Every business owner knows how important a testimonial can be for building credibility and attracting new customers. The written experiences of those who have worked with you carry a lot of weight.
Likewise, a great way to showcase yourself and your business as a community leader is to write meaningful testimonials for other businesses. It shows thoughtfulness and good will, while having the potential to strengthen relationships and invite testimonials of your own.
In this issue of the Pulse, we will be looking at why writing testimonials is an important business practice, and how you can write them with purpose and eloquence.
Why write testimonials?
When a potential customer visits a business’s website, displaying a testimonial can be more impactful than what a business has to say about itself. Other than data and statistics, which provide great concrete evidence about a business, social evidence, like testimonials, is a highly effective way of winning-over new customers.
Sincerity is key.
You don’t want the testimonials you write to come across as formulaic or robotic. Testimonials should have a human voice that readers can relate to.
Start by writing for the businesses of which you are truly a fan. Where will you go out of your way to shop? Which restaurants always have the best service? Where would you want your friends to visit? Focus on the things that make these locations truly stand out for you, and you’ll find writing sincerely comes naturally.
Pay attention to real world examples.
You probably read or hear more testimonials than you realize. Examples of ‘real world’ testimonials include:
- Grateful emails messages.
- Social media love and shout-out posts.
- Handwritten thank you notes.
- Gushing in-person gratitude.
- Hearing others have been talking positively about your business through a third party (the grape vine).[EF1]
Pay attention to the honest, off-the-cuff way people express gratitude and satisfaction with service[EF2] . What are some of the best compliments you’ve received, one that made you exceptionally proud of the work you do? This is the kind of language and sentiment you’re looking for.
Furthermore, if you are receiving a lot of these ‘real world’ testimonials, it might be worth making a file of them, and asking the customer or client if you can feature their words on your website or social media – while, of course, thanking them for their kind words.
Keep it short and direct.
If you write an essay, a prospect is less likely to read it. A few short paragraphs is all it takes to drive the point home. Begin with the most poignant statement, so that if that is all that a visitor reads, they will absorb the message.
If you do have a longer testimonial written, consider refining it to only the most impactful points.
Include the relevant information.
Build credibility by including your personal information, such as your name, title, company, and potentially a photo of yourself or your logo, where appropriate for the given platform.
Adding a photo with a human face, preferably a happy one, can have a huge impact on the conversion of a prospect to a customer. In fact, one study found that including the face of a happy customer on a review or testimonial increased conversion rates by 102.5 percent.
A testimonial can go a long way in helping business owners in your community thrive. Not only that, but a great way to show your leadership and character is by preemptively writing them – generously and sincerely. You may just find that you receive more in return.