When was the last time you updated your website’s testimonials? Google and other search engines promote websites with frequent updates. Do you find the process awkward? Asking a client for a testimonial, following up to actually get it and then publishing it on your website?
Testimonials affirm our credibility and trust. Nowadays, this is called social proof. Some companies use testimonials to humblebrag, like, “I can’t believe they say we’re extraordinary. It’s just ordinary service to us!” Moreover, citing raving fans helps to overcome objections from prospects, while raves combat negative reviews. Beyond these three uses, you may be overlooking seven more benefits of testimonials.
1. Client Loyalty
Have you ever given someone a testimonial? Did they use it on their website? Don’t you feel honoured and appreciated? Giving a testimonial increases your emotional bond with that business and with the person who asked. Imagine the results of making every one of your clients feel appreciated.
This is why you want to ask for a testimonial every time someone thanks you. It’s not about getting enough testimonials, it’s about making those who appreciate you feel appreciated by you. Turn thankful clients into loyal, raving fans.
Loyal clients refer others. Loyal clients also give you leeway if and when you mess up or can’t meet their expectations. All this from just featuring their testimonial on your website.
If you’re antsy about what a client would say, ask for neutral feedback instead, or blame it on a marketing project. And if you like what they say, ask for permission: “Can we feature your kind words on our website?”
2. Referral Dress Rehearsal
When someone gives you a testimonial, it’s great practice for what they can say to others. Recommending someone can be awkward — we may not know the right things to say. It’s a mental roadblock. It’s just easier to keep our mouth shut than to feel uncomfortable. So we don’t say anything.
However, when someone raves about you, they’re mouthing the words. Those kind words about you will spill out more easily at the next opportunity to do so. What’s the Golden Rule of referrals? The more you rave about others, the more others will rave about you.
3. Natural Language Pulled Directly from Customers
Of course, you should ask for permission before showcasing a customer’s testimonial. But what if you don’t give them credit? When clients give you a testimonial, they won’t use your carefully crafted corporate words. They’ll talk like normal people. They’ll express your unique selling proposition and distinctive value prop in everyday language.
Speaking naturally resonates with people. Part market research, part copy editing, use the language from testimonials in all of your marketing text. Featured customers will be honoured.
4. Learning Opportunities
Sometimes feedback isn’t 100% positive. Or maybe the testimonial mentions something that you’d prefer not to highlight. Either way, collecting feedback is a great learning experience.
Like above, this market research can lead to great planning, improvements or refocusing what you offer. Hear the same things over and over again? Perhaps it’s time to pivot your business model or come out with a new offering.
5. Staff Appreciation
If you’re the business owner, ask your clients to give a testimonial about your staff. You will look honourable to your client, and it’s a great way of appreciating others. Showcasing staff compliments on your website is a win-win-win.Testimonials about your workplace also help with HR recruitment.
While venting can be healthy in some ways, public rants are rarely productive. Instead, ask coworkers to rave about each other. (Peer reviews are different: Management best practices advise you to keep formal reviews private or aggregated for anonymity.) Daily or weekly “rave sessions” can be a simple and surprising way to build morale and team spirit. It can inspire ideas, initiative and encourage everyone to excel.
Sales pitches make for the worst social media posts. It’s like handing out your brochure at a BBQ. Even on your Facebook business page or LinkedIn profile, where explicit promotion is tolerated, it’s better to showcase testimonials.
Testimonials are more productive when shared by raving fans. Social media seems tailor-made for this. It’s fantastic to see testimonials about you on someone else’s social media. Moreover, their friends, family and colleagues will see them raving about you. That’s proactive word-of-mouth marketing!
7. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Testimonials, like Frequently Asked Questions, provide great ideas for blog posts. Quote the testimonial and elaborate on the customer success story. Blogs are engineered to boost your search engine optimisation (SEO).
Testimonials and reviews on third-party websites also boost your SEO. Thus, the more testimonials you publicise, the better your search results.
The introduction paragraph highlights three common benefits of testimonials. Were you surprised by any of the other seven? Most entrepreneurs get three testimonials and then rest on their laurels. Gain a competitive advantage – including so many other benefits – by growing a raving fan club.