Customers buy what other customers like and endorse. It is precisely this principle that companies take advantage of with testimonials. Testimonials, or social proof, is better than elaborate campaigns and cheaper for your advertising budget. With every testimonial, the probability increases that the next potential customer will also use your service or product.
What Is a Testimonial?
Testimonials are like an unofficial certificate of recommendation from other clients and customers that have used your services or products. It’s like a list of public references for your business. In testimonials, customers advocate for you, and you present this social proof on your company’s website.
Of course, anyone who spends money on a product or service wants to feel good about it. They want to be sure that they’re making the right decision. The whole point of a testimonial is to convince potential customers and thus increase their willingness to buy. Seeing that other customers are already satisfied removes any doubts before buying.
How Do Testimonials Work?
The phenomenon that a testimonial triggers in a potential customer is known as “social proof,” contributing to your business’s credibility. Above all, they increase confidence in a product or service. The effect is the same as if you asked a friend for a good dentist recommendation because a friend’s value judgment is usually highly regarded.
Testimonials and social proof can come in different forms, like customer ratings, reviews of your online shop, customer quotes, or experience reports on your homepage.
6 Tips for Using Testimonials and Increasing Your Social Proof
Sometimes, especially for new and emerging companies, no testimonials lead to zero sales. In the worst case, potential customers choose direct competition because they have better, more prominent social proof. How can you generate social proof for your business? These tips can help:
1. Ask for Testimonials
This is the simplest and most effective method. Only a tiny portion of customers leave a rating or a review on their own. Therefore, asking your customers for a review alone increases your probability of positive social proof. You might receive less-than-stellar reviews. However, this can be prevented and even resolved with responsive customer support. Additionally, remember that customers don’t want constant emails asking for a review because emails get annoying very quickly.
2. Make Clear the Added Value
In the B-2-B (Business to Business) arena, customer testimonials have a mutual advertising effect. For example, a consultant advises an IT company and then asks for a customer quote as a testimonial for their side. In this way, the consultant highlights their expertise, and they bring recognition to the IT company they worked with.
3. Simple is Better
If a customer is taking the time to leave their opinions, make it easy for them. Include a link that leads directly to the review page or draw attention to the possibility on the product’s page. The customer rating itself should be easy to cast. Simple systems with points or stars are standard. This saves time and makes it possible to give an opinion on a product without having a great deal of knowledge.
4. Provide Incentives
To get more customer testimonials, you can offer small incentives. Without a doubt, these can motivate buyers to take the time to leave reviews. Amazon is a good example of this. Customers who leave helpful reviews are labeled “verified buyers,” and more potential customers see their reviews to help them decide on their purchases. This encourages even more customers to leave ratings and reviews to be positively evaluated by others. Consider highlighting profiles of customers who leave helpful reviews, thus providing additional incentives for customer opinions.
5. Show and Tell
Whether you choose to utilize a rating system, reviews, or both, people prefer to see profile photos. This increases the visibility of your website visitors and ensures authenticity. Visibility also means that you include a full name, company name, and place of residence. Keep in mind, reviews without pictures, profiles, or real names are not convincing to potential customers looking for genuine assessments.
6. Watch Your Word Count
The length of the customer testimonial can vary depending on the product or service. Short statements of two or three sentences enable the reader to get a quick overview. In some cases, it can be useful to have longer statements as testimonials on the side. Longer reviews provide thorough background and information that takes the reader with them emotionally.
Testimonials and social proof come first-hand and are believable. As a result, they are highly credible and often used as an essential source of information before making a purchase decision. Plus, to be able to counter any criticism, testimonials are a critical factor for all businesses.
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