Do testimonials make good content?

I’ve had a couple of discussion about client testimonials this week, so I thought I’d put it all down in a blog and share it with you all!

Customer feedback as a whole is so important. Nobody likes receiving negative feedback but providing you take the relevant advice on board it can improve your business for the better. Positive feedback is obviously more palatable and put to use in your marketing can help you sell yourself more efficiently and with greater results.

Why testimonials are so important

Did you know that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations? That’s huge! Your potential customers can do their research and make a judgement about whether or not to buy from you, without you ever really knowing! Not every customer will go looking for reviews, so anything you can do to make them more visible is a good move.

If you operate is a particularly busy or competitive market, reviews about your business are a real asset to be used. Your competitors don’t have and can’t use YOUR feedback. Use them to open up conversations with new customers!

How do I get hold of client testimonials?

The first step is to ask for them!

At first it may feel a bit awkward and you hesitate in case they don’t respond (or they do so negatively). If they don’t respond, that’s OK. Don’t take it to heart – most likely they are busy or it’s fallen off their radar. There will be other opportunities to ask! If they leave a poor or negative review then there are ways to deal with that, but I’ll address that in another blog. For now let’s think positive!

Ideally ask them for feedback on receipt of your product or service. I’m noticing a lot more business card size notes come with my deliveries which have the social media tags and hashtags that the company uses – a perfect reminder to share and post about your purchase! I am a big fan of handwritten notes of thanks as well, but obviously if you are selling a high volume product that’s not really going to work.

Where you can, and this may come with time, add feedback and testimonial requests into your aftersales process. If you can automate the request, for example adding onto the bottom of invoices or delivery confirmation, even better. It means you won’t forget to ask for the feedback and it can help you to ask repeat customers to leave reviews in different places. More on that below…

Where should I encourage customers to leave feedback?

At the very least you should be asking for your customers to give you written feedback i.e. on an email. Ideally you would encourage your customers to leave reviews on your social media profiles and relevant trusted review sites.

Facebook – your business page has a review section. Make sure it’s visible in the navigation menu on the left-hand side of your page. If they ordered via Facebook, just direct them to the review section. There used to be a star rating, but Facebook has changed that over the years so now it’s just an indication as to whether you recommend that business or not. Customers can post pictures with their review too.

LinkedIn – if you sell to other businesses and you want to raise your profile on LinkedIn, there is a section on your profile for recommendations. You’ll find it under ‘additional information’ in the ‘add profile section’ menu. You indicate who you would like to request a recommendation from and it will invite them to do so.

Google My Business – this is usually the one I mention to clients and get confused looks! It’s important to have a Google My Business (GMB) profile. It allows you to manage the information Google presents when people are searching for your business and/or what you offer. It’s free to use. When people click on your GMB profile they can also see a star rating and the number of reviews you have. You can also post updates which supports SEO activity (i.e. being found when people are searching for what you offer). Top tip – you can create a short name and URL so you can easily direct customers to your profile.

Where you sell – if you sell via an online marketplace like Etsy, Not On The High Street etc. this is a key place to request feedback as many of your competitors will be on there too. My understanding is that these websites automate feedback requests as naturally it’s in their best interest to encourage buyers to return and buy again. If you sell directly from your website or you have an option for customers to leave reviews here, encourage them to use this function!

Other relevant review sites – the key word here is RELEVANT. If you’re in the travel or hospitality industry an obvious one is TripAdvisor. If you have a trade, then Checkatrade or Rated People would be for you.

Premium review sites – these are services such as Feefo or Trust Pilot. These services are great as you’re using a third party to gather and publicise your review and there are additional options which allow you to promote your score on your website. They do come with a price tag though!

What if my service is a bit sensitive?

Not everyone wants their name tagged to a review especially if the nature of the product or service is a bit sensitive or extremely personal. The difficulty is that anonymous reviews lose their credibility because in theory they could be fake. One way around this is to use an external third-party site to gather the review. If the review has come direct but is anonymous, it can still be used but just be wary that potential customers may not value it as much as named ones.

How should I use my testimonials?

As much as you can is the short answer! Add them into your social media content. Include them on marketing literature. Have a page on your website highlighting your favourites (and keep it up to date!)

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Remember, when you’re promoting a service or product it’s the perfect time to reference feedback from delighted customers.

My top three places to post:

  • Create a new post of feedback recently received (news just in… we’re great!)
  • Update your Facebook banner with a graphic including a recent testimonial
  • Schedule a day a week/fortnight/month to showcase your client reviews – make it a regular feature.

Other important points

Keep asking!

Building up your bank of customer reviews and testimonials is not a one-off task. It should become a key part of your customer journey. If you can’t automate the process of asking for reviews then make sure you diarise to regularly send a communication out to your clients to request them.

Would you like to see the wording I use to ask for testimonials? Send me an email to gemma@beautifulclientcomms.co.uk and I’ll share it with you!

Reply promptly!

If you have the option to reply to feedback, for example on Facebook and Google My Business, make sure you do it! It lets your customer know you have seen it, and it takes just a few seconds to acknowledge and thank them for their feedback. It also gives that platform an indication that you are active on your profile (which gives you a thumbs up in their eyes!)

Build into case studies

Once you’re happy you are utilising your testimonials, it might be time to consider how you could develop them into case studies. A case study goes into more detail about the what your client was after, what problems you helped them to resolve, and the end result. It gives you the opportunity to elaborate a bit more on what you offer. Case studies are great to have on your website – they keep people reading a bit longer!

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If you have any other questions about getting and using testimonials then drop me an email at gemma@beautifulclientcomms.co.uk.

Even better – if you want to improve your content planning and how to turn your testimonials into engaging content, then the Beautiful Content Club could be just for you! I have TWO spots left of my exclusive launch offer, 4 months membership for the price of 3. But you’ll need to hurry as this offer ends on 31 August!

Find out more.