Here’s How Testimonials Help Boost Your Sales
Customer behavior is one of the many things in business that are always changing. Especially in today’s digital world, which presents a wide range of new opportunities every year, the way your customers shop is bound to be different from one year to the next.
Today, there’s nothing more important than testimonials from past customers. Positive ones help attract new customers and build a sense of customer loyalty, while negative ones are known to drive those customers away.
That’s why it’s important to collect, respond to, nurture, and monitor your customer reviews and testimonials regularly to ensure you’re meeting your customer’s needs.
Don’t worry, we understand this is something most business owners aren’t keen on. We’re going to run through everything you need to know about testimonials -- including how to use them, how to get them, how to display them, and how to find success with them.
Are Testimonials Worth the Hassle?
Customers today are extremely interested in the experiences other customers had when interacting with your business. In fact, 90% of consumers say online reviews from other customers help influence their decisions when shopping.
The thing about testimonials is it gives the customer a sense of confidence before purchasing an item or signing up for a service. They have a better idea of what to expect, which is important because a lot of businesses go out of their way to make their product seem better than it really is.
Testimonials help build trust with customers before they commit to your product, which heavily increases conversions and sales. These conversions become even more beneficial to your business when the testimonial is coming from someone famous, well-known, or popular in your industry.
As long as the testimonial is authentic, customers are going to appreciate it and utilize it every time -- and this is proven. One study by Econsultancy discovered that testimonials increase the likelihood of a purchase by more than 60% and even increase sales by nearly 20%.
Another study by Reevoo proved that having 50+ testimonials can increase nearly 5% of your sales and a study by Brightlocal found that 88% of people trust online reviews as much as reviews from friends and family.
The numbers don’t lie -- testimonials work and are necessary for any business.
Receiving Testimonials From Customers
One of the best ways to get testimonials from your customers is by asking them -- after all, that’s the key to getting most things in business. If you need numbers to prove this, the same study by Brightlocal we mentioned earlier also found that 68% of customers leave a testimonial when asked.
Since there are so many ways to initiate this, we’re going to detail some of the most popular and effective ways:
1. Utilizing Surveys
Customer surveys are such an easy way to get a feel for how your business is perceived by others. It’s your chance to group together a wide range of questions that require a yes/no answer or a rating.
You can ask questions that describe their use of the product or service, questions about their demographic, questions about their satisfaction, and even questions that require a typed-out answer. Some popular questions to include are:
- How often did you use the product or service?
- What did you like most about the product or service?
- What is your age, gender, employment status, and marital status?
- How satisfied are you with this product on a scale of 1-10?
- If you could change anything about the product or service, what would you change?
- Will you be using this product or service again in the future?
A survey is versatile and can be used to gain valuable insight and data about your customers, while also giving you valuable content to showcase online -- that way other customers can read their answers.
2. Automating Emails
Emails are a great way to ask for testimonials. They can be used to send out the survey, but they can also be used to simply ask for a written testimonial about their experience with your product or service.
With the way technology is built in your favor, you can even automate these emails to be sent to the customer a week after receiving the product or service. This not only gives them a chance to try the product first, but it gives them a reminder to tell you what they thought of it.
Of course, you’ll want to make it worth their while by offering some type of incentive for completing the survey or writing the testimonial. It can even be something as simple as a one-time drawing where there’s only one winner -- don’t be afraid to get creative!
3. Integrate Apps
There are also a wide range of apps out there designed to help you collect and display testimonials or reviews. For example, you can use Yotpo, Stamped.io, Loox, or Shopify’s own Product Review app to integrate testimonials directly on your Shopify site.
You can also use apps like Yelp and Google to ask customers for reviews. It’s simple to do and there are already a wide range of people doing it -- sometimes they just need that extra push!
Should You Ask Anyone for a Testimonial?
To be fair, you should always leave the door open for anyone to leave a review or testimonial for your business. Even the negative ones give you an opportunity to grow and become better.
