Customer testimonials are a great addition to any company’s website. Sometimes all a potential customer needs to hear is real, positive feedback from their peers. Here’s how to get great customer testimonials for your website:
Scour the Web
Before you even begin to cultivate testimonials, do an extensive search for reviews of your business that already exist. Check all the popular places, like Google Places, Yelp, and Epinions, as well as niche sites that would apply to you, like Angie’s List or Trip Advisor. What do you come up with? If you find great reviews, the easiest thing to do is to include them on your website. Quote the review, and also provide a link to where it was originally posted.
You can also go a step further with the reviews you find online. Contact the reviewer, and personally ask them if they’d be interested in doing a testimonial for your website. See if they’d be willing to provide more information or a more detailed/compelling story. They may even be willing to appear in a video. Sometimes all you have to do is ask nicely. You already know the reviewer has something good to say, and people are often willing to share their positive experiences with others.
Talk to Customers
Any business who is truly interested in good customer service will continually ask their customers about their experiences in order to look for ways to improve. Continue doing this, and talk to as many customers as possible, especially your “bigger” customers. If they provide positive feedback, ask them if they’d allow you to include their comments on your website. Again, this could take the form of an extended review, story, or video.
Your customers won’t always be willing to appear in a video, and you may also choose not to go the route of video testimonials. That’s perfectly fine, but keep in mind that visuals will help your testimonials pop and seem more authentic. It’s easy for anyone to write words or craft a testimonial. Taking a photograph of your customers, perhaps with their new purchases, will add authenticity to their testimonials.
Focus on Specifics
It’s easy to get a customer to say something like, “I had a great experience with your company.” That’s all well and good, but testimonials are much more effective when they’re specific. Encourage your customers to give examples of why their experience was so great. What, exactly, impressed them about your company? Whenever possible, have them include relevant numbers. Quantifiable details are best, such as the dollar amount a customer saved, or the number of hours it took to complete a job.
What Not to Do
Offering incentives in exchange for testimonials may seem like a great way to get them, but it’s a bad idea. A discount, free service, or merchandise may convince someone to participate, but if anyone finds out reviewers were given some form of compensation for their testimonials, your company could take a big integrity hit. Most people will help you out for free. If they won’t, find someone who will.
Charlie Adams is a marketing professional and technology entrepreneur who loves to write about how to best utilize electronics for marketing purposes.
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