Using testimonials to promote your business

Customers will not impulsively plunk down their hard-earned cash on something they have not used before.   

They would need more than an attractive advertising copy with glossy photos to be  convinced  to try a  product, service or brand  for the first time.

Here is where customer testimonials are useful. 

Customer testimonials are otherwise known as “social proof.”

Social proof is evidence that other people have had good experiences in using the product you are interested in.  With social proof, a first-time customer will feel confident ordering a new product.

How does a businessman gather positive testimonials?

Having your company website provides you with a platform for gathering feedback from your customers, good or bad.  E-mails, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms are also useful for this purpose. 

At point of purchase, you may solicit comments, including suggestions for improvement.  Train your sales crew to keep their ears open for customer feedback – good or bad.  This is especially applicable in restaurants and other retail outlets.

Another way is to ask directly.  Ask y our best customers if they wouldn’t  mind writing a testimonial for your site.  If you have good relationships with them  and they are a naturally expressive, they will likely agree.  Make your request short and and simple. It could be something like:  “We are inviting our best customers to write a short testimonial for our site.  Do you think you can contribute?” “  Be sure to thank them for their time and effort.

Hostgator.com suggests four ways to make maximum use of testimonials.

Use names, places and faces

It is important for customers to know that the testimonials they are reading come from real people, not from robots or trolls.  Thus, testimonials are best  accompanied by names — full names, preferably — location and company and photos.  Permission have to be sought to publish such information, of course.

Include specific positive feedback

Testimonials must be specific, rather than motherhood statements like “excellent,” “the best,” “great,” and the like.  If you have the fastest delivery service in  your locality, try to get testimonials that mention this.  The testimonials should preferably include a competitive edge, something that your business has  that competitors do not. 

Keep them short and sweet

Remember that customers are often busy people who have no time nor the attention span to read through paragraphs of feedback.  Keep testimonials to one or two sentences.  This way, you make certain they are read in full and their impact kept intact.

Keep testimonials up-to-date

Most testimonials would be good for a number of years.   But check them out from time to time.  The testimonials may be referring to stuff  you no longer carry in your product line. 

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