Testimonials – critical for business success
We will provide guidance on client testimonials and why they matter.
Testimonials – they matter!
They’re just testimonials, said no business ever! And why would they, when the opinion of a customer has the potential to boost sales and drum up a buzz about your business’ offerings? With more of us checking sites such as Reviews.io and Trustpilot before checking out online – sometimes to decide between different two products or businesses – they have become a 24-hour ‘spokesperson’ for your brand.
Not just for retail, more and more service-based businesses are harnessing the power of independent review sites. Easy to find online, these two review sites are trusted Google partners. So, there’s no ignoring the power of positive experiences from customers and clients today.
Explore why testimonials are now critical for business success.
Reviews have become a key stage of the buying process
Helping customers consider their purchases before committing, the step of reviewing testimonials from past buyers is now a vital part of the buying process. Review sites such as Trustpilot and Reviews.io allow a client or customer to do their own research on the businesses they are considering trusting with their money – or reputation in terms of services.
And this isn’t just for online purchases as 77% of shoppers “always” or “regularly” check reviews when looking up local businesses. This statistic from 2021 has increased from 60% in 2020 (up 17%) and proves the growing importance placed on others’ experiences with your business.
Review sites offer the same promotional benefits as traditional ‘word of mouth’ recommendations between family and friends – on a much larger scale. However, whilst personal recommendations are still a valuable marketing ‘tool’, relying on them can be futile if a prospective client or customer does not know anyone who has used your products or services before. This also puts new businesses at a disadvantage.
By not signing up with a reputable review site, you make it harder for customers and clients to actively place their trust in your business in today’s overcrowded market. Worse still, not having a review account runs the risk of appearing like your business does not care about its customers or clients’ viewpoints.
Buying a product or service has changed with third-party review sites … don’t be left behind.
Social proof and user-generated content are trusted
Advertising has lost its shine. Just “15.4% of British consumers believe what companies say in their advertising campaigns”. Yet, signing up to a review site such as Trustpilot or Reviews.io has the power to increase trust levels in your business, by displaying past customers’ ‘social proof’.
‘User social proof’ is exactly as it sounds. A customer or client will leave a testimonial after experiencing your brand. This user-generated content (UGC) is then visible proof that your company has delivered on aspects including quality and customer service. This can influence other customers and clients due to social proof; a social and psychological phenomenon where individuals mimic the actions of others.
Using text and image-based testimonials adds a breath of fresh air to your marketing materials, social media content and other marketing channels. Your customers do the ‘heavy lifting’ – convincing their peers to use your services or buy your products. These reviews are unpaid, so there is no incentive for customers or clients to leave a positive review. When they do, others will sit up and pay attention.
Testimonials are a vital resource for business planning
Testimonials, even the bad ones, are a ‘goldmine’ of information. Not only can the customer or client learn whether to trust you from these published reviews, but smart business owners and managers can also study them (regularly) to fine-tune their operations.
Look closely and common themes will emerge, including how your past customers have:
- Valued your product or the results of your service
- Perceived the customer service your team offered
- Experienced your communication skills
- Reacted to delivery times, prices and personnel.
It’s often the little details that frustrate customers. These can be unrelated to the core products or services you offer. So, if a common theme is poor customer service, be sure to reconsider how your customer-facing teams operate. You can then look at offering these employees further training as part of your reputation management.
You can’t fix what you don’t know. However, testimonials will show you how your business is being talked about by a wide range of customers and clients. They are critical markers of success and performance, so ignore them at your peril.
Respond to reviews on Trustpilot and Reviews.io
Using a testimonial site is also a ‘two-way street’ in terms of the involvement expected by the public. Not only does responding to reviews enable you to respond to any unfair criticism, but it is also an exercise in public relations.
Adopting a polite and helpful tone goes a long way in managing negative reviews. It could even win around potential customers/clients who are ‘on the fence’ after reading a negative review. Most people are aware that genuine mistakes happen. Your response can restore your business’s reputation and show you in a positive light.
Similarly, a survey has shown that responding to user-generated reviews is not just favourable but expected. As many as “57% say they would be ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ likely to use a business that doesn’t respond to reviews at all”. The maintenance part of signing up to Trustpilot or Reviews.io is (in the grand scheme of things) a small commitment when it has the potential to thank or convert potential customers and clients.
It can help to boost your SEO (search engine optimisation)
Trustpilot and Reviews.io are both Google partners. But what does this mean for promoting your business?
Well, take Trustpilot and Google. They “work together to impact SEO and improve your performance on the search engine”, according to Trustpilot. For example, the reviews left by past customers can be shown on:
- Organic Google search results pages
- Google Ads
- Google Shopping.
Having these features might make the difference between someone clicking on your site and scrolling by. Likewise, installing the ‘Trustbox’ widgets enables you to show review snippets of your feedback on your own website; acting as social proof that you’re a trustworthy business.
Reviews.io is also integrated with Google to boost your paid marketing. Not only will a star rating appear beside:
- Google Shopping Tab
- Google Shopping Ads
- Google Search Ads
- Google Shopping Showcase Ads,
but Google notes displaying a star rating alongside your paid ads can “increase click through rate (CTR) by as much as 17%” and reduce the cost of your Pay Per Click (PPC) via a better Google Ads Quality Score.
Treat your customers right and their positive feedback will reward you financially.
Testimonials to make the impact you require.
Potential customers and clients have become aware of independent review sites when researching your company. Generating free publicity, social proof, insights into your own business and lower paid advertising costs, contact us today to see how your business can benefit from Trustpilot or Reviews.io testimonials.
If you are enjoying this article please read our blog What is SEO and where to begin? or Why a brand is important and why it’s not just a logo, all of which are important to reaching clients and increasing sales/business opportunities.