11 Top Tips for Building Credibility Using Testimonials.

Are you making good use of testimonials?

Using testimonials on your website brings personality and credibility to your products and services, so include testimonials as part of your website plan.

Once people have ascertained that you provide the service or product they are looking for, they will look to establish your credibility when deciding whether they wish to do business with you. Along with your web copy, associations and other articles, website visitors will often read your customer testimonials when judging whether to contact your company or purchase your products online.

For this reason, it is important to make testimonials and customer feedback readily available and easy to find on your website.

Good testimonials are:

Positive. This should need no explaining!

Specific to a product or service. When you ask for testimonials, be specific about the product or service that you want your customer to comment on, otherwise people will naturally write very non-specific ones.

Honest. Keep it real! If your testimonials are too good to be true they will be seen that way. Keep the essence and personality of each person who writes them.

Credible. Include the name, position and company name of the person who gave the testimonial.

Succinct. While you want some good detail, try to avoid a novel.

Real. Don’t fake them, don’t fake them, and really, don’t fake them! 

11 Top tips for collecting and displaying testimonials:

  1. When to ask for testimonials: The best time to ask is when you have just delivered well on your promises; don’t leave your request for months.  Request testimonials every time the opportunity presents itself.
  2. Who to ask for testimonials: Ask everyone that you do business with to provide a testimonial.
  3. What to ask for: Some people may feel some pressure when they hear the word “testimonial’ if you sense this ask them for “feedback” or a “customer quote” instead.
  4. Get video testimonials. If you have the opportunity to film video testimonials take it with both hands! But make sure you have the appropriate technology and skills to create a testimonial that is well recorded in good light with good audio. If you can’t get these things, use a written testimonial until you can.
  5. Get the final version of the testimonial approved by the customer. If you make changes to a written testimonial, send your customer a copy to request approval.
  6. Don’t make too many changes to the original version. Try to change the content in a testimonial as little as possible, keep it real! The more honest it sounds the more credibility it will give you.
  7. Where to use testimonials on your website: Create a page for testimonials and include specific ones in your sales copy and descriptions of your business.
  8. Use review sites. If your industry has a common review site, ask your customers to contribute reviews directly to the website.
  9. Include specific examples: If the testimonial states results or outcomes based on the work you did, use specific numbers rather than a vague generalisation.  For example, “By working with the Grassroots team, our web traffic increased by 104% in only 3 weeks”
  10. Ask for recommendations on LinkedIn. If you and your customers are connected on Linked In, ask them to post a testimonial on your Linked In recommendations.
  11. Include details of the person providing the testimonial: Testimonials show that you have had real customers, so make sure you include their name, company name and position. There is some debate as to whether you should include web addresses in testimonials and so I will leave that decision to you. Here is a pro and con of adding web addresses:
    • Pro: Website Addresses give you more credibility and potential customers can take a look at the types of people or organisations that use your products or services.
    • Con: Website Addresses can be distracting and take the potential customer away from your website with a single click.

If you want to make it really easy for people, prompt them with some specific questions like:

  • “What results have you experienced from working with us?”
  • “What would you recommend about our product/company/service?”
  • “Why did you choose to work with us?”
  • “What did you think of xx product/service?”

Happy hunting!

Serena “Social-Star”

Image: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net