Let’s talk testimonials. So many businesses use them and many of us are wary of them. But honestly, what use are they? How can asking someone to give feedback on how you helped or changed them make a difference?
The difference for you
I honestly hope that you take heed of the feedback, good bad or ugly. Testimonials are generally positive, some customers will weave some constructive feedback in there, but most will be ‘love fests’. So build where you can, where you see a trend, and where you see the direction of your business.
Don’t be fooled by stars in your eyes. People who have done my Facebook Reach workshop or workbook will know that I don’t rate them (pun intended). Honestly, it’s a seriously flawed system based on averages. Guess what, if your customer writes a glowing review but accidentally gives you one star, they can’t change it. You’re stuck with it. Not to mention competitors, or their fans who stalk your page and give you one star ratings to dull your average. Don’t be fooled, it does happen, your Facebook page is just as likely to be trolled as the next – if you don’t believe me, then do some reading on Tall Poppy Syndrome. Still want to hold onto your stars? Consider what value a star rating is giving you over a written testimonial. You can’t share the star rating, testimonials can be converted into images, website feedback, added in product launches … so many options that star ratings just can’t provide. So move above the stars.
By asking for testimonials you continue to foster a relationship with your customer. You open your heart with vulnerability when you ask them to tell you what they think. When they respond, they want to make you happy, share their truth, and help you out – so they come from a similar spot.
Written testimonials give more information. They give personal experience. They also give a third-party account of your business. Did you know that prospective clients are more favourable to these than just you saying what you do? Why? It’s someone else saying how great you are and not just you blowing your own horn.
So what can you do with the testimonials?
Images images images! Seriously, turn them into an image! This way you can use them across your social media platforms for one! I did this for a testimonial from a coaching client, I made it for Insta, shared it to Twitter, and I used in on Facebook. One image that I can use over and over again. I couldn’t do that with stars. And you know what, a picture speaks a thousand words, let’s face it we are visual critters.
Add them to your product pages on your website. Once again, people prefer an independent account of your business over you selling the WIIFM. Embed them as a single image or put them in as a slider, whatever you do just use them.
You can have a testimonial page. Did your Gran have a brag book full of photos of her grandkids? She was proud of you right? So, do one for your business. Have your brag book. You would share where you were promoted in the media, so why not your testimonials. Remember, people like to see their name up in lights and these third-party accounts will help build trust in your business.
Sales funnel pages. Look, I’m not a fan of the sleazy sales pages. The ‘buy now, or you’re a loser’ or the ‘I can make you an overnight Millionaire’. Ugh! Puh-lease! But there is a way to direct customers on to your list and develop your relationship by using a sales funnel. You just have to find your way that calls to you and your clients. There is a place for testimonials on these pages. They add credibility to your product, they are an endorsement. They can help sway a person to buy your product or service by adding an element of ‘me too’ or ‘I know they have good taste, so it must be good’. So testimonials will generate sales.
What’s in it for my clients?
People love their 15 minutes of fame, so give them that. It’s validation of them as a person. Some want to see their name up in lights, it’s why fan of the week works. It makes people feel special, which is so great when we are having a crummy time.
So we know that they have opened their heart to you, by sharing their testimonial you validate their feedback and honesty. You thank them for their trust. You continue to grow the relationship you have developed.
I like to thank my business customers by giving them a link to their page in return for their testimonial. It’s a little thing, which takes no time for me to add, but if I can help drive traffic to their site or social media and help build their business I will. I mean, let’s face it, if I am coaching you, it’s my job to help you build the best business. My motto is ‘empowering business online’, so it would be remiss of me not to do all I can.
Let’s face it, it all comes back to connection. I’ve said before that it takes around 10 ‘touches’ before a follower becomes a customer. It’s about growing that relationship, showing you care, showing that you value them and your relationship. It’s about alignment. Testimonials show that you have touched them where they ‘live’, that you get them, and that you are giving your customers what they want. You’re on the right track. You can’t get all of this from stars.