It is very important to know what people think about your product or services post they have used or purchased it. It is very crucial for you to know this as an owner of that particular product or service. And trust me; it isn’t easy as it sounds.
Good sales and marketing skills are something which is not everyone’s cup of tea. These skills help you present your services or products to the prospective buyers or users in such a way that persuades them to use it. In a way, you try to show them how better it will be for those users if they consider using or buying those products. However, there are other important things that not even the bestest of sales and marketing skills in the world can compete with: customer testimonials and user feedback. These are no new terms to anyone, but something that many people are unaware of their usage and importance.
Let me just take you through them one by one.
Customer testimonials or the comments and reviews from your satisfied customers, in either text, video or audio format on your website can help you transform your sales pitch to an unbiased and an incredible recommendation of your product or service. It is commonly done by almost all the people that they go through the reviews first before buying anything, which is only when they decide on buying it based on those reviews.
In fact there are several reputed Home sellers which take reviews as well as testimonials as serious business because it directly impacts the overall image of their operations.
Adding testimonials to your website is one of the easiest ways to generate good sales and improving your website. Despite knowing its importance, several businesses either don’t use them or end up using them in an ineffective manner. Testimonials which are poorly executed can damage your credibility and can even refrain good prospects from doing business with you.
How to choose a ‘good’ testimonial?
Now that’s an important thing to consider. There are a few things that you should look for while choosing a testimonial and also to differentiate between one that is best and the one that is ineffective.
Take an example of a testimonial that says:
“I am absolutely loving this product. I am definitely gonna buy/use more of it.”
I know this definitely sounds like you have a customer who is happy with your product, but think again, is it really conveying something informative and useful to other visitors? Does it tell how has the product helped him/her or how it has benefitted them? Of course not! Although the feedback is positive, it does not provide any important detail that is enough to leave an impact on a visitor.
Whereas, if a testimonial goes like this:
“The tool isn’t just about smoothing out someone’s workflow; it’s about enabling their voice and allowing them to play a more active role in the process of designing as a team. A good design system should empower designers instead of restricting them, and this tool absolutely furthers that goal.”
This is not just a benefit-driven and effective testimonial, but one that will turn your visitor into your customer for sure.
If you are still wondering why testimonials are so effective, then here’s something you need to know:
- They are real and genuine and not written from the sales point of view. They have been written in someone else’s voice and is the only thing on your website that stands out and is unbiased.
- They build trust among new visitors. Irrespective of whether those testimonials are raving about your product or are happy with the services you provided to them, they let the new visitors know that they had a positive experience with your company.
- You will often come across those ‘tough-to-sell’ visitors who won’t get convinced with all that ornamental description of your website or product. However, a good testimonial has the power to convince even them and can tell them how your product can make a difference in their lives.
Want to know the things that make a testimonial powerful? Have a look at what an effective and a good testimonial is all about:
- Firstly, a good testimonial should be from someone that your visitors can truly relate to since they see the products that have helped someone just like them.
- A good testimonial should comprise of the benefits of that particular product/service. For an example, a review like, “this is an amazing product” sounds good to hear but doesn’t tell the importance or benefits of it. Whereas, a comment like, “this tool made it really easy for me to send emails to multiple people all at one go”. This not only makes your product stand out but tells its benefits to other users.
- A good testimonial should consist of the full name and the hometown of testimonial-giver. This shows that your endorsements are coming from real people and not fake. If possible try adding their pictures as well.
- For maximum effect or taking it to the next level, including audio and video testimonials is one of the best things to do.
- A good testimonial should justify claims made by you. If your product claims about doing something, then that should be backed up by your testimonials comprising of actual facts and figures.
- A good testimonial should be comparative. If a testimonial states that they tried a product that did not work before they found yours, then this should be definitely included. Letting your visitors know how different your product/service is by such testimonials can make it stand out from other competitors.
Now that you know what should be looked in for in a testimonial, the next question that might arise in your mind is how should you collect the relevant reviews that you need from your customers.
How to effectively gather customer testimonials
If your customers have used your product/services, then it is quite possible that you may already have some good testimonials to add to your website. However, if you are a newbie or have fewer reviews, then you need to put in a little more effort to collect them.
