9 effective ways to get customer testimonials
There’s nothing quite like a glowing endorsement from one of your happy customers to cast your business in a positive light.
Prospective customers – those curious consumers who are just teetering on the edge of trusting to your products or services – want to be convinced. They want the assurance that to buy from you is a savvy decision; one that won’t leave them filled with regret once the cash leaves their account.
Customer testimonials are your way to deliver that confidence – and because we always see you right, we’re going to share the nine best ways to collect them.
What is a customer testimonial?
A customer testimonial is a review of your products or services from someone who has bought or used them. It’s a reflection of how happy a customer is with anything from your products or services themselves, to your customer experience or communication.
The difference between a customer testimonial and a regular old review is that you usually request a testimonial from your customers – and generally when you already know they’re happy with your brand.
Customer testimonials are often used by businesses on their websites to inspire trust and confidence, but they can also be shared on social media, included in a sales brochure, and even used to celebrate and reward colleagues who might be mentioned by name.
It’s important that a customer testimonial is written by the customer themselves, without you putting words in their mouth; it is however fine to give some guidance by mentioning the areas their testimonial could cover – such as delivery speed, product quality, communication, issue resolution, and any positive outcomes that resulted from their purchase (particularly relevant for service-based businesses).
One more thing: It’s important to ask your customer’s permission if you plan on using their testimonial in the public domain.
Why should you request a customer testimonial?
Would you buy from a company if you couldn’t find a single review attesting to its brilliance? Nope. Us neither.
With 92% of customers admitting to reading online reviews before parting with their hard-earned cash, it’s hard to ignore the value these little snippets hold in the world of business.
Most modern-day markets are completely saturated with competitors, so when you’re trying to entice new customers to your door, you need to leverage every tool at your disposal. Customer testimonials are a wonderful way to show consumers that your products or services are worth their investment – helping you to stand out against your competitors.
Customer testimonials also add validity to your brand. We’ve all heard horror stories of people making purchases online, only to find they’ve been duped by a less-than-legitimate ‘company’. A bank of positive testimonials gives potential purchasers confidence that you’re the real deal, and that what you’re selling does what it says on the tin.
Most customers are quite happy to provide a testimonial, so you needn’t be shy in requesting them – especially when you know you’ve delivered a great service, and the customer is content with your brand. You can even build in incentives, but more on that below.
9 ways to get customer testimonials
With plenty of research to suggest that customer testimonials not only increase conversions but play a huge role in influencing customer buying habits, let’s look at some of the ways you can get your hands on those glowing reviews.
- Interview testimonials
You might be used to conducting interviews with your customers to gather feedback, but have you ever thought about interviewing happy customers to highlight great feedback? Following a simple Q&A format, you can ask customers what they loved about your products or services, then share in a blog, via video, or through a podcast. You can also tailor your questions to highlight specific points.
- Facebook reviews
It’s a good idea when collecting customer testimonials to look at sites where people have already reviewed your business. If you have a Facebook business page, chances are you already have a heap of reviews just waiting to be fully utilized. They’re often quite detailed and passionate, as people tend to let themselves go on social media – so you could find some real golden nuggets here.
- Influencer testimonials
Few of us are immune to the power of a social media influencer, which is why so many brands are falling over themselves to bag the best endorsements – often paying handsomely for the privilege. In fact, the global influencer market is now worth a staggering $13.8 billion, with 61% of people basing their purchasing decisions on influencer recommendations. Limited budget? Try sending freebies to relevant influencers.
- Case studies
Case studies can be particularly powerful for companies wishing to show how their products or services made a demonstrable difference to somebody’s life or business. You get to present a problem, talk through your solution (this is where you can shout about what you do or sell), and revel in the glorious outcome. Share on social, or host on your website.
While companies can’t get recommendations on their pages, employees can. Encourage your people to be active on LinkedIn and request recommendations for a job well done, then ask their permission to share these testimonials on your website. If you’re a freelancer, LinkedIn recommendations are a great way to promote your services.
- Video reviews
Whether YouTube or otherwise, videos tend to have even more impact than a written testimonial. That’s because people can really connect with the person doing the talking – while seeing that the face behind the testimonial is, in fact, real. You can ask your customers to add videos to their own social media accounts, and then add them to your channels.
