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Testimonials are tricky business. Whether it was the shocking testimonial that your friend posted on social media which was supposed to be quirky and funny but you are still reeling from the punchlines or the testimonial from the ex-employer that got you thinking that you were Dwight when deep down you know you are Jim. In the case of testimonials, it’s either good or ugly with no bad in-between.
Testimonials are great for influencing potential buyers positively. Several consumer behavioral studies have shown that a customer gets more influenced by fellow customer reviews and testimonials than business self-marketing.
What is a customer testimonial?
A customer testimonial is an appraisal of the value offered by your product or service. They are given to satisfied customers voluntarily or could be requested by the company.
Is reviewing a testimonial?
Testimonials are collected and managed by business and reviews are collected and owned by a third party, without the influence of business. Reviews can be either positive or negative but testimonial is mostly positive even the negative ones are whitewashed to be made presentable.
When to ask for it?
When we will ask the right questions, we will get the right answers. The first rule for getting a testimonial is asking for it. When a customer is dissatisfied with your product or service, believe me, you will know. The problem is when a customer is satisfied, there is no urgency to get heard. They will not bother to write a review and even when they decide to write it, it will get procrastinated. There is some exception to this rule. Sometimes if your product or service has made some exceptional change in their life or customer is an empathic person, you will get feedback without asking.
If you want testimonials just ask. When you should ask? Just after when you have provided the product or service. There is an incident with purchasing most of us can relate to. When we purchase something that we were looking for quite some time and finally get our hands on it. We feel satisfied for two or three days but after that, the other product that we came across while seeking the one we wanted does not seems bad. We always find the grass is greener on the other side.
The positive vibes are powerful but get dissipated swiftly. If you are looking for a steller testimonial than hit the iron when it is hot.
The other time that you can ask for a testimonial is when a customer is connected to your brand for quite some time. You can bank on the relationship that is formed between the customer and your business if it has passed the test of time. You could make a list of your loyal customer and ask them to help you out with testimonials.
This one is rare but truly satisfying as a business owner. When you came across a happy customer and they are enthusiastically providing you with a testimonial. “TrustMary helps you gather more social proof and use it on your website to generate more leads”.
When you want a testimonial that you don’t care will look paid to people and they will be right about their assessment but influencing is more important than authenticity to you then you could use paid up influencer for your testimonial. They could be paid celebrities or social media influencers. Use this when you just want to make sure that your point is heard and read.
How to get testimonials?
You have probably heard that it is not what you do but how you do it that matters. If you have decided on getting testimonials but with no road map how to then keep reading.
Emails are the most common way to connect to your consumer. You can get valid email addresses through data appending and data verification. You could send a quick thank you email for purchase along with fishing phrases such as ” we will love to hear what you think”, ” enjoy and let us know” or ” help us out with a review”. You should include a line in mails that show urgency for review otherwise people tend to procrastinate or worse forget about it. If you have not heard from them for a while you could send a gentle reminder. There is a rule to remember in this is never pester your customer for reviews as this will irritate them and testimonial after that will not be any considerate. Sometimes a customer wants to respond but not able to express coherently in that case, you could develop a sample testimonial to help them out.
If you are an old school fellow like me then sending postal mail could be a great way to get a testimonial. You can design a mail through which people can write testimonial and has a self-addressed stamped envelope. You can also send sample testimonial to help out your customers.
Another great way to get a testimonial is by contacting the customer that has already posted a great review of your product on social media. You could write a testimonial paraphrasing their review and asking them to use for your site.
A video testimonial is comparatively new but is very influential. They directly hit the correct note with potential clients. Video testimonial could also be developed as storytelling narrating how your product or service has positively impacted your customer life. These testimonials can be used as promotional videos on social media, webinars or as ad like Dove commercial. Video testimonial could be shot as a case study, documentary style or a casual and candid customer interview. Possibilities are numerous. An audio testimonial is also very impactful.
You could also develop a dedicated section for happy customer testimonials for your site. That will help in customer reaching out to you not the other way around.
With help of data mining, data scraping and data scrubbing you can identify the customers posting raving reviews on various third party sites such as Google reviews, Yelp.com and other social sites and contact those to write testimonials for you and post along with their reviews.
Whichever way you use to gather testimonial always remember to take consent for whether you could disclosure their names and photos publically or not.
How to use testimonials?
Once you have gathered testimonials the next step is to use them correctly. People are influenced by testimonial but they are also aware that it is part of marketing. Just as customer views them with a pinch of salt you to should use them as a pinch of salt. Too much salt can make turn your potential customer salty.
Make it as quote
Quotes are a short, eye-catching and easy way to get your point across. You can use most hard-hitting lines of testimonial as quotes. These can be quoted on your websites home page, roadside holdings or social media pages. Quotes are a great way to catch the attention of scroller using mobile phones. You could assemble theses quotes and used in your pamphlets and promotional stationery materials. With the photograph of a happy customer along, you could increase the credibility.
Make it social
If your company has a presence on any social networking site then you can post customer testimonials. You can post as a screenshot, add to your social media story or share to your followers. Happy and satisfied customer testimonial will positively influence your social media presence. You could contact an influencer or celebrity that is popular on that site for a paid testimonial as a promotional piece. This will make your social media fortune to rise instantly.
Make a video
How much visual content can convince your audience about your product, written content never will. The video testimonial are could be shot as storytelling, interview or documentary. A story told from a customer or video about the emotional journey took by a customer with your brand will make many hearts melt. If you remember the old LIC adds with a woman narrating how insurance money has helped her family through tough times still pull the string of our hearts.
Make an audio
You can create an audio testimonial. The use of audio testimonial is not limited to your radio marketing ads but you can also contact podcasters, online music listening apps like Spotify, gaana etc. or contact audiobook listening apps such as audible.
Make a blog
If you have surfed many blogging sites or read a blog related to fashion, books or celebrity gossips you must have come across blogs with titles such as “The Jaipur boy is earning a six-digit salary in six-day. Learn how”. What that does with a catchy title is that it grabs attention and believe it or not it is Jaipur boy customer testimonial about the new rummy app he is using. Not as awkward as those blogs but you could contact a good blogger to write a case study testimonial blog for you.
Great examples of a customer testimonials are on websites such as Hubspot, Shopify, Squarespace etc. Remember whatever testimonial you get from your customer you should blend with your brand image, its vision and what you want to achieve with your customer testimonial objectives. These testimonials could be used in whatever campaign you are projecting. A customer will provide you with what he thinks about you but you should cherry-pick the sentences that should influence what your potential customer should think.