- One common way is to add a link to your website along with a form with a catchy line, for example, “ tell us how this product changed your life”. Also, attach few testimonials that you have already gathered next to the link so that the people can know the kind of reviews you are looking for.
- You can use Twitter or any other social media platform as a medium to get testimonials. With Twitter, you can actually embed a tweet from your happy customer. This way you not only get the name and picture of that person but his profile as well, which people can look at to find that they are real. Reviews on Twitter are the genuine ones.
- Create an autoresponder that asks your customers about the product they bought and whether they are finding it good, and also offering them a chance to share their feedback with your business.
- Launch your product/service for free to a select group of customers and ask for their thoughts about that particular thing. This especially works well for those who have just started up or have no feedback at all.
- Also, if you receive a great email or a letter from your customer, do ask them if you could use those comments for your website to recommend the same thing to other visitors.
How to use these collected testimonials effectively
Gathering good testimonials is not just that you need to focus on, putting them up at the best possible place on your website is equally important. For that, keep these few things in mind:
- Include testimonials on all the pages of the website. Irrespective of, on what page do your visitors go or click, they should find positive feedback about your product/service.
- The best ones of them should be included in the front and center of your homepage.
- Dedicate a whole page to the rest of the testimonials for the visitors to read.
Few things that you need to avoid while using testimonials:
- Never use them without the permission of that customer.
- Never ever create fake testimonials or invent them on own. This is simply counted as a fraud.
- Do not edit them or remove lines from it. Use them as it is.
Not using testimonials would mean missing out on the cheapest, yet the most powerful and easy-to-use marketing tool available to you.
That’s a human nature, wherein we put more trust on someone who has already used the product than the person who is trying to sell it or trying to convince us to buy it. Having glowing testimonials on your website would let your visitors know that you are trustworthy.
Now that we have talked about how important customer testimonials are, here’s another thing for you to know that equally helps you improve sales: User/Customer feedback.
A customer testimonial and customer feedback are two different things, so do not get confused between the two. All those glowing comments from your happy customers, positive things about your product/service that you want to show to the world are testimonials. Whereas, a user feedback is generally towards more on the negative side that one uses as a part of an internal process. User feedback helps you take some good business decisions and also helps in increasing revenues and profits.
Now before you begin with collecting user feedback, be clear with what exactly you are looking for. You can collect feedback from various resources such as:
- Surveys- You can start with short surveys comprising of one or two questions. Ask open-ended questions, preferably simple yes or no questions. Is using a rating system, try keeping it consistent.
- Emails and contact forms- Email is a powerful tool only if you use it effectively. Be quick with responding to your customers. If the customers get a quick response they are more likely to leave a feedback.
- Comment boxes- You can add comment boxes throughout your website. This allows users to provide feedback without interrupting their web experience. You need not even have to monitor it right away and can use it during decision making.
- Online reviews- Monitoring review sites can help you find out what people are saying about you. Also, try addressing negative comments right way to manage your online reputation and also to improve your customer service. Do not forget to thank reviewers for their time and for their feedback, irrespective of whether it is positive or negative.
- Usability testing- For this, you need to do considerable upfront planning, but this method is useful since it can help you uncover issues that your customers don’t necessarily know they’re struggling with. If you’re trying to get a feature or process just right for your customers, then this process is just perfect.
- Social listening- Social media, especially Twitter is a great way to get feedback from customers, irrespective of whether they are new, repeated or potential customers. Engaging them over social media, listening to what they are saying and responding them quickly is important.
How to use customer feedback
If you want to improve your existing product/service, then you just cannot miss out on user feedback. When your customers tell you what they want, you should listen to them sincerely and find out the additions and improvements you can make in order to solve their problem. Using feedback also keeps your customers happy.
If your customers are happy with you then they will keep coming back and also refer you to others. In such a competitive era, if you want yourself to stand out from other competitors, then having stellar customer experience is a must.
Your customers can either make or break your business, so keeping them satisfied should be your prime concern. If there is anything they are frustrated with or don’t like, work upon it to resolve and improve it.
The user feedback must be shared across all departments in order to improve your business. Internal discussion of employee feedback can help employees learn how they should address customer concerns or reward the valuable ones for their loyalty. And most importantly those user feedback must be applied to the business in such a manner that they can see their feedback being addressed and heard.