Testimonials are one of the most powerful things you can add to your website. They do a number of very important things. Firstly, they create a sense of confidence and credibility about what you do and secondly your visitor will feel more inclined to believe your claims.
The big problem with testimonials (and this is why you see so few of them) is businesses tend take a formal approach to trying to get them. Most of the time they rely on their client to write them (which rarely happens because most customers are too busy to get round to doing it). The alternative is that the business writes the testimonial and the customer signs it. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that approach except by the fifth time they’re all starting to sound the same.
A Simple Tactic to Get Great Testimonials:
So, here is a dead simple technique which overcomes all of those problems. All you have to do is phone them up and say you’re doing a bit of research and as one of your best customers you’d like to get their honest feedback on your product or service.
Make sure you note down the key themes of what they say and then read it back to them. Now ask if you can use their comments on your website and in your marketing. Next you quickly write up what they said and e-mail it to them for them to check over.
Do this with five customers and you will get five very natural and completely unique responses.
This approach has another advantage: If you’re customer has a problem it will be flushed out well before they decide to go to another supplier.
Once you’ve got your handful of testimonials get them onto your website in key locations. Put them on the homepage, product pages, buying pages, the basket and checkout pages and so forth. (Don’t be afraid to use the same testimonial more than once.)
However, a drawback with written testimonials is proving its authenticity. In other words, how do you prove to a sceptical audience that you didn’t just make it up? Well, here are a couple of techniques that will overcome those concerns.
The Audio Testimonial
Add an audio testimonial alongside the written one. So, not only can your visitor read it but they also get the chance to listen to the customer discussing it. Your podcast of your customer could provide much more detail on how good they found your service to be – it could even be a full-scale interview or just the testimonial as it was written.
The Photo Testimonial
Another great technique is to get a photograph of your customer and put it next the testimonial. If you can take a photo of your customer using your product or service that’s even better.
The Video Testimonial
If you want to take this to its ultimate level (the gold-standard of testimonials) then grab your video camera and video your customer. Obviously, this takes a bit more preparation and you have to find a customer who is prepared to give up their time. However, a nice way of making it worth their while is to interview them for their own website whilst you’re there.
The great thing about going that extra mile with your testimonials is that 99% of businesses won’t and that means you will stand head and shoulders above the online crowd and hopefully improve your profit with it.
Jed Wylie is the author of Make Your Website Sell and works for Morgan Wylie a web design and digital marketing agency in the Midlands. Follow Jed on Twitter at MorganWylieWeb