Website testimonials and success stories from your customers are an important online marketing tool that can let potential clients see real-world evidence of the way your company does business and produces results. It’s never nice to brag, but when other people brag about us, that’s the best compliment we can receive! There are always going to be customers that hesitate doing business with a company that doesn’t provide access to references and testimonials. Beat that rap and take control of your website testimonials. Use them and all of the power they contain to show potential customers the upside of doing business with you.
When requesting testimonials from clients and customers, let them tell their story. Once you have their testimonial, be careful about how much you adjust the wording of what they’ve written or told you. The last thing you want is for potential customers to feel you’ve written the testimonial. Although, your adjustments may be minor, it’s easy for outsiders to feel your wording may be too staged or insincere. If you need a client to rephrase something, just pick up the phone and give them a shout. Ask them if they’d mind what YOU have in mind. After all, these are your customer’s words, not yours.
To ensure that customers know that the testimonial is from a real person, include as much relevant information about that person as possible. This may include the person’s name and their company. Just as important, include a photo whenever possible and provide a link to your customer’s website when available. Clients always like linkbacks and will be appreciative of the one their testimonial provides.
When sharing your testimonials, think outside the page! Your website testimonials don’t have to be kept strictly on a single “Testimonial” page. Place testimonials on pages where they speak directly to the page’s content. For example: if you have a page that is entirely about one specific service you provide and one of your testimonials is about that service, add an excerpt from that testimonial on that page. When you utilize this method, you’ll have a deep testimonial page, while giving visitors that don’t click that specific page to see some great quotes and excerpts where relevant throughout your website. Nothing like letting your potential customers know, wherever you can, that other people are confident you can deliver the types of services they’re looking at for their own business or needs.
To be sure your website visitors see the right section or sentence of your testimonials, consider bolding or italicizing words that are the most powerful. They may be your client’s words but that doesn’t mean you can’t emphasize. If you use the central testimonial page method, this can be especially important for making sense of an entire page of client and customer kudos. Another nice trick that can also lead to some SEO (search engine optimization) benefits is to hyperlink words from a testimonial to relevant pages on your website. If a testimonial mentions one of your products or services, create hyperlinks from that word or phrase to the relevant page on your website.
If you have a blog, there are other helpful ways to incorporate testimonials. By using post categories, you can create an entire category that is made up of customer testimonials. Each testimonial can then be the basis of its own blog post that highlights the testimonial, along with any other relevant information that you want to add in the post. On days where you’ve got a serious case of writer’s block, why not whip out those testimonials and expand on an area they discuss? If a testimonial talks about your on-time delivery, write a blog on client expectations and three easy things you can do to fulfill them.
To keep new testimonials coming in regularly, never hesitate asking for them. If you’re doing good work, you’ll find customers are more than happy to provide you a great story or review about how doing business with you has helped their business. Sometimes a potential testimonial will come from something a customer says to you. When this occurs, ask them immediately if you can use their words on your website. Just remember to send them the exact text or quote for them to review before it goes online.
Website testimonials, as you can see, aren’t just about having people sing your praises. They’re the best when it comes to endorsement-based marketing, they’re FREE and they can speak to your potential clients where they need some affirmation most. After all, no one wants to hire someone blind. Let your clients do the talking and keep doing what it is you do so well: deliver results and exceptional service.
Bonus Tip: Consider setting up a testimonial hotline. A dedicated phone number or extension that you can give to clients to call in for their testimonials. This makes it super-simple for them to give you a testimonial (which means you’ll get more of them to give you one).