Customer testimonials are a critical component of effectively promoting your business to consumers who are getting to know you and your brand.
Simply put, customer testimonials are short quotes or personal anecdotes from past customers that describe how a particular product or service has helped them overcome a challenge. It can also reflect the positive experience a customer has had with your company.
Customer testimonials also can reach prospects when sales representatives can’t since your representatives typically have to wait until a prospect feels at least somewhat “ready.” Only about 19 percent of prospects feel “ready” during the early stages of researching purchase options. To help these prospects feel “ready” to potentially purchase from your business, customer testimonials are a non-invasive way to help them along.
The following are six tips for collecting positive, effective customer testimonials to boost the social proof of your business.
Ask for customer testimonials
It sounds simple because it is. Asking for testimonials is the most important first step to acquiring them for use in your digital marketing.
But beyond that, you want to ask in as many ways as you can. This includes:
- Sending follow-up emails
- Embedding buttons on your website
- Requesting reviews on any printed materials (and include a QR code to make it easy for the customer to do so)
- Displaying signs in your physical store
- Asking in person or over the phone
Timing is everything. It’s always best to request customer testimonials when a customer is particularly satisfied or excited about your products or services.
And make sure that you’re asking in a polite, friendly tone. Never demand. If there is an incentive for the customer to give you a testimonial, be sure to share it, whether that’s a discount on a future purchase or something else (and make sure you disclose that when publishing the testimonial).
Diversify with video whenever you can
While written testimonials are great, video testimonials can be even more impactful. For any customers who agree to do a video testimonial for you, keep the following in mind:
- Your video testimonials should be professional, with attention to lighting and audio quality.
- Videos should be as short and focused as possible.
- Identify the customers in your video testimonials.
- Offer guidance to your customers before filming their testimonials so that they feel confident and comfortable.
Not all customers will want their testimonial to be in a video format, so keep all options open because a testimonial in any format is better than no testimonial.
Confirm that you’re listed on various review websites
Never assume that all your customers use the same online review site. The more websites you can list your business on, the more reviews you can potentially generate.
For example, if you’re only listed on Yelp, you’ll miss out on those who prefer to review on Google or another site. This can include industry-specific websites as well.
The idea is to make it as easy as possible for customers to review your business.
Automate your requests for testimonials
It may not always be possible to contact each of your customers individually to ask for a testimonial.
As always, automation can be a lifesaver in these types of instances. Automation in marketing refers to any email, SMS text message or other marketing messages (or tasks) that automatically happens in response to a user’s actions that were made or not made. For example, when a customer completes a purchase, an automated email can send out after a certain period of time to request a review or testimonial.
The key to a successful automation strategy is not only the marketing platform you’re using but also the depth and quality of your data.
The triggers that can send off the right message at the right time to the right person are all based on the integration of your systems and the type of data you have on each consumer.
In other words, the better you know a customer or lead, the more uniquely you can design an email automation campaign around that individual to better engage with him or her.
DailyStory can help with your digital marketing automation (as well as in other types of digital marketing).
Leverage surveys to generate customer testimonials
Customer satisfaction can make or break your business, so a customer survey can help you understand how your customers are feeling and where you could potentially improve.
Customer surveys are simply a method of soliciting customer feedback so you can measure your customer satisfaction, understand their expectations and conduct market research.
You can leverage your surveys to include a request for more of an open-ended sharing of your customers’ experience that you can then use as a customer testimonial.
Check out our eight tips to create a successful customer survey for your business.
Consider offering samples
To generate more customer testimonials, think about the opportunity to offer samples of your products or services in exchange for a testimonial.
The key is to target the right audience. You might want to start small initially and offer samples to existing customers who’ve purchased related products.
When it comes to sending out free products in exchange for testimonials, be cautious about disclosure and any other related laws, especially if those testimonials could appear in places other than your website. Refer to the FTC’s guidelines about free product disclosures for more.
Customer testimonials can be powerful, but in your rush to generate more for your business, make sure that you never argue with reviewers, never ask for “positive” reviews (allow customers to always share their true experience) and be cautious when incentivizing customer testimonials.
While you’re generating more customer testimonials, consider leveling up your digital marketing process. DailyStory features automations, dynamic audience segmentations and more. We can help you get your survey to the right respondents. Schedule your free demo with us today.