Thanks to the web, customer reviews and testimonials are playing a larger role in our purchasing decisions than ever before. And while it may seem like the wild west of customer reviews on Yelp, Tripadvisor and the like, there’s a place online where you can actively cultivate quality testimonials from your most satisfied customers – that place is your website.
Sharing quality testimonials on your website is a great way to demonstrate social proof to potential customers that your product or service is an ideal fit for them.
Of course, as a precursor to getting a great testimonial you’ll first have to deliver top-notch products, services, or customer service. Once you have that covered, follow these simple steps to turn happy customers into cheerleading advocates for your business.
Step 1: Don’t Be Shy
In most cases, there’s only one way to turn a customer into an advocate – you have to ask.
While it may seem strange at first to directly ask someone to sing your praises, you may be surprised by how willing satisfied customers are to share their positive experiences. If making a direct ask seems intimidating at first, you can try asking for testimonials (or permission to share other comments) at the end of a customer satisfaction survey.
And remember – nothing draws a crowd like a crowd. Once you begin sharing testimonials on your website, you may find that other customers are eager to volunteer to share theirs as well.
Step 2: Ask the Right Questions
Don’t leave it open-ended! The key to getting a quality testimonial is asking your customer the right questions.
A great testimonial will not only help convince other customers why they should buy your product or service, but also disarm any concerns they may have related to the purchase.
With that in mind, here are three basic questions to ask:
- Why did you buy this products/service and what do you like about it?
- What may have prevented you from buying this product/service, and what changed your mind?
- Would you recommend this product/service to a friend?
You can certainly add more questions to this list, but make sure you don’t overwhelm people – if the time commitment required to write the testimonial seems onerous, they’ll be less inclined to do it.
Step 3: Know What to Include
By asking the right questions, you’ll end up with customer testimonials that are specific, believable and personal. But that’s only half the battle. You need to get those testimonials up on your website.
Simply displaying a quote from an anonymous customer likely won’t win over people’s hearts and minds. Including the name and a photo of the person who supplied the testimonial is essential to demonstrating social proof to potential customers. You may even want to include a link back their website as well.
What may be even more compelling are video testimonials – where you invite satisfied customers to submit short video clips of them reviewing your product or service in lieu of a traditional written testimonial. Either way, you’ll want to make sure you display testimonials prominently on your website. If they’re product-specific, consider including them directly on the product page to better help undecided customers make their purchase decisions.
Always Worth the Ask
A good testimonial can go a long way – they cost virtually nothing for you to collect, yet are invaluable in how they help grow your customers' trust and business’ credibility. If you believe in your product or service, and know that you have plenty of happy customers to prove it, never be afraid to make the ask.