The power of the testimonial

Posted by benjamin in Digital, Marketing, Opinion.

It’s no secret that consumers are savvier than ever.  They make fewer impulsive purchases and conduct thorough research before parting with their hard-earned cash.

In today’s digital world, online research is more often than not the first port of call, and resources like customer testimonials play a vital part in the decision making process. Nowadays, it’s rare that someone would make any kind of purchase without looking at reviews and customer feedback, whether it’s insurance cover, designer sunglasses or a new computer.

Third party advocates are priceless, but why are they so powerful? You may have the best marketing strategy in the land and a sales team that could sell ice to the Inuit – but nothing resonates better than the praise of your customers. After all they are the ones who have experienced your product or service, and if they’re shouting about it – well, it must be good mustn’t it?

You may have the best marketing strategy in the land and a sales team that could sell ice to the Inuit – but nothing resonates better than the praise of your customers.

What makes a good testimonial?

Imagine you’re reading a company’s testimonials and the first one reads “J&R Plumbing are great. I would recommend them”, it’s not really going to make you feel compelled to call them right away is it?

However, if the testimonial is a more informative piece explaining the reasons they are great, it helps the reader to relate to the customer’s situation and how the company in question helped them. It’s always advisable to include a name and a company where possible; people just don’t believe anonymous testimonials. See an example of a good testimonial below:

“Following a burst pipe, my bathroom floor was six inches under water. I rang J&R Plumbing who were not only friendly and understanding, but were incredibly efficient and someone was round within the hour. The pipe was quickly replaced and the water taken care of in no time. Having a disaster like this was made much less stressful once I had spoken to J&R and their reassuring, efficient service left me with complete peace of mind meaning I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone!” Rachel Dawson, South Shields.

Why are they so important?

It’s easy to boast about how good your product or service is, but convincing your potential customers that it really is as good as you say it is, that’s another task entirely.

Enter; the testimonial.

When you get great feedback, don’t be shy. Ask your customer if they would be willing to share it with others. If you have a review site that you use, send them there, or ask permission to use their words on your website. It’s rare that someone having experienced something so great would hesitate to share it with the world.

So, you have your testimonial. What now?

Hooray! Someone is raving about you. So, share it with everyone else. Testimonials are fantastic in supporting the claims you make on your website, in advertising or collateral. If you’re sending an email, writing copy for a brochure or designing a landing page – include a testimonial. You never know it might just seal the deal.

What’s keeping your customers awake at night? What might be stopping them from buying your product or service? If they’re thinking that you might be slightly more expensive than your competitor, include a testimonial from a customer explaining why you are worth that little bit more. You’d be surprised how well it works.

It’s impossible to overestimate the power of a good testimonial. Not only do they impress your prospects, they are also invaluable tools in increasing your conversion rate and turning a maybe into a solid gold yes.

To find out more ways of increasing your conversion rates, or on generating great testimonials come say hello or join the conversation on Twitter @yourengineroom.

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