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The Importance of Customer Testimonials and How to Get Them

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Customer testimonials
25 Jan

The Importance of Customer Testimonials and How to Get Them
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(Last Updated On: January 25, 2019)

Testimonials are one of the most important pieces of copy you can put on your website, landing page, sales letter, or any other kind of marketing communication.

The reason for this is they give your audience that one final push to buy your product or service. According to an infographic by socialfresh.com, “customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for content marketing at 89%.

It means that testimonials are the most effective type of content you can put on your website to get more sales. They are 89% better at increasing conversion rates.

But wait, first you need to know what testimonials are. They’re actually not the same as customer reviews.

What’s a Testimonial? (It’s Not a Review)

Think of a testimonial like a tamed, well-behaved dog. It does what you want it to do. You cherry-pick a couple of your top customers, the ones who regularly buy what you sell, and ask them to endorse your product. This means, testimonials are specifically designed to show the good side of what you’re selling by saying positive things about your product or service.

A review, on the other hand, is like a wild, stray dog. It doesn’t always do what you want, and sometimes, it may even bite. Reviews are feedback which customers leave independently, to show what they truly think of your products or services. Sometimes they are positive, but at other times, they can be negative as well.

This is the main difference between a testimonial and a review.  

Why Do Testimonials Matter? And What Do They Do?

The main message a testimonial tries to convey to your prospect’s subconscious mind is this:

Hostpapa customer testimonial

“Hey, look! This person bought this product and loved it!”.

This way, a testimonial establishes your credibility in front of your potential customers.

No one likes to be the first in line when it comes to buying a completely new and unfamiliar product from a new business. They first want to see someone else try it, and if that person likes it, maybe then they will buy it too.

A testimonial makes the product a less risky purchase for your new buyers, because it reassures them that your product is ‘tested’, ‘works great’ and, therefore, is safe to buy.

A Testimonial Is Like a Mirror

You need to put high quality, elaborate testimonials on your website in order to attract the kind of ‘high value’ customers you desire.

A stingy and vague testimonial will attract low-value prospects. Similarly, a thoughtfully written and high quality testimonial will attract a more desired target audience.

So, how do you get a high quality testimonial?

Customer satisfaction

The 3-Ingredient Recipe for a Great Testimonial

Most of the testimonials that exist on the internet sound too good to be true. There’s nothing in there but praises, praises, and a couple more praises sprinkled on top.

The result?

They work… just not too well, as some people instantly deem the testimonial fake.

You don’t want that to happen to your testimonials. They have to be convincing.

To create testimonials that don’t sound fake and are more relatable, you need to be aware of the three ‘core elements’.

Taken from Sean D’Souza’s popular psychotactics blog, these three elements are:

  • Before (the client’s hesitation prior to the purchase): The before stage shares the doubts, difficulties, and negative emotions the customer felt before they purchased your product or service.
  • After (the client’s ‘discovery’ after the purchase): The after stage shares the results they got after using your product, and how it helped your customer eliminate the negative situation they were going through.
  • The Experience (the emotional response): The experience states how your customer felt after they achieved the result they got from using your product. Did they feel more confident, knowledgeable, or happier? State these emotions here.

Once your testimonials have these three elements, they will instantly become more relatable and better at convincing your audience to try out your products and services.

How to Get Clients to Give You Elaborate Testimonials

If someone asked you to give them 1000+ word testimonials regarding the services they provided, you would probably find an excuse to get out of it.

The thing is that people are busy. You can’t just ask anyone to give you the kind of long testimonials you want. But there’s an alternative!

Customer testimonials

What you can do is ask your customer to get on a five-minute call with you. You record the call and ask them the following six questions, courtesy of psychotactics.com:

  • What was the obstacle or hesitation that would have prevented you from buying this product/service?
  • What did you find as a result of buying this product/service?
  • What specific feature did you like most about this product/service?
  • What would be the three other benefits about this prod­uct/service?
  • Would you recommend this product/service? If so, why?
  • Is there anything you’d like to add?