At the same time, you also want to make sure you have as many positive reviews as possible. That’s why you have to know where to go for that positive review and more important, how to get it!
First, you’re going to want to locate your most loyal customers. These are the customers you see frequently, the customers who spend the most money, and the customers that have been with you the longest. You can label them your MVS -- Most Valuable Shoppers.
Once you’ve asked them for a testimonial, you can start to venture out to other areas. Social media is a great place to start because a majority of your customers are already on there. You can easily search hashtags and even look at your own messages or replies.
Stay on the lookout for social media followers that have already posted something positive about your product. Repost their shoutout and respond to them!
Reach out to them and thank them for using your product. That’s when you can kindly slip in, “Would you mind leaving us a testimonial of your experience with us so far?”
Lastly, you can use what’s called a Net Promoter Score survey. This is where you send out an initial survey that asks, “Would you recommend this product or service to someone you know?” Those that answer positively should be reached out to for a follow-up survey or reached out to for a testimonial.
What Should Testimonials Contain?
While it’s important to know how to ask and who to ask for a testimonial, you also have to know what to ask. As much as you want hundreds of reviews and testimonials, you don’t necessarily want them to to all be, “Great product!” or “Love it!”
The truth is, those don’t provide other customers with any valuable information and often come across as spam or fake.
The key when avoiding this is to search for customers willing to give specific, clear, and detailed reviews of your product or service. This doesn’t need to be hundreds of words, but it should be more than the generic reviews you’re used to getting.
In order to encourage more specific and detailed reviews from your customers, consider the following:
- Ask for photos or videos from the customer to provide further supporting material for other customers.
- Be honest and be specific with them as far as what you’re looking for in your testimonial.
- Give them examples of other reviews that you thought resembled what you wanted in a testimonial.
- If there are any key words you want the customer to mention in their testimonial, try using them in your own verbage to inspire the customer.
- Send them a history of products they bought or services they utilized.
At the end of the day, you want to make sure the customer knows you want descriptive testimonials. If you have to, don’t be afraid to tell them you’ll display their testimonial on your website if they write a glowing review.
You Have the Testimonial, Now What?
There are so many different places you can display your testimonials for others to see. Making sure you display them in the right places is essential to making sure they produce the results you were hoping for when you collected them.
Here are some of the most popular and effective places to showcase them:
- Social Media - a simple retweet of a customer’s testimonial or positive review can go a long way because all your followers will see it. You can also shout out customers yourself on social media, they’ll appreciate the 15 minutes of fame.
- Testimonial Page - having a page on your website dedicated to displaying testimonials is a great way to hold all your testimonials in one place.
- Product/Service Page - if you have testimonials about certain products or services, displaying them on their corresponding product or service page can help drive conversions.
- Case Studies - when you build a case study, you should always include testimonials from clients in that industry.
Once you can figure out where to display them and how to get other customers to read them, you’ll start to see the testimonials take effect on your business. Soon enough, you’ll see your sales start to increase and you’ll even start to see more testimonials come in!
Need Extra Help With Testimonials?
Asking, collecting, monitoring, managing, nurturing, and showcasing testimonials to potential customers is extremely beneficial to the future of your business. At the same time, it’s extremely time-consuming and something not every business owner has the time to do.
You might be wondering if it’s worth it to outsource this process to a professional. Like anything else, it comes with its own set of pros and cons. The pros, for instance, include having someone with experience lead the way, freeing up your time to focus on what’s most important, and increasing the amount of testimonials you receive on a monthly basis.
On the other hand, the cons include having to do it yourself, risking not having enough time to do it properly or effectively, and a loss of quality.
Whether you want to find a professional, search for a software program to help, or do it all yourself, the important thing is that you’re doing it. Eventually, you’ll start to see results and learn that it was all worth it.
If you need help, contact Consultants In-A-Box today. We can’t wait to assist you with the growth of your business and help you get more quality reviews.
- Jordan VanMaanen