5 Common Factors for Great Testimonials

Customer testimonials speak directly to consumers in ways that your other marketing and advertising materials never could. Great testimonials appear real and authentic to the consumer, breaking past the defenses consumers put up; however, bad testimonials look staged and feed consumer fears that your company is lying when you make claims about what your product or service can do. When you seek out great testimonials there are five factors you should look for.

  1. Honesty: The first thing that consumers note about customer testimonials is whether or not the person giving the testimonial is trustworthy. If the testimonial is glowing and overly positive, consumers may believe that it was staged and they are not likely to get the message. An honest testimonial touches not only on the positive aspects of the consumer experience, but acknowledges that there were some negatives as well. The fact that the customer still provided the testimonial despite the negative points that they make gives the testimonial even more weight.
  2. Unscripted: Alongside honesty, the testimonial must seem unscripted and straight from the heart. Scripted testimonials always come off as stiff and disingenuous, so that they seem like just an act. Great testimonials allow for the free flow of ideas, coming off like bullet points rather than pre-rehearsed sentences.
  3. Details: Nothing makes for great testimonials more than details. Which aspects of the product were the most useful? What about the service was better than expected? Details add depth to the testimonial so that it comes across as a real customer experience. Vague statements about how “Company X is the best company ever!!!!” are not only ineffective, but can actually turn potential customers off to your business.
  4. Comparison: If the testimonial is going to talk about the good things that the customer experienced, it should also mention how your product or service is different from others the customer used in the past. Comparisons allow the potential customer to find something relatable in their own experience to use as a baseline for why your company is a better choice.
  5. Evidence: “Pics or it didn’t happen” is a common online saying, and it applies to your business as well. Testimonials that can’t provide photographic or video evidence of the claims that were made will always be considered suspect, while testimonials backed with evidence gain instant credibility.
  6. Passion: If a testimonial lacks passion or real enthusiasm, it does little to benefit your company. If the customer giving the testimonial comes across as bored or disinterested, their motives become suspect and the message never gets through. A great testimonial shows real appreciation for the product or service, and the testimonial is given because that customer felt that the entire world should know just how great their experience was with your company.

Great testimonials don’t just happen; they require guidance, planning and some effort on your part. If you’d like to learn more about how to leverage your customers to drive more revenue and referrals, contact us today.