By Austin Miller, Content Marketing Manager
These days customer testimonials have become standard practice for nearly all business models. From big time investment firms to sellers on Amazon, everyone’s looking for a blurb telling you why you should trust their service. Customer testimonials serve several applications that will boost your business’s success. We will go over these uses and how you can solicit them from customers.
Validation is two-fold in its service. Not only is it important for your customer, but it can serve as fuel for your business as well. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an established company rolling out a new product, there’s always that anxiety of wondering how something will be received by the public. Getting positive feedback from consumers will give you the confidence to keep pursuing the avenues that are working.
Just as important if not more so, is the confirmation potential customers will get, knowing that they’re not alone in their decision to purchase your product. It’s no secret that humans like to belong or fit in with others. There have been numerous psychological studies proving that in times of uncertainty, people will tend to copy others' actions. (You can read about one of these experiments conducted by Opower’s Alex Laskey by following the link.)
*Scenario* Imagine you’re on a road trip and you’re in the middle of nowhere when you pull over for food. There’s two BBQ joints that look similar, except for one’s completely empty and the other is full. Barring that there’s no line, which one will you choose?
That’s the power of validation, that's the customer testimonial.
Whatever our title, we all experience it—tunnel vision. We see things through a particular lens because that’s what our professions teach us to do. As hard as we try, we can never quite see things the same way someone else does. And when it comes to business, no one’s viewpoint matters more than the customer’s. Customer testimonials will allow you to see things through the eyes of someone else and provide you with unique insights you couldn’t get in any other way. Which brings us to our third and final point.
You’re sure everyone loves your product because of it’s beautiful design. You’ve even poured thousands of dollars into marketing based on that singular fact. And then you speak with your customers, not one mention of design. In fact, some people don’t even like the look of your product—but they love how sturdy it is.
Get the picture? Customers see things you can’t. And even if you're aware of all your product's uses, can you be sure which one is driving them to purchase it?
Customer testimonials can give you a sense of what makes your product shine, how people are using it, and how you need to market it.
- Use customer testimonials as a mini compass for your business. They will help you and your customers consistently make smarter decisions.
- Basic web analytics can measure a lot things, but hearing testimonials directly from the mouth of your consumers can reveal things numbers aren’t always capable of doing.
- Be wise and diversify your strategy. Customer testimonials aren't a magic bullet for all your marketing woes. A well rounded plan that includes analysis of KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) and traditional word of mouth will be the most advantageous.