5 Tips for Leveraging Your Customer Testimonials
When someone you know recommends a restaurant, you are more likely to dine there than if you just stumbled upon an ad online, right?
Even positive feedback from a stranger will earn trust points because reviews show that the product has been tried and found to be worthwhile (or not). A 2014 consumer survey confirmed that more than 85% of consumers rely on online reviews and customer testimonials when researching local businesses.
That’s because social proof – especially testimonials – is something people trust, believe, and depend on.
However, simply collecting customer testimonials isn’t enough. Once you’ve received customer testimonials, you need to know how to leverage those powerful words and use them to your advantage.
Testimonials are objective and concrete messages to all potential customers that your service is a good one.
Get some mileage out of those reviews with these 5 expert tips on maximizing your customers’ word-of-mouth:
Build on Your Strengths
Any marketer would (not literally) kill to know what consumers or potential students think about their product or online school. Customer reviews are a direct pipeline to your audience’s thoughts and reactions.
Dig into your reviews to extract numbers, derive statistics, and find quotes in order to get the bigger picture of how well your product, brand, or service is being received. Then, let your marketing team use that information to adjust the business marketing tactics, messaging, and positioning in order to attract new customers.
By building off of your product’s strengths, which previous customers or students have so helpfully pointed out, you can adjust your marketing strategy accordingly and increase leads, sales, and conversions.
This means taking the positive comments from your customer testimonials and highlighting them further in your marketing messaging and activities. For example you can use them in:
- Customer testimonial videos
- Case studies
- Social Media
- Blog posts
Listen, Really Listen
Don’t just copy and paste those priceless testimonials onto a customer testimonials page on your website. Really comb through them to see what your customers are saying.
Is a high percentage of them talking about how much they like a specific feature of your product? If so, then invest your R&D efforts into improving that feature even more, or develop a new feature that enhances the one they already love and appreciate. Do whatever you can to make your happy customers even happier.
Is a large portion of your customers expressing the same concern or need? Then invest your resources into developing services that fill the void, or improve on the features you already offer to meet their needs and desires.
Remember – the service you provide is for the customers, not for you, so listen to what they are saying and provide them with what they want. Pay close attention to their comments, and respond accordingly, so you can continue providing a service that customers enjoy and recommend to their peers.
Tell Stories in Your Customer Testimonials
People love stories! They humanize the brand, they help potential customers more easily relate to your business, and they allow consumers to envision themselves using your services.
You can use your customer testimonials to develop a story about your brand in a creative way by producing a marketing video about the customer journey. In it, you can highlight the needs that the customer had and how your service was the ideal solution. Even a blog post can tell an intriguing story and take the reader on a journey through words.
Use emotion, use humor, but most of all, use real-life examples from the people who have benefited from your product. Gate1Travel, an international travel company, does this expertly with their marketing videos. By using customer testimonial videos from real travelers who participated in their trips, they can reach, speak to, and attract new travelers (and keep past travelers booking more trips).
Leverage Social Traction
Don’t keep those customer testimonials to yourself; show them off for all the world to see!
Having a dedicated customer testimonials page on your website is great, but don’t stop there. Social media gives you access to millions of potential customers, so make sure to showcase your testimonials on your social media accounts as well.
You can use the Spectoos Faceboard widget to display reviews strategically on your website and to create a dedicated reviews minisite that features all of that glowing praise, but also be sure to embed the widget on your Facebook page in order to reach more people.
Don’t forget to be generous with your publicity. If a third-party organization or publication writes a positive review about your business, be sure to share it on your social media channels, thank them and tag them in your post. Doing so will win you their gratitude and enable you to reach their audience, assuming they will choose to reply publically. This may gain you points with their followers, who may choose to become your customers as a result.
5. The Devil Is In The Details
Customer reviews are worth their weight in gold, but some can be more valuable than others. When choosing which to publish, pay attention to the details of each testimonial:
“Great service!”, “Everything I hoped for!”, and similar sentiments show that your customers had a good experience with you, but it doesn’t tell anyone how or why. Great reviews will include details about what the customer gained, how the service helped, and what others can expect from signing up.
If you have a specific niche, make sure the reviewer is someone that the audience can relate to. For example, if you’re catering to a particular age group, place the age of the customer next to his testimonial for greater response.
6. Leverage Testimonials to Increase Leads
Customer testimonials are also an excellent way to generate more leads. This is because they are rich with long-tail keywords that help boost your SEO efforts and increase your rankings in SERPs, so more people come across your website.
As can happen with user-generated content, customer testimonials usually include keywords that you might not have even thought of to describe your own business. When you put content into your users’ hands, they may describe your services differently and help you rank for additional keywords that are relevant to your business.
Spectoos, for example, takes advantage of this by generating a dedicated SEO minisite for your customer testimonials. This way, they enable you to leverage the keywords found in your reviews to boost your SEO rankings.
You can see that when searching for KeyScouts, an online marketing agency, their SEO minisite powered by Spectoos shows up second in the SERPs:
If you have been lucky enough to satisfy customers so that they will leave constructive reviews, then you should realize that you are sitting on a marketing goldmine. Now it’s time to put those customer testimonials to good use with these easy-to-implement tips.
Want to showcase your client testimonials and reviews? Give Spectoos a try today.
Also published on Medium.