How to Get Killer Client Testimonials (and why you need them…)

Jasmine Toh

When a first-time visitor enters your website, they don’t care about how good you say you are. What they trust is the opinion of your customers (current and past) – the people who aren’t obliged to say good things about you.

Introducing Social Proof

Marketers have this term called social proof. It is the concept that people will conform to the actions of others under the assumption that their actions reflect the correct behavior. You can watch this video to get a quick understanding of what means.

The “wisdom of the crowd” is what makes long queues, Facebook likes, online reviews,  and client testimonials such powerful tools for your business. Perhaps we can look into the other methods next time, but today we will focus on client testimonials.

Power of Client Testimonials

How many times have you bought a product or service because someone else told you it was good?

*sheepishly raises hand*

Usually, if I’ve never heard of a brand, I wouldn’t even give it a second glance at a regular brick-and-mortar store. Then one day, while scrolling through Althea.sg for Korean cosmetics, I chanced upon this…

althea-comb-png

Witch’s Pouch? I’ve never heard of this brand!

But hmm, it has a 5-star review by 50 other customers! This piqued my interest, so I clicked to find out what these 50 consumers had to say.

altheastory

I was convinced that I needed this product, and purchased it in the end. Similar situations may have happened more than once, thus leaving me with an empty wallet but a happy heart. (I regret nothing.)

If you can relate to my situation, you probably understand how client testimonials can influence the consumer’s perception of your business. Testimonials help increase your credibility, which is especially important for businesses where customer support or quality is the differentiating factor. Consumers want to know that they can trust your business before giving you their money. If you have solid client testimonials, you will see an definitely increase your conversion rate.

The most primitive form of a client testimonial is simply asking one of your brand’s fans to write down a note sharing their experience with your product or service. I’m sure you have been to restaurants with scribble walls for customers to leave their notes. I particularly like this punny one left by blogger, Keropokman for Udders ice cream.

udders-review

It says “Why did the cow cross the road? To get to the Udder side!” HAH!

Like Keropokman, you can ask your fans to snap a picture of their review and post it on their social media or blog.

If you are feeling adventurous and want to take your client testimonials a step further, read on.

Bringing it Up to the Next Level

The next level is to bring your testimonials online, you can explore the following mediums to showcase them. Different types of testimonials will work differently depending on the nature of your business.

Your Corporate Website

Your website’s homepage is like the display window of a physical store, it usually the first point of contact with your prospect.

homepage

ID21 has a section for client testimonials on their homepage’s sidebar so that it remains clearly visible on multiple pages of your website. If you are in the B2B business, such testimonials usually work best for you.

Facebook Reviews

Your Facebook page should have a review tab, move it over to the visible tabs and encourage your fans to enter their reviews. Here is an example by Fabfoto.
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Social media reviews seem more authentic because they are reproduced as it is from the customer. Facebook reviews are usually common for B2C businesses.

LinkedIn Recommendations

These are only available for individual profiles, so you can’t use it for your company profile. However, your individual employees may receive recommendations from clients and you can use these recommendations by putting them up on your website. This will work if your business prides itself on superior service or the knowledge of your employees.

Twitter favourites

twitter-testi
Favourite complimentary tweets from your customers, you can embed these tweets on your homepage sidebar or product pages to enhance visibility. Such a method is great because it comes from a third-party site, has a photo of your customer, location, exact date and time tweet was made. All the key ingredients to making a killer testimonial, I will elaborate more later. You can check out SocialMediaExaminer for a guide on how you can embed your twitter testimonials.

Video Reviews

video-testimonial

A video of your customer sharing how your product or service has helped them is more powerful than just mere text. It can show your prospect how users are actually using your product and create a deeper connection. Ideally, you want your former clients to be able to share thoroughly what they love your company and how it has changed their business, but often this might be costly and hard to arrange. If meet your clients often, you can film reviews on the fly. Just ask them if you can take a quick video of their thoughts of your service or product.

Product Reviews on Your Ecommerce Site

Good customer reviews for the products on your e-commerce site, such as the one below taken from Althea.sg, would help convince your prospect to buy them (like it did for me).

althea-png

Ingredients That Make a Killer Testimonial

What makes a killer testimonial? Too much sugar-coating about how “magnificent, fantastic, amazing” your product was will just make your prospect feel jelat (aka the Singaporean way of saying “sick of it”).

diabetes

Don’t give your prospect diabetes guys.

