If you ask marketers what the single best way to generate leads and sales is, they'll answer "word of mouth." Generating word of mouth buzz is the holy grail of marketing and while firms are using social media to build their brand, they may be forgetting an older and equally effective technique: testimonials.
When properly executed, website testimonials from satisfied customers builds a connection with prospects, establish trust and humanizes your brand.
Today we'd like to take a deeper look at the power of website testimonials and how they can benefit your company. However, before we do, let's look at the reasons why companies aren't embracing website testimonials. The most common reason from our experience is simple: marketing managers are juggling multiple balls in the air and a website testimonial just isn't a priority. Other companies, meanwhile, may find the website testimonial to be a bit, well, corny. There are rare cases where this is true: if a testimonial is poorly written or amateurishly filmed it can turn off customers. That being said, companies should roll out website testimonials anyway, and here's why:
It builds a connection. It's hard to think of a more powerful way to connect to prospects than having a satisfied customer (particularly one aligned to your buyer personas) speak to the value of your company. People viewing it see it and say, "Hey, this person is a lot like me." And in our frenzied age of impersonal “Likes” and “Tweets”, a video or photo testimonial carries even more weight.
It establishes a track record of success. If you buy a car, you want to be assured that other people had a pleasurable, hassle-free experience with a dealership. If you purchase a residential solar panel, you want to be assured the company was fair, affordable and good at their job. You, as a small business, can say things like, "We here at Livermore Honda provide a hassle-free car buying experience," but it's not as compelling as a married mother of three saying the same thing.
It can provide valuable context. Take the aforementioned car-buying testimonial. An effective testimonial can further contextualize the experience by saying, "My husband and I had been to three different car dealerships in Northern California and each time we walked away feeling unsatisfied. Sometimes we felt unnecessary pressure from the dealers while other times the dealers seemed distracted, as if they knew we weren't interested and therefore didn't seem to care. But at Livermore Honda, we had the exact opposite experience: Bill was patient, understanding, and took as much time as needed to address our questions."
Best of all, testimonials are easy to access. Simply contact happy customers and ask them to express their feelings. You can even write up the testimonial and have them approve it. Either way, make sure to put testimonials where they belong: in a highly visible location on your website such as a home page side bar, embedded in your contact page or on a separate "Testimonials" page.