5 Tips for Great Customer Testimonials that Boost Conversion

90% of buyers admit that their buying decisions are influenced by positive reviews and customer testimonials[1] and 63% indicate that they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has reviews and testimonials[2]. In fact, customer testimonials are the most effective form of content today[3].

But simply having customer testimonials on your site is not enough; you must have the right kind of testimonials in order to benefit from the conversion boost they offer. The following five tips will help you make the most of socially proven customer testimonials.

  1. Testimonials should be from your target audience members. Testimonials must be relatable. If your target audience, for example, is parents of young children, do not get testimonials from college students or senior citizens. In the testimonial, have the father mention (or, better yet, show) his kids. Here is how The Honest Company does it:
    When new visitors read testimonials from people just like them, they will relate and subconsciously follow suit. Of course, getting people to tell their friends about your product works best: it is a positive review from a trusted source who has similar needs. Testimonials from target audience members work in much the same way.
  2. Testimonials should highlight benefits. For example, if you are selling an online marketing tool that helps customers increase the leads they collect, your testimonial shouldn’t just say “this product is the best.” Instead, it should detail the benefit of increasing leads. Look at this example for small businesses using SalesForce:sales-force-leadsProviding a testimonial about specific benefits is essential as these are the take-aways you want new site visitors to remember.
  3. Testimonials can compare. Though you should avoid bad-mouthing competitors on your website, when customer testimonials compare your service to another, it may work in your favor. Look at this comparison provided by Google Analytics:
    Google Analytics comparison
    On your site, in your own words, stay positive and maintain focus on what your product can deliver. Customer testimonials, however, are not in your voice; they can (and should) compare your product to another and explain why yours is better. Of course, do not choose only comparative testimonials, but among the ones you display on your site, sprinkle in a couple that position you above your competitors.
  4. Testimonials must be credible. Always show the first and last name of the reviewer. Add as much relevant information as possible. For B2C sites, add a city and state. For B2B sites, add the name of the reviewer’s company and their title. Here is how HP Cloud shows credible B2B testimonials:HPcloud-credibleSome people, especially in the B2B sector, prefer anonymity. In some cases, being quoted in their official capacity requires sign-off from their marketing department and is just a hassle. Opt to showcase the testimonials that are proud to rave about their experience with your product. In fact, some companies will view such exposure as additional marketing for them, creating a win-win. Inserting a profile image to go along with a testimonial adds even more credibility. If the identity of the person attesting to your services can be verified (for example, a click on the profile image that directs to their social media profiles), credibility goes up another notch.LinkedIn-John-Beveridge
  5. Testimonials need to be written by customers. Never write fake testimonials. Don’t even write them and have real customers sign off on them. Testimonials must be real comments from real customers. People will be able to see through the fake ones.

The Ultimate Testimonial

Testimonials, when done right, boost conversions. It has been proven time and time again. The way to do them right is to select testimonials that are from target audience members who highlight the benefits of your product, sometimes compare it to your competitors, are credible and verifiable, and never fake.

At Spectoos, we have developed a customer testimonial widget that easily enables you to collect such testimonials in a way that builds credibility and does on weigh heavily on your customers. Check it out here.

[1] http://marketingland.com/survey-customers-more-frustrated-by-how-long-it-takes-to-resolve-a-customer-service-issue-than-the-resolution-38756

[2] http://www.searchenginejournal.com/the-power-of-social%C2%A0proof/21896/

[3] http://socialfresh.com/marketing-statistics-every-cmo-should-know-in-2014/