|Susan Solovic, The Small Business Expert is an award-winning entrepreneur, an attorney, a New York Times best-selling author, a media personality and a highly sought after keynote speaker.|
Showcase Real-Life Testimonials on Your Business's Website to Build Trust
Word-of-mouth advertising remains the most influential and trustworthy method of advertising, according to a Nielsen report, which found that 68 percent of people surveyed trust online consumer opinions.
Real-life testimonials soften a business’s exterior, allowing for higher emotional intensity. The Keller Fay Group found that emotionally connected brands get three times more business than those less engaged.
Your Digital Reputation
Online reviews and customer testimonials determine your online reputation. It doesn’t take many reviews for a consumer to form their opinion of a business, as found by a BrightLocal study. It’s called “social proof,” and it even overshadows low prices to many online buyers.
If your business is relying on social media and review sites alone to form your digital reputation, you’re missing out on a very important opportunity in posting real testimonials to your website. This is where you have control of what you want to put out there.
Testimonials build trust. They don’t seem salesy because they showcase different voices and personalities of real people that potential buyers can relate to, and they overcome skepticism.
Collect testimonials from your customers by adding a link on your site that asks people for their feedback. You can gather feedback once a purchase has been made by sending an auto response asking them about their experience with the business and how they like the product. Also, email existing customers to ask them for a sentence or two on how their past experiences have gone and how they enjoy using the product or service.
Consider adding video testimonials to your website for an even more personal experience. They are easy to create. Use your smart phone and then upload them to your site.
Ingredients to Effective Testimonials
Describe how the product works and prove it is effective. Don’t post glorified praise like, “This is the best product I’ve ever used! I love your business! Hooray!”
Post testimonials that substantiate your claims and back up your promises, as was done on this PoolCenter.com page: “I was very pleased with the speed of shipment, the quality of the products and pricing and emails to keep me informed. My family has been enjoying our new pool products! I will be happy to purchase from your company in the future.”
Explain the benefits the consumer got from using the product/service: “After the first week of using the eye cream, my wrinkles reduced by 30 percent. I feel like a young woman again, even at 60 years old. Thank you for the restored confidence.”
Post relatable testimonials that potential customers can emotionally connect with. “I thought the bookshelf would be too hard to put together myself, but I found that with the tools provided, I didn’t even need any assistance. Easy breezy.”
When you have a few testimonials that are ready to roll, post them on your website landing page first, then add them to every other page on your website. As you collect more, create a testimonials page.
Best practices require that you get permission from the customer before posting a comment. Don’t invent your own testimonials because users can sniff out a liar, and buying is based on trust. Include the person’s real name, title and company (if applicable) and include a picture to give your testimonials credibility.