A good testimonial is authentic

If a visitor deems a testimonial as unauthentic, it defeats the purpose of having one in the first place. It might even backfire if they see your business as not genuine. To increase your authenticity, include a picture with the name of your client and their job title.

picture-testi

Square uses this strategy by showing a testimonial from their client with their name, pictures, and description. A picture is crucial because it helps your prospect form a connection with the individual and increase the impact of the testimonial. But do remember to contact your clients for permission before posting their photo and testimonial!

A believable testimonial will begin with the customer’s initial doubt but continue with praise with an eventual overcoming of the skepticism. This is called the reverse testimonialThe initial doubts highlighted may be the same ones your prospect has and after reading about how another user has overcome those doubts, they will be more convinced that your business is the right one for them.

reverse-testimonial
An example of a reverse testimonial can be found on clickTRUE’s company website, where the client stated his initial skepticism but then overcame it.

Get Testimonials from Your Ideal Customers

People are influenced by similar people, research on implicit egotism has shown that when it comes to valuing the opinions of others, our brains place more weight on those people we deem to be the most like us. Hence, your testimonials should come from clients who truly represents what your ideal customer looks like and highlight how your business helped solve their problems.

Tell a Story

We often think statistics are the way to go in motivating people. The truth is, they aren’t nearly as effective as a good story. As far as testimonials go, your prospect will trust a story from a satisfied client over a mere 5-star product rating.

Constructing Your Testimonial

If you simply ask your clients for a review, more often than not, you will not get the killer testimonial you want. You have to create structure in how you ask your clients for testimonials so that you don’t get random, sucrose-laden testimonials but instead, testimonials that tell a story and are authentic.

What should you ask your clients?

Here are some good sample questions that you can use, courtesy of CopyBlogger.

  1. What was the obstacle that would have prevented you from buying this product?
  2. What did you find as a result of buying this product?
  3. What specific feature did you like most about this product?
  4. What are three other benefits of this product?
  5. Would you recommend this product? If so, why?
  6. Is there anything you’d like to add?

If you run an e-commerce, good customer product reviews can be a strong testimonial in convincing your click to buy your products. For such reviews, you should ask close-ended questions that are easy to answer. Customers will be more willing to review the product if you give them multiple choice questions or ask them to give a rating from 1-5. Open-ended questions should be made optional if they want to answer.

Crafting the email

Now you know what kind of questions to ask, the final step is to go ahead and ask your clients for it!

Here’s an email template you can use. Feel free to tweak it around and use it to generate your own killer testimonials.

Hey [Client Name],

 

Thank you for your kind words about [Your Company Name]! It always makes me (and the entire team) extremely excited when our customers are happy with our work.

 

We would love to share your story on our site so that we can help other businesses like yours. Do we have your permission?

 

It would be great if you could share your experience with [Your Company Name]. Let me know if you have a few minutes for a quick call, or you may choose to answer the two questions below instead.

 

1. What were your concerns before deciding to work with us?

 

2. What made you believe that choosing [Your Company Name] was the right choice for your business?

 

Thanks!

 

[Your Name]

Some points to note, don’t straight out ask for a testimonial, rather walk them through the steps required to achieve an effective testimonial. If they are genuinely happy with your company’s work, the stories will come flowing naturally. The two questions in the email prompt the client to write in a reverse testimonial manner where they state their concerns and what helped them overcome those concerns.

To ensure that you get a good testimonial, it would be wise to nudge your clients for it only when you have successfully solved their problem and are happy with your work. Ask them if they are willing to share their story before following up with a testimonial request.

Applying to Your Business

It is 2017 – the year of digital technology. More and more businesses are looking at digital social proofing, start early to get a compounding effect and also use your customer reviews as a feedback platform to improve your business. A well-written testimonial can be your business’s secret weapon. Projections show that the economy will only get tougher in the future, making it even more crucial for you to relook your business and arm yourself with the relevant digital technology. If you aren’t using them now, hopefully, this post inspires you to start utilising them for your business.

ps: Psst… this is only one of the many techniques to use social proof (aka exploiting the kiasu-ness of people). If you want to learn more about social proof or if you need the clickTRUE team to review your digital marketing strategy, arrange for a free consult here.

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