There is no question that testimonials about your business can have a positive influence on potential customers. After all, 91% of people regularly check online reviews before making a purchase, and 85% of people trust online reviews and testimonials as much as word-of-mouth recommendations from friends or family. So, what exactly is a testimonial? Testimonials are positive statements left within a high-rating review. They help attest to the quality of a product or service. So no matter what industry you’re in, testimonials can help build business and gain clients. Follow our tips on how to get testimonials that drive growth.
Follow the rules
Before starting your quest to collect customer testimonials, it’s important to ensure that you are doing so ethically and legally. Here are some guidelines to follow:
- Customers cannot be paid to leave positive reviews; however, you can give small thank-you gifts, like pens or can coolers.
- Testimonials left by customers should be accurate and reflect their honest opinions or experiences.
Drive customers to a review site
Yelp®, Facebook®, Google®—there are a variety of online sites where consumers can leave reviews. As you start to make a concentrated effort to gather customer testimonials, decide on the platform or platforms where you’ll ask customers to share feedback. No matter the platform you choose, building a testimonial page on your website is a smart way to connect the reviews left across platforms. Because 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, it’s important to have an area of your site dedicated to testimonials.
Ask your closest customers
One of the best ways to receive quality testimonials is quite simple. Ask your existing, happy customers to review your products and services. If you feel a bit timid asking, keep this in mind—76% of customers say they are willing to give business reviews. If your relationship is strong, your customer should have no problem taking a few minutes to share their positive experience. For customers who leave a review that you use as a testimonial, show your appreciation with a thank-you gift, like a stainless steel water bottle or a flashlight.
Host contests for customer giveaways
Who doesn’t love a chance to win gifts? Giveaways are easy to host and an efficient way to bring in multiple customer testimonials.
- Decide on a platform and timeframe.
- Announce to customers that those who leave a review on one of your platforms during a given timeframe will be eligible to win a prize, like a travel mug or sweatshirt.
- Put all who left a review into a drawing and randomly pick a name. (Tip: Live video drawings on social media create excitement and show customers you’re choosing fairly.)
Acknowledge all reviews
The average consumer spends 13 minutes and 45 seconds reading reviews before making a decision. And, if you respond to your reviews—positive and negative—it shows customers you’re listening. Give a small token of appreciation to everyone who leaves a review, even those who didn’t rate you highly (consider those learning opportunities). Offer reviewers a discount, special deal or coupon along with a customer giveaway, like a magnetic clip to keep your offer handy. Offering incentives can increase the number of positive reviews for your business. Just make sure testimonials resulting from incentives are honest and accurate.
Put customer testimonials to use
After you’ve mastered how to get testimonials, there are plenty of ways to put customer testimonials to use in your marketing efforts. Include testimonials on your website’s homepage, feature them in e-newsletters, and make your social media content stand out with customer success stories that provide context to the positive review.
- Consumers take the time to research business reviews and trust what they read.
- Most customers are willing to leave a review if asked.
- Delight customers who leave testimonials with small gifts and thank-you notes.
- Use testimonials to grow your business and influence potential new customers.
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