When you ask these six questions during the call with your customer, you will get a testimonial so long that you’ll be able to easily create any kind of copy you want.

Six Different Types of Testimonials You Can Create

When most people think of creating a testimonial, they think two or three sentences is long enough. While that’s one kind of testimonial you can create, it’s not the only one.

Testimonials come in a lot of shapes, sizes, and formats. You can have testimonials that are shorter than a paragraph, or something as long as a full blog post, audio and video testimonials, and many more.

Let’s discuss six of the most popular and effective types of testimonials you can publish on your website.

Quote Testimonial

This is the most traditional form of testimonials. It’s also the most used one, and for a good reason – it’s extremely effective.

People don’t have a very long attention span. They quickly want to digest the information provided to them, and quote testimonials help accomplish just that.

When you add these short testimonials to your homepage, landing page, emails, etc., you can expect most of your readers to go through them.

Get more customers through credibility

Longform Testimonial

Remember that five-minute voice call you recorded with your client? Instead of just using parts of it for a quote testimonial, you can post it in full on your website.

All you need to do get someone to transcribe the recording for you.

But why would you need such a long testimonial on your website?

This way, people who want to buy your products will get to hear the full details of a real experience from someone who has used it. This kind of testimonial feels more genuine, is more detailed and more impactful than a small, snackable quote testimonial.

Pro tip: in addition to the transcribed version of the testimonial, you can add the original audio clip file of the call as well. This will serve those people who prefer listening rather than reading. But make sure to ask the approval of the recorded customer first.

Social Testimonial

Another form of testimonial you can ask your customers to create for you is the ‘social testimonial’.

A social testimonial is one that your customers writes down themselves and post it to their social media accounts. This can either be a quick tweet, a long status on Facebook, a photo of your product along with a quick compliment in the captions on Instagram and so on.

Sometimes, you don’t even have to ask your customers. If your product / service is great, and people love using it, chances are you’ll find a testimonial like that without even asking!

Social Testimonial 1

Social Testimonial 2

Social Testimonial 3

Video Testimonial

Video testimonials are the way to go if you truly want to convince your prospective customers that your products or service are worth buying.

Your audience will be able to see your product or service in action, learn how other people are successfully using it, and get helpful product information, all in one video.

For this type of testimonial, you will need to ask your client to sit down with you and then record the interview on a professional camera. You can take it one step further and hire a production company to help you build your video testimonial.

Same as with the long-form audio testimonial, you can transcribe the video interview as well and post the text as a blog post on your website for reading.

Mashup Testimonial

What’s better than one awesome, detailed testimonial? Two, of course. What’s better than that? Three. What’s better than… well, you get it.

The more testimonials you have for your product or service, the more credibility you will have.

However, not everyone will read all of your testimonials.

So what can you do? You can create mashup testimonials, which are like regular testimonials but with two (or more) blended together.

You can create mashup testimonials by adding three quote testimonials instead of one to your sales page. Similarly, instead of one longform testimonial blog post, you can create a three-part series which interviews three clients. For a video testimonial mashup, you can put two-three customers’ testimonials in the video instead of one. Same for an audio testimonial.

No matter the media format, just put in the testimonials from two-three customers in there and you’re good to go.

How to get customer satisfaction

Tips To Make It Easier to Get Testimonials

If you really want to get the greatest testimonial possible, there’s one thing you need above all else: the best customer you possibly have.

Nothing will make your testimonials better than a person who has true appreciation for your products and services and is willing to offer genuine compliments.

What would be even better is if you can find a customer like that who is an influencer for your target audience. Their endorsement of your product or service can serve as an even better testimonial.

It might seem hard to find a perfect customer like that, but if you have a truly great product, then it should be no problem!

Do you feature customer testimonials on your website? Was it easy for you to get them?

María Bustillos

María is an enthusiast of cinema, literature and digital communication. As Content Coordinator at HostPapa, she focuses on the publication of content for the blog and social networks, organizing the translations, as well as writing and editing articles for the KB.

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