I was doing a little online shopping yesterday when I came across this 2-star review that made me laugh out loud:
“You should know that if you pay $25 for a carpet that looks like this, it will be a cheap & flimsy thing fit for a street rat. Luckily, I am one such street rat and this carpet looks absolutely lovely in my kitchen.”
How many Amazon or Yelp reviews do you read before making a buying decision?
According to Inc Magazine, “91% of people read online reviews, and 84% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.”
But many of the reviews or “testimonials” we see businesses use miss the mark.
Stories of success that tout how great your brand is aren’t the goal. The most effective testimonials tell stories of customer transformation. People want to know or see the “before and after.”
When you position the client in your quote as the hero who achieves their goal, readers quickly pay attention to that story. They are looking for solutions to their biggest problems. Demonstrating that you’ve helped others achieve that same success is a powerful strategy.
Here are three examples of high-quality testimonials in use by our clients. When you read these, pay attention to the 3 parts that each one includes: The customer’s problem + the company’s solution + the customer’s success:
On Pine & Co’s career page and as part of their job description: “My family is very important to me, and my old workplace made me feel guilty for being a young mom. I felt conflicted about having to decide between events for my kids and workplace obligations. Working at Pine has afforded me a flexible schedule where I no longer have to choose! I now have a balance between life and work, and my life is better because of it.”
In Automotive Management Network “upsell” sales email. “I needed to stimulate my business and my thinking. My Premium Membership gives me access to valuable data and content. Using these new ‘best practices’ has improved my business.”
On Plum Pristine Clean’s Facebook feed: “Called Plum to schedule a deep cleaning service in advance of company coming over for a weekend stay. The cleaner, Angie, arrived ahead of her scheduled time and did a phenomenal job of cleaning my home. I am so appreciative of her efforts and would absolutely recommend Plum…”
Reviews like this don’t usually happen on their own. These were intentionally requested by each company. The questions they asked were designed to highlight the before and after — the customer’s transformation. Each review is truthful. These customers really feel this way and had these experiences. We just encouraged them to tell their story, not just “say nice things” about the company.
- Consider where you are currently using testimonials and identify the gaps. If you do not include success stories on social media, in emails, throughout sales materials, and on your website, you’re missing a big opportunity.
- Do something kind for another business owner: Take four minutes right now and leave a short, solid review on the site of a small business who recently solved a problem you had. Use our powerful formula to write it: In three sentences, describe the problem you had, how they solved it, and how your life is better now.
Not sure how to collect really good testimonials for use in your marketing? We offer testimonial collection and editing as a service. I’ll be happy to describe it during a free, 30-minute, no obligation call.