Testimonials: The Power of Word of Mouth Marketing Strategy

If you’ve ever bought just about anything that costs a decent amount of money, you know the power of customer testimonials in boosting sales. The more expensive a potential product or service purchase is the more thoroughly you want to check it out. Invariably, part of this vetting process involves customer reviews. In fact, 84 percent of people trust these reviews as much as recommendations from friends.

You probably do it all the time for fairly mundane things. Are you considering going out to dinner at a local restaurant but not sure where to go? Off you go to Yelp or Google reviews after searching “local restaurants” on Google to get the names of some places to check out. Of course, other potential customers of yours will be interested in doing the exact same thing when contemplating a transaction with your Atlanta area business. This is word of mouth marketing, and it’s too effective for you not to be using it to grow your business.

Why Customer Testimonials Are the Ultimate Marketing Tool

No one wants to be ripped off. All of us probably have at least one story of the time we made a really bad deal and came up on the short end of a transaction. Beyond not getting taken advantage of, you also want to get the best deal you can. This means buying a product or contracting a given service from a company that will best fit your needs. Often, we would depend on word of mouth from friends or family who have had dealings with companies offering what you’re seeking. Sometimes, this isn’t available since they may not have gone to a given company or tried a particular product.

Testimonials from your previous customers enable you to assuage any concerns or hesitation a prospective customer is having about taking the plunge and buying from you. Basically, you are showing the potential customer someone who was in their situation and then having that person tell them why transacting with your business was a smart move. It offers the social proof that it is safe to do business with you.

A previous or current customer telling people about how good your product or service is will hold more weight than you doing it. It’s your company, and they’re your products. Of course, you’re going to say they’re great. In a testimonial, someone who is not connected with your company is saying how good their experience with you was. It will be even more powerful word of mouth marketing if they are someone that the person reading the testimonial can relate to in some way. Perhaps your service or products are frequently bought by people from a narrow range of professions and the reader and testimonial writer may both be in that profession.

What Makes a Powerful Testimonial?

In order to be considered a good testimonial, it should help get prospects to buy from you. There are certain qualities in good ones that achieve this result.

  • It Needs to Be Honest. People can smell a fake testimonial a mile away. When reading it, does it sound more like it was written by one of the company’s salespeople rather than an actual customer? Don’t damage your credibility or get your company in trouble by using fake ones since this is both unethical and unlawful.
  • The More Focused and Detailed the Better. Customers want to read about how a particular product they’re considering buying from you worked out for someone else. Did it solve the same problem for them that they are considering buying it to solve? Also, if you sell many products, it’s better to have each of your testimonials focused on a particular one. Detail is also critical. Many people are going to have a specific need that they are buying something to address. A testimonial that lays out this reason will be more effective.
  • It Should Sound Natural and Be Original. When a friend asks you what you thought of a movie you saw or how the food was at a new restaurant, you probably didn’t mince words and certainly didn’t speak in marketing mumbo jumbo. You just let them know, in a straightforward manner, what it was like and what was good or bad about it. This is what a good testimonial sounds like as well. You may be tempted to “clean up” the wording in some that sound less polished, but that less polished one will speak to more than a few other potential customers out there.
  • Make Them Stick Out Where They’re Used. We’ll go over where to use testimonials later, but let’s hit this basic concept first. Wherever they are, you want people to quickly see they are reading a testimonial and not ad copy or anything else. This can be accomplished in a number of ways. Laying them out in quotation marks with a name clearly at the bottom makes it pretty plain to people. There are also testimonial plugins available for a CMS, such as WordPress, to make them stick out on the page.

How to Get Them

1. Set Up an Automated Email

The simplest way to get new testimonials from recent customers is to set up an automated email marketing system. There are email services that most business owners have heard of such as Drip, MailChimp, and too many others to list here. When customers order your service or one or more of your products, one of the fields on the order form should certainly require an email address. You then have your automated email marketing platform send anyone who ordered from you an email about a week after their purchase.

This gives them time to have used the good or service and know how satisfied they are with it. If you’ve ever looked on social media in your life, you’ll know many people are eager to give their opinion about everything under the sun, moon, and stars. So, why not ask them to give you their opinion of their transaction with your company? They may have had a terrific experience that you’ll want potential customers to hear about. Remember to first ask their permission to use their testimonial.

2. Try a Customer Survey

Surveys are actually a vital tool in their own right to enable you to find out what your customers liked about their experience with your company and its products and service and what they didn’t like. This gives you invaluable feedback. If enough customers tell you of a particular problem with a given product, you’ll know you should change or improve it to boost conversions.

As long as you’re going to the trouble of putting together a survey anyway, why not have a final question asking if they wouldn’t mind saying a few words that you can use as a testimonial. You’ll already get valuable data from the survey itself, so in this scenario, you can look at any testimonials you get as icing on the cake.

3. Search for Ones That Already Exist

Social media is a great place to search for existing positive word of mouth about your company. Many people will have posted experiences they had with your company or how a certain product solved some problem of theirs. You should take note of the best of these and then, of course, ask the original poster for permission to use it as a testimonial.

Help With Managing and Displaying Testimonials

On the subject of where to use testimonials, the short answer is practically everywhere. When you send an email out to people talking about your newest product, make sure you also include word of mouth from customers explaining what it has specifically done for them. On the service page for your carpet cleaning business, be sure to include the customer raving about how it got rid of their pet stains and odors. No matter how slick your ad copy is in bragging about the chef at your restaurant, it will pale in comparison to the customer raving about how he and his date loved the meal and the service at their dinner out.

We are Newman Web Solutions, and we’re based in the Atlanta area. We have helped small businesses in Atlanta, Marietta and the surrounding area with all types of digital marketing services. One of these is our review management service.

We know you do your best to give each customer the best possible experience. Sometimes, a few people fall through the cracks, and bad reviews will inevitably happen. You are busy running your business and serving the other 95-plus percent of happy customers. This is why we come in to manage the reviews and testimonials that people leave. We will quickly respond to any negative feedback in a manner that addresses their concerns and shows any prospective customers that you care whenever something goes wrong and you’ll attempt to make it right. Ranked as one of the best Atlanta digital marketing agencies based on our services, portfolio, cost, and other criteria we are ready to help you expand your business.

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