The Power of a Customer Testimonial and How to Turn It to Your Advantage

In our modern digital age where consumers are empowered by the Internet and social media, the power of a customer testimonial simply cannot be ignored. Businesses of any scale in any industry would do well not only to understand the potential of a testimonial to make or break future purchase decisions of other leads, but learn how to leverage this and use it to their advantage.

The power of a customer testimonial can be encapsulated in one word: validation. This encompasses consumer research and professional and social vetting. Let’s explore the dimensions that make validation via customer testimonial so potentially powerful.

Perspective: “Been There, Done That”

When embarking upon anything new, such as considering a purchase from a brand you’ve never interacted with before, some of the best advice you can get is from other people who’ve been there and done just that.

This perspective – finding out about something you’re considering from people who’ve already tried it – is as old as commerce itself. The digital age just made it much easier for consumers to find reviews and testimonials about businesses.

For business owners, this means you might want to take a bit of control over where your leads are getting their “advice.” Leverage the power of a customer testimonial by publishing one in a prominent place in your webpage. A well-placed positive review can make all the difference – as it provides validation in a glimpse, it helps conversion optimization in the process.

Social: Word of Mouth

Social media is like a dormant sea of oil. One scathing review spread across personal networks can spread like wildfire, and all it takes is the spark of one irate customer to set the sea of oil ablaze.

This means that while the Internet has already made reviews more accessible both in terms of giving and finding one, social media can amplify its message tenfold in a second – and the question is: what testimonial would you want to go viral, a negative or a positive one?

Nip the fires of online vitriol at once: when you find a complaint or negative comment, respond immediately and attend to the issue intent on resolving it as soon as possible. Let social media become an open customer service platform. Promote viral positivity: when you get great customer testimonials, spread them through your social channels and engage with the customer who gave the review.

Unsolicited: User-Generated Content (UGC)

The benefits of UGC to search engine optimization is undeniable, if a bit out of your direct control. UGC provides fresh, relevant content that can beget even more: such is the case in comment threads where on comment can lead to a discussion.

The power of a customer testimonial from the UGC point of view is simple: you get content for free. If you play your cards right you can control how this content looks like and so you can freely place it anywhere you like and spread it in your social channels. Keep these in mind:

  • Actively seek out testimonials. Ask, ask, ask – even if it’s negative, this simply means you have a chance at retribution which makes for an even more powerful review.
  • Optimize your questions when soliciting reviews. Submission form optimization is a must.
  • Set community guidelines to try and format unsolicited reviews as much as possible.
  • Create a forum of discussion where customers can openly share their testimonials and air their concerns – indicate in your user agreement that you can use testimonials from this forum where you please.

Remember that the power of a customer testimonial should never be underestimated.