The Power of Testimonials
Of all the things you’re doing, all the social media and paid advertisements and billboards and podcast ads and teenagers dancing in front of your store with giant signs, nothing is as important as a good old-fashioned referral. Are you collecting reviews? Soliciting them politely? Ignoring them altogether? Sit back for a five-minute read and behold the power of testimonials.
What is a Testimonial?
A testimonial is more than a client paying you a compliment, it’s an endorsement on their behalf that you are a worthwhile investment. It’s a social contract that says, “if you can’t trust this business to take care of you, you can hold me accountable.” It’s a powerful statement that adds to the legitimacy of your business, increases your conversion rate, and often the metric by which a total stranger decides if you’re worth a conversation. It’s also something you should actively pursue from your clients, customers and colleagues.
What Testimonials Do
No matter how amazing you are, no matter how well you articulate why you’re better than the competition, there’s no more reliable source of praise than someone you’ve already impressed. Customers identify with customers, and they’re more likely to believe your five-star Google review than your clever Facebook post, no matter how witty that pun was.
When a previous customer describes the service you provided, they’re putting their neck on the line for you. They are endorsing you publicly, promising on your behalf that you provide an excellent service and are worth the money. In short, they’re serving as an ambassador to your brand, promising potential leads (in a very relatable way) that you’re the company for them.
Make Your Business Personal
No matter how creative, how modern, or how humorous your website may be, it’s still professional (and if it’s not, you should really Contact Us about building a new website). Testimonials are usually informal, written in casual tones and meant to appeal on a very personal level. Having content like this on your social media or website ads a personal appeal, and since it comes from a third party it doesn’t affect your professionalism.
Responding to testimonials also gives you a different voice, one that’s less Business and more Person. When you thank a customer for leaving feedback, you’re showing you value their time (and that of all your customers). It’s how you show you care and get credit for it.
Take a Little Work
No matter how happy clients are with your business, they don’t always think to leave a testimonial. Often times they’re busy, sometimes they feel excellent service is what they earned for their money (they’re right, by the way), and sometimes they just don’t think about it.
There’s nothing wrong with asking a customer or a colleague for a testimonial, or even incentivizing them to do so. Offering a discount on a future service or a free add-on in exchange for a review is a common practice. If you’ve done a good job for someone, don’t be afraid to ask them to share it. If you truly exceeded their expectations they will usually take the time to help you out, and those few magical sentences they give you are the best way to build trust and increase your online conversions.
As a side note, you should take time once a week to write a testimonial for a colleague or vendor. In about five minutes you can give them a reference that is both personal and professional, and help set them aside from their peers. They’ll appreciate it, and might just return the favor.
Want to know more about soliciting and utilizing testimonials? Need help showing off the incredible things people have to say about your business? We can help. Let us help them help you help others. Did you follow that? Great, then it’s time to get in touch.
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