We recently had a concerted effort to get some customer testimonials from our Hub members. The results you can see in the video at the end of this post with an intro from Stu Morrison explaining more.
Customer testimonials are so important for small businesses like us. They validate everything we say we do and help potential customers (Hub members) see the value of using our services and joining the Bordon Hub. That’s because instead of us telling you how great we are, someone else is doing the job for us!
In fact, a few words from the right customer can have a much bigger impact than all the carefully crafted messages you use in your marketing and promotional content. Those few words are also free, all you need to do is ask for them.
How to use customer testimonials
It’s useful to understand where customer testimonials sit in your marketing funnel so you know where to use them. Generally, customer testimonials are ‘conversion’ messages. They’re most effective when a potential customer needs a little help making that decision to buy.
A great testimonial can make someone who doesn’t know you and your business feel more comfortable about buying, and also help them to decide whether your product is right for them.
Many small businesses hide their customer testimonials on a webpage or even in a file, only to be seen when someone asks for a testimonial or actively searches for them. If you have your customers’ permission to use them, be proactive about sharing their messages to help you convert new customers! Here are a few ideas of how to do it:
Websites – the front page of your website is the perfect place to feature a strong testimonial. Make it prominent, don’t hide it at the bottom of your page, and make sure it’s accessible – a clear and concise line of text or a video like we’ve done. Then stick a testimonial on other pages of your website, ensuring that they’re relevant to the content on that page. For example, if you have several different products or services use a testimonial that actually refers to that specific product or use one that talks about your customer service on your ‘about us’ pages.
Social media – if you can get a customer to speak on camera, short video clips are perfect for social media. It’s worth bearing in mind that many people view social videos with the sound off, so caption your videos with keywords that show viewers exactly what the content is about. Phrases like ‘fantastic customer service’ or ‘high quality product’ will also help reinforce what your customers are actually saying (with the sound on too!). If you have testimonials in the form of text create graphics to add to your social media feeds. We recommend using canva.com to design really effective social media graphics.
Email marketing – customer testimonials are also a useful addition to your marketing emails, giving potential customers a compelling reason to take the next step and either buy a product or contact you directly.
Case studies – customer testimonials and case studies are slightly different as a case study should outline the customer’s requirements and what your business did to fulfil them. However, including a testimonial in a case study is an excellent idea as it can enable you to share more than just the nitty gritty of your services. A great testimonial might talk about the added value your business provides, how helpful your team are or what a difference you’ve made to that individual or business; all helping you to differentiate your business from your competitors.
Printed marketing materials – another place to use your customer testimonials is on your printed marketing materials. If you’re advertising in the local press, a testimonial from a local customer is a great way to engage prospects. Even include one on your business card if it’s appropriate, it will certainly make it more engaging than most business cards!
How to get customer testimonials
It’s usually quite easy to get customer testimonials, all you have to do is ask. However, it’s worth considering which of your existing customers is likely to provide the best testimonials for your business. Key things to consider include:
The customer – if you want to attract a certain type of customer to your business a testimonial from a similar customer avatar will be most effective. For example, if your ideal customer is a 50 year old man with a job in the city, use a testimonial from a customer that fits this brief.
The product / service – similarly if you want to increase sales in a particular area, make sure your testimonials are relevant to that product range or service.
The platform – as with all marketing messages it’s important to understand how your customers like to get their information and be communicated with. Choose the most appropriate platforms (like video) to increase engagement with your business – you can always repurpose a video to create other forms of content.
To get really effective customer testimonials make it easy for your customers. A few prompts are helpful to steer them in the right direction, such as by asking them about specific products or their customer experience. If you’re requesting a testimonial via email or a messaging app, provide a few questions to help them. You can always combine their responses into one concise message and then ask them to approve it. Alternatively you could end up with a variety of useful quotes from the same customer.
If you’re planning a video testimonial give your customers time to prepare! Again, share some questions with them beforehand so they can think about their responses and give you what you need.
Here’s our video sharing several different customer testimonials, we’ve also edited these to create short videos clips for using on social media. Let us know what you think!