08.21.08 —Build Customer Confidence with Testimonials
Every person in America has bought something that either broke or stopped working after a few days. Because of this, today's customers want to feel reassured that you are selling quality products and services. Customers do not want to lose money or feel like they've made a bad decision. The best way to do assure customers is to have good, strong testimonials.
If a business has happy customers and a lot of return clients, it should have testimonials. You wouldn't hire a contractor to remodel your house without checking references. Therefore be proud of the work you do and get some testimonials. Customer testimonials will help increase sales as well as boost the confidence of potential customers.
The Difference Between Good and Better
In order to have testimonials work for you and increase clientele, you must be careful how you phrase them. Testimonials are a marketing effort, which means that they need to be geared toward making your company look spectacular. For example, instead of writing "I love their vitamins", write "Taking these vitamins everyday gives me lots of energy and keeps me feeling great all day long." The latter testimonial is a lot more eye-catching and will be more effective in gaining a customer's confidence than the former. Ask customers who are willing to write testimonials to be specific.
Cherry Pick Your Testimonials
If you don't have any testimonials, check your company's email inbox for customers who sent compliments. If you can't find any ones you like, look at your client list and find out who is buying your products and at what frequency. Call or email a handful of your best customers and ask them to write a specific testimonial. Have them send a picture as well. This will give potential customers further reassurance of the validity of the testimonial.
Testimonials will not only improve your business, but will also improve your company's image as one that values customer satisfaction. So make the effort to get some strong testimonials.
Four Tips for Effective and Eye-Catching Locations
1. Once you have the testimonials, you need to figure out where to put them on your site. Placement is key, particularly when using flash. You want your testimonials to give maximum impact. The most common place on a website is for them to have their own navigation button titled either "Testimonials" or "Rave Reviews". This way more testimonials can be viewed on their own page.
2. Another option is to use flash testimonials on a sidebar on the homepage along with the customer's name, job title and company or logo. If you are using the testimonials in the masthead, they should rotate every 7-10 seconds then stop after all testimonials are shown. You don't want a testimonial to be so distracting that it takes the emphasis off of the content and what you are selling or offering. By having the flash cycle stop, you are allowing viewers to see the testimonials and then freely look at the content without the excess flash.
3. An alternative way to present testimonials is to sprinkle them throughout the site, highlighting them within the content using graphics, such as a color block background, upper and lower bar, etc. These visual stops are equally effective in reinforcing your credibility and can act as an additional selling point for specific products or services.
4. If you have the option for audio or video testimonials, this can be very effective in boosting your company's credibility. Audio is easy to record using Audio Acrobat. Video, on the other hand, requires more thought to positioning and angles. If you are at a trade show or with a client, you may want to pre-plan these testimonials for more impact.
Remember that in order for a testimonial to be effective, it needs to be specific, believable and placed in a credible location. With these three tips in mind, your testimonials will build customer confidence and web success.
Originally published in the August 21, 2008 Entireweb Newsletter.