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If you told a prospective customer that they should buy your product because it’s the best of its kind available, they would almost certainly not take your claim at face value. They would want to see proof that your product is as good as you say it is. If it’s possible, they’d seek the testimony of other persons who have used it (or are currently using it). Anecdotal evidence suggests that customers are far more open to purchasing things if there’s a fair bit of positive talk about those items out there. And if there are positive testimonials about your offerings, you’ll very likely be selling more than you would if you simply praised your own product. The good thing about this is that people will also take cognisance of testimonials you’ve presented them yourself, as long as those reviews are genuine. But make no mistake about this: they can tell whether the words are from actual customers who are satisfied with your services, or something that’s just staged or made up. It’s in your best interest to use real testimonials. So, how do you make your customer’s nice comments about your business into tools that bring in even more sales? This is the question we’ve set out to answer in this article. But first, let’s find out how you can collect those testimonials in the first place.

Harvesting the Good Words

First, you should always be on the lookout for positive feedback. Someone who has enjoyed your services may tweet about it. They could compliment your brand in a Whatsapp chat you’re having with them, or speak in glowing terms about your product when you’re talking with them over the phone. Even physical conversations could throw up gems. You’ll be able to pick them up if you’ve decided to collect them beforehand. Remember review pages, like the ones you see on app stores? They’re also good spots for accessing testimonials, especially if your product is open to reviews on those (or similar) platforms. Perhaps you might not be copying reviews and pasting them elsewhere; but you could certainly share these reviews or direct people to them, especially if they’re mostly approving of your product or service. You could actually ask satisfied clients to drop positive comments with you, once it’s clear that they’re pleased with what you’ve sold them. You could record the phone calls and transcribe their words afterwards; if it’s possible, you could even curate them for an audio visual to be used on your website, and/or shared across your social media pages. Video recordings are also quite good too. In summary, you can either request for testimonials from happy clients, or use the ones they’ve shared without your asking. The extent to which either of these two approaches would work depends on the sort of platform in the comments that have been made, and the possibility of getting the permission of the commenters to share, where this is applicable.

How to Use Testimonials to Good Effect

Now that we’re done with gathering testimonials, let’s see how we can make them bring in more customers. These suggestions should help.
  1. Put them up on your website

If you’re familiar with business websites, you’ve probably come across many with customer testimonials on some of them: those comments made by users of the business’s services who are supposedly pleased with the value it’s added to their lives. You can do this as well on your business’s website. Besides having those comments pass before you on the home page every couple seconds, you may even have a page dedicated to testimonials. They could also work on your landing page, as the extra nudge your prospective customer might need to heed the Call to Action on that page.
  1. Share on social media

There are a number of ways you could do this. You could have properly designed pictures of your satisfied customer with their testimonies on them shared on social media (you might need the customer’s permission for this). You may also make testimonial videos, in which your clients talk about their experience with your services, and post them on your Instagram or Facebook pages. If someone tweets that your product has given them good value for their money, you can retweet their comment. These things can be done either as part of the regular social media postings, or form an aspect of a social media campaign.
  1. Use them in your emails

Maybe you have a big email list, with only a tiny fraction of them being regular users of your products or services. Have you tried including customer testimonials in the emails you send them? How about running a week-long series about your clients’ journey with your product or brand? You may find that there’ll be more interest in your emails- and your products -if there’s a greater human angle to them.
  1. Have them in your sales and pitching materials

When you’re selling to potential customers in person, you may have to whip out a brochure, leaflet, or similar materials that’ll help you convey your message visually to your prospect. When those materials contain testimonials from people who have used your services, they may be more inclined to give you a try. Testimonials could also tilt a potential partner or investor towards collaborating or funding your business. In this case, testimonials could form part of a broader body of evidence of your business’s viability and impact.

A Few Notes About Testimonials and Customers

Although customers are more easily convinced of a brand’s quality by testimonials than they are by mere sweet talk from salespeople, they’ll be even more open to that product if they find that the testimonies are from persons or organizations that are fairly well known and respected. You’ll want to note this when you’re putting together or sharing testimonials. It’s also important that the testimonials you use are from people who are part of your target market or demographic. For example, if you’re selling fashion items that are in vogue with young people, testimonials about the items from a person in his seventies might seem quite off, and vice versa. Your aim should be to know your target audience, and to show them that people with their kind of tastes and preferences are going for your products too.

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This article was first published on 12th November 2018


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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