The positive endorsement of satisfied clients is one of the best ways to promote your business and attract new business. Here’s how to make testimonials work for you.
There are many ways to promote your business. You can highlight quality, value for money or depth of experience. But the most effective way to evangelise your services is from the perspective of satisfied clients. According to Socialnomics, 90 per cent of consumers trust peer recommendations, compared to just 14 per cent placing their trust in advertisements.
For nervous consumers, testimonials provide ‘social proof’ that you will do a good job. They can also help you to stand out from the competition. Follow these five steps to harness the power of testimonials.
1. Ask for feedback
Think of your testimonials as what they really are: word-of-mouth referrals in written form. And referrals are the best way to attract new business without having to advertise for it. Get into the habit of asking your customers for feedback after completing a job. If you delivered on all of your promises, they will be happy to sing your praises.
2. Think about your target audience
Do you serve a particular type of customer, such as small-business owners? Think about their specific concerns and structure your feedback questions accordingly, rather than asking for general comments.
3. They should tell a story
The best kind of testimonial describes a problem the customer had and how your product or service solved it. It uses a ‘before, during and after’ pattern to tell a compelling, emotionally resonant story. Ask them to describe:
- Problems or disappointments before hiring you
- What it was like to be your customer
- The best thing about working with you.
4. Get creative
A testimonial doesn’t have to be just text. A headshot can add credibility and a personal touch to your customer’s comments. You can also:
- Post a video of the customer praising your service
- Display names and logos of high-profile businesses that have hired you
- Publish testimonials where they’re more likely to be read – such as on your home page, or if you solved a difficult tax issue for the customer, you could publish it on your tax services page.
5. Build a community
Testimonials can also be used to build your network and attract referrals. Just add a link to your customer’s website or social media account alongside their comments.
Testimonials are a powerful way to gain the trust of your readers. If you aren’t using them, you are probably selling yourself short.