- Local search directories
If you’re looking for a local carpenter, what’s the first thing you do? Hit google, then peruse the reviews. In fact, a convincing 77% of people read testimonials when looking for a local business, so set up an account on local search directories – such as Yahoo Local Business or Google Business Profiles – then ask customers to leave you a review. These can then be turned into testimonials for your website.
- Niche review sites
It’s not only the big players who will see you right: seeking reviews on sites that are relevant to your industry (and target customers) can be incredibly powerful. For example, when booking a hotel many of us head to TripAdvisor or Expedia before taking the plunge, so find the equivalent for your industry and work on those reviews.
- Customer rewards
One of the best ways to get your hands on customer testimonials is to make it worth their while. Giving people an incentive for sharing what they loved about your products or services is worth it when you consider how much extra business those reviews can drum up. Whether it’s the chance of a cash prize, or a discount on their next order, get incentivizing!
Best practices to get the most out of your customer testimonials
With 58% of consumers willing to pay more in support of a business with good customer reviews, you’re going to want to make the most out of them.
First things first, you need to encourage customers to be specific. When reading testimonials, prospective customers are going to be looking for certain things: delivery speed, clear communication, quality products, and good aftercare to name but a few. Posing certain questions to your customers can help them to be less generalist and more descriptive in their praise.
When requesting a testimonial, it’s worth reminding your customers what they purchased from you (people have busy lives and might need a refresh), showing them what other happy customers have written (this alleviates any pressure), specifying what you need (short sharp sentences – or perhaps a story), and asking them to address common doubts (what were they concerned about, and what was the outcome?).
Then it’s time to gather those gushing reviews, ready to create a testimonials page. Why? Because your praise should be easy to find and hard to miss. You don’t want people having to trawl the internet to see what you’re all about, so lay it all out for them.
When setting up a customer testimonial page, it’s important to credit the original site that your reviews came from – and to seek permission from your customers before sharing their identities. This is also important if you’re planning to spread the love on social media.
As well as creating a dedicated customer testimonials page on your website, you should absolutely share your best reviews to every channel you’re active on – from LinkedIn and YouTube to Instagram and Facebook. The great thing about sharing on your socials is that it might also encourage your other customers to get in on the action.
And with 91% of 18-34 year-olds trusting to online reviews as much as personal recommendations, it really is important to make the most of your customer testimonials.
Now, let’s look at the companies doing it right, shall we?
Examples of great customer testimonials
If you’re looking for a lesson in how to display your customer testimonials to best effect, look no further than Zendesk’s customer page. With an easy-to-read layout complimented by just the right amount of white space, people have no problem picking out the reviews they want to read. And because Zendesk prioritizes testimonials from big brands – from Vimeo to Airbnb – potential customers are left in no doubt that this company is the real deal.
The page also offers a pleasing amount of detail: with the option to click on a story and read more about a business, its challenges, and how Zendesk helped, in-depth info is available without the overwhelm (or endless searching).
Creating genuine excitement through customer testimonials can be a tall order, but Patagonia’s Worn to Wear stories add real interest by featuring customers’ adventures when wearing Patagonia gear. By including a snapshot of customers on their extreme adventures, potential customers can effortlessly imagine themselves hiking and exploring to their hearts’ content – all donned up in Patagonia togs.
This approach shows just how much people love the brand – giving others confidence in their purchases, and reinforcing their brand identity, mission, and culture. The fact that these stories have an element of emotion also showcases the power of the personal touch when it comes to fully utilizing customer testimonials.
How can Forsta help?
At Forsta, we believe that the best way to attract new customers is by leveraging your existing ones – which is what our Customer Testimonial Software sets out to do (and very successfully, we might add).
As well as making sure you know everything there is to know about your target audience, we have the tools to make the most of your positive feedback – helping your business to grow through the power of word of mouth.
We take all the legwork out of lead generation by targeting the right people, talking to them in the right way, and tailoring your message to their tastes.
With Forsta’s Customer Testimonial Software, we’ll help you to turn glowing customer testimonials into business-winning case studies, amplify your message far and wide, and show the world what you have to offer.
Request a free demo to see what we’re all about.
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
When your business knocks it out of the park, you want to shout about it far and wide – and why the heck not?
Businesses are up against a great deal of challenges these days, so when a chance comes along to set yourself apart from the competition, take pride in what you’ve achieved, and clue others in on your success stories, grab it with both hands!
And if you need the professional touch to get your message heard by the right people, you know where to find us.
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