In the current business environment, many consumers view brand equity as exponentially more valuable than a brand's own marketing efforts. Brand equity is the consumer perception of a product's value rather than deriving its value from the product itself.
I'm sure you've heard that word of mouth is often the most effective form of marketing, and that's true for a reason. Consumers trust each other more than faceless businesses. They can't trust your brand if they feel disconnected.
The disconnect between you and your customers amplifies if you don't spend time interacting with your community and taking feedback. Happy clients are the foundation for high sales. If you aren't convinced why you should start writing down some customer testimonial questions, here are more of their sweet benefits:
Acts like referrals
How often do you as a consumer turn to friends and family for their recommendations on skincare products, cars, clothing brands/stores, or any other product, rather than watching commercials and reading company websites?
Your friends and family wouldn't recommend a product they didn't believe in and connect with, right? How much more likely are you to take your friend's word on a product despite slightly better options being available, just because they're your friend and recommended it?
The Wharton School of Business says you're four times as likely to buy referred products than not. And you're not alone! Nielsen advertising reports state that over 90% of consumers do the same thing.
If you don't turn to friends and family, you probably scour each and every major review site learning and analyzing your future products to see what other consumers say about those brands online. The harsh truth is that many customers in today's market do not trust and believe businesses anymore.
Builds trust in your brand
Consumers are tired of over-the-top marketing ploys, clichés, and inflated claims to sell goods. There's nothing wrong with expensive and rampant marketing, so long as your clients believe you're trustworthy — and that's the magic quality. You want your clients to trust you and your brand.
Positive customer references are indications to audiences that fellow consumers stand behind your business and trust you enough to have their testimony posted on your website. Additionally, since customer testimonials are a trend in marketing, if you don't include them on your website, or worse, source fake reviews, customers most likely see that as a huge, waving red flag.
It helps explain services/products
If you are in an uncommon or technical industry such as software, the importance of customer testimonials increases exponentially. Sometimes, customers may feel like they 'aren't educated,' 'technologically-savvy,' or 'confident' enough to use your products. Well-thought-out and well-placed testimonials can sway customers, imbuing them with the confidence they need to overcome negative internal dialogue.
Additionally, if consumers see that you are mindful enough to include tutorials from clients, you further build rapport with your prospective buyers, and may very well lead to increased conversions! Always ask yourself, 'If I were shopping on my website, what would I want to hear what our customers are saying?'
Think about all the possible situations a potential consumer could be in when they arrive at your
landing page. If they knew nothing about your brand, would the consumer reviews on your page
inform and persuade them to be a customer?
Having past buyers explain your services to future buyers is a terrific way to show those prospective clients that you're looking out for them. That brings us to our next point:
Testimonials establish emotional connections
No matter how happy your website looks or how many PR business reviews you have from partner companies, customers will still see you as another faceless business. Unfortunately, many
companies don't bother to bond with their audiences. Today's consumers are calloused and are skeptical until you show them you can be trusted.
Can you guess one of the best ways to connect with your audience truthfully? That's right — by having others advocate for you! Don't just post client testimonials on your website; show customers how you respond to negative reviews, follow up with large clients, and interact with the community.
Acts as proof that people use your services/products
What does a testimonial mean to consumers? In addition to everything we've discussed, they prove that real people use your products! However, you nullify everything positive about client testimonials on your website if those reviews are fake, sourced from bots, manipulated, or taken out of context.
Customers want to know that real people are using your products and services, not that your company is insecure about its negative feedback. Prospective buyers will draw these conclusions,
and instead of recommending your brand to others, they will recommend people stay away from it.
Improves Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The value of customer testimonials cannot be understated regarding SEO. We all know how SEO
improves revenue, lead generation, organic traffic, and many other critical metrics businesses need to grow. But did you know that a site's optimizations are one of the factors that influence customer/client/business' buying behavior?
Websites that are more optimized and complete rank higher on search engine search results pages, allowing a broader range of audiences to access your site (such as those with disabilities or special needs), expanding your website's scope of influence.
Using tactics like incorporating client reviews into your website is just one of the benefits of strengthening your website's SEO. Stay tuned for more articles teaching you how to take your website to the next level!
Desirae Haluk is passionate about marketing for startups and small businesses. For the last 15 years she has held marketing executive positions for organizations both large and small. She realizes that her true passion is helping establish, grow and evolve startups and small businesses to make them successful and help achieve their goals.