Building Trust through Client Testimonials

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Can client testimonials really boost your sales? Yes!

People make all kinds of claims to try to sell their products and services. “It’s easy! It’s effective! It’s the best one out there! It will change your life!”

But a little bit of life experience leaves most of us with a healthy skepticism toward these claims.

We see through marketing hype. We’ve heard it all before. Why should we believe this one?

The Power of Client Testimonials

According to a 2015 study by the Nielsen Global Survey of Trust in Advertising, 83% of consumers in 60 countries say they trust recommendations from their friends and family over any other form of advertising. An earlier study showed that 70% of people trust buying opinions from people they don’t know.

The implication is clear: Sellers can say whatever they want about their products, but potential buyers are far more swayed by what other people say about a product.

How to Get Client Testimonials

If people are pleased with your service or product, they’ll want to talk about it. And if they like you personally, they’ll want to help you. Here are some ideas to get you started with gathering testimonials:

  • Send a survey through Google Forms or Survey Monkey at the end of a project and ask for a testimonial as part of the wrap-up process.

  • Send an email. Depending on your relationship with the client, this can be as casual as “Hey, Joe, we’re updating our website with client testimonials and I’m hoping we can get your feedback to include there. Would you mind answering some questions for us?”

  • Read past emails and social media posts to gather praises from customers. When you see something appropriate, reach out to the person and get permission to use those comments as testimonials.

  • Make it a habit to turn positive feedback into a request for a testimonial. When a customer gives a spontaneous and meaningful compliment, thank them for it, and then ask if you can use that comment in your marketing materials.

  • Create a link on your website specifically for customer feedback.

How to Write Testimonials

The best client testimonials are personal and detailed. They tell a story that lets potential customers see themselves in that same way.

Use these questions to help you get the information needed to craft a compelling testimonial:

  1. What was your situation before working with us/using our product or service?

  2. What problem did we help you solve?

  3. How did we help you solve it?

  4. What result have you experienced?

  5. What is your situation now?

  6. What else would you like to add?

Then, use a template like this to create a brief testimonial:

Before I met (name), I was (feeling) because of (problem). I decided to work with him/her because (reason). Now, (result) and I am (feeling).

It might take shape like this:

Before I met Dr. Palmer, I had shoulder pain nearly every day. I wasn’t sleeping well, I took too many painkillers, and I couldn’t even shoot hoops with my sons anymore. My sister said Dr. Palmer’s chiropractic adjustments helped with her hip pain. I figured the physical therapy and cortisone shots weren’t working that well, so what did I have to lose? It’s been three months since my first appointment, and now I’m pain free, sleeping at night, off the medication, and back to playing basketball (though I’m out of practice so I still lose a lot!). Thanks, Dr. Palmer!

You can see how people in similar situations—in pain, tired, hopeless—would see themselves in this customer’s story and want the same result. “I’m a lot like him. This doctor healed his pain,” they’d think. “Maybe he can do the same for me.”

(Note that the testimonial doesn’t need to be perfectly grammatical. It should be clear but conversational.)

This testimonial offers far more than the chiropractor himself saying he can heal your pain. Remember, people trust other people’s experiences more than they trust the words from the brand itself.

Summary

Consumers have become skeptical about what businesses say about their products and services. But they are more willing to believe client testimonials or recommendations from family and friends.

A detailed testimonial can get a prospect thinking about how a product or service could help them with a similar problem. You can follow a template for creating a brief testimonial. Another option is to hire a copywriter who knows what information you need to put together a compelling testimonial.

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