These testimonials go beyond a few, nice words about your business, in a general sense. They provide the context of their actual real-world experience, to guide other consumers through their experience. They focus on the steps that allowed them to reach (or surpass) their goals, and the results that they got.
This is helpful for customers to get a sense of what other customers’ expectations were prior to booking or buying. It also provides them with a better understanding of what the process of working with your business was, and what to expect. These testimonials highlight the positive results, and sets the tone for your working relationship with them. It can even be helpful when concerns or apprehensions are voiced that your target customer may share when looking for a solution, so it can ease their doubts about the outcomes your business provides. Although these are personal accounts, they still should be relatable narratives for your target audience.
Originally published on the Signpost blog. Check back each week for the next installment!