Testimonials, similarly to reviews, are unbiased opinions of your customers in their own words. But there are two fundamental differences between them. Testimonials are more elaborated reviews that typically focus on the positive aspects of the product. You can request your customers to give testimonials and and publish them on your website. In contrast, reviews are short testimonials, less detailed and showing less attachment to the brand. They are usually featured on websites that are not your own, and, unlike testimonials, reviews can range from raving to dismissive. You have limited control over reviews, yet your business needs them as much as testimonials. As statistics suggest, nearly 9 out of 10 consumers trust online testimonials and feel compelled to act based on the opinions of others. Therefore, it is a reason enough to rethink your approach to testimonials and explore why you need them and how they help your brand grow. And start collecting more.
Testimonials help you shine
One of the most highlighted benefits of testimonials is that they help you shine. Altruistic reviews given by happy clients boost your mood and comfort you in thinking- I’m doing things the right way. But the benefits go beyond your satisfaction. They help fence-sitters make up their mind about your services. Peers’ reviews are more trustworthy than campaigns crafted by marketers. The more natural-sounding and real testimonials you receive, the more arguments the hesitant clients have to buy from you eventually. But your journey with the testimonials does not end there. You should keep the conversation going to leverage them to the fullest. Positive feedback is a golden opportunity to create deeper bonds with your audience. And that paves a way to a more frequent word of mouth, opportunities of cross- and up-selling.
Be vocal about the positive reviews
A website is a perfect storefront for testimonials. They allow your audience to get to know you, find out what experience others have had. Thus, they deserve a spotlight on other channels as a powerful persuasion tool. Make it a habit to periodically update your customers of what others say about you and highlight those reviews in other media beyond your website. Weekly newsletters, Instagram stories, or brochures represent channels that allow you to reach a broader public. You may also be inclined to test other forms of testimonials. Don’t shy away from asking your customers to provide a more entertaining way of extolling your services -videos. Testimonials undeniably serve as a vehicle to spread a positive opinion about you. Would you miss out on an opportunity to leverage your current customers’ thoughts for the unaware public to get to know you?
Give back to your customers
Responding to a testimonial is a gesture of politeness and gratitude. It is also a necessity to encourage more testimonials to flow in. Respond to testimonials and offer a reward. Some offer a giveaway to encourage to give feedback. But not just any vague message. A testimonial should cover several angles, such as what led the customer to buy product X, what they liked the most about it, how it surprised them etc. These kind of reviews are expected to be more in-depth, and not just a fruit of casual ramblings like reviews may be. Make sure you keep the stream of new testimonials continuous. From a customer perspective, they help your new leads make up their mind. And no matter how positive they are, they still allow you to explore areas for improvement and find out in which you are an indisputable leader.
Negativity helps you grow
But it is not all good reviews that you get. You might come across very dissatisfied clients who want to rant about their poor experience with you. Customers have the right to do that, and you should not expect everything to be rosy. But once you get such bad publicity, this is your time to shine again – respond to it, let other people show that you are not indifferent to such reviews. Turning a lousy comment into a success story is a way out of a crisis. And such a habit only confirms that you are customer-centric and don’t take customers for granted. Don’t allow the negativity to take up too much airtime and sprout uncontrollably without being answered. Therefore, the golden rule is to be prepared for the worst, armed with the right tools – prompt responses. And most importantly – diligent action to turn around the bad situation.
Learn from feedback
Good reviews attract traffic. Bad reviews would on the surface, discourage people from using your services or buying your products. If the complaint is not as grave to tarnish your reputation entirely, you may still have the upper hand in the matter. How? Kill the negativity in the bud by offering apologies and requesting to share more details. Take the conversation to a more private channel to explore what went wrong. The upside of nearly every bad review is the potential for you to improve. People pay attention to negative reviews, especially if they are adorned with a single star. But instead of entering a panic mode, use them as a catalyst to do things differently, reengineer your processes or add missing components to your services. As business owners, you might be terrified about negative feedback, but testimonials can make a massive difference for the brand if you embrace, act on and learn from them.
Testimonials help you in many ways. With more testimonials in hand, you can build deep and long-lasting relationships with current customers. They help you build a good reputation and are a nearly zero-cost marketing campaign the most effective propaganda could not replace. Testimonials help you see your flaws. They make you act on your errors, and work towards better results. Testimonials are not only nice words. They are a robust machine to attract traffic and help your brand grow.