The DO’s and DON’T’s of getting honest customer testimonials

Testimonials offer social proof that a product or business is credible. If done right, a glowing testimonial can function as an intermediated word of mouth strategy that dramatically improves public opinion and sales. So, how do you generate and leverage this?
Follow these DOs and DON’Ts to nurture positive feedback

Don’t

1. Use the word ‘Testimonial’.

The word testimonial often places people in a controlled mindset where they start to write in a stiff and unnatural way. When a review sounds overly formal or planned, it might lead potential customers to believe that your reviews are fake. Asking specific questions such as “Did you enjoy our service?”, “What was the best thing about working with us?” will get you the specific answers you are looking for.

2. Use private testimonials without consent.

If you receive feedback from a client that is not on a public channel but over a private platform like email or WhatsApp you need to get consent from them to use their testimonial, their names and/or company names. Some products and services are for private use, and some clients may not want their names associated with certain products or services. Shorten their names or use only their first name. However if they wish to remain anonymous, it is your responsibility to respect their wishes.

3. Create a testimonial page on your website.

More often than not, testimonials get lost on a testimonial page. Review pages often have this “glossed-over-positive” feel, which may come off as fake and untrustworthy to potential clients. Rather ensure that your reviews are put together with its related product or service. If it is a general comment about your company then your homepage would be the most suitable place to advertise those positive comments.

4. Incentivize or create fake feedback for your company.

Do not create or gather false reviews simply to gain more traffic to your website. Creating forged feedback is unethical and social media and online platforms are known to penalize companies who do this which will result in even less online traffic to your page.

5. Assume that all your clients will give positive feedback.

For most people there is no obligation to leave a testimonial once they have already received their product/service. It is your responsibility to follow up with questions about their experience with your company.’ Making it easy for them to leave reviews on different business platforms could ensure your success.

Do:

6. Follow up with an email

Engage with your clients and ask them specific questions about your products and services. Ask leading questions that they can respond to in their own words. Questions like; ‘Did you enjoy our service?’, or ‘What was the best thing about working with us?’ This way you are more likely to receive a positive response.

7. Use testimonials from public platforms on your website.

If a testimonial is written on a social media/online platform you may safely assume that the person who wrote the text is aware that their review is visible for the world to see which means that the client has already consented to having their review out there for public consumption.

8. Make it as easy as possible for your clients to share their experience

Include a review link in every communication. If you are asking for reviews from specific online platforms, ensure user-friendly, easy access – and ask for permission to post at the same time. Always be accommodating to your clients wishes and keep all communication platform-specific.

Good testimonials are vital. Having a good list of clients who are willing to shout your praise can convince a wavering prospect to become a paying customer. Customers, who are genuinely impressed with your product or service, talk about it, and other people listen. If you have any more questions on the topic of testimonials or want to know how to include them in your website, contact us here.