For normal customers, the choice to buy a membership or subscription for an online service can be a tedious process. However, as you’re well-aware if you’ve made a serious purchase before, customers are smart and are reluctant to part with their hard-earned cash. You probably spend much time before such decisions, and so do others.
The experience of previous users is important in establishing credibility and trust, relative to the competition. Here is another concept to introduce, before moving further. This behavior is “Herd Mentality,” and the marketing aimed at leveraging this consumer emotion is aptly named as herd mentality marketing.
It works on the simple principle that, barring a few adventurous individuals, most consumers tend to trust and purchase services that have a trustworthy track record. So, as a startup, you must know how to leverage this previous success in the future.
Similar to Facebook likes, Twitter retweets and other social media parameters, customer testimonials also act as the social proof for your service and brand. As mentioned in the initial part of this article, just having a great product is not enough. You need factors that will instill faith in new consumers that they can trust your brand enough to pay for it.
It does not matter if the proof of this trust comes from strangers or known persons. However, prominent positive feedback from real persons always motivate new users to sign up for your services.
Syed Balkhi, the co-founder of email collection SAAS service, OptinMonster, writes in his blog:
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behavior.
Moreover, it is also a scientifically proven fact. According to research by Nelson
“92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer, and 70% of people will trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know.”
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Customer testimonials, a form of word of mouth communication, are an excellent and free way to generate interest in your product or service.
How to Gather Customer Testimonials for Your Brand
1. Establish a connection with the consumers from the very start
Deploy all the tools necessary for establishing a relationship with the consumers. The tools which you can use are as follows:
E-mail subscription box (to collect the email from your users)
Social media tools (use social media boxes, sharing tools, messenger systems, brand pages/profiles/groups to connect with the social media profiles of your consumers)
Use a chat box such as intercom or chaport to provide an interactive, real-time chat support (for building customer trust and also to collect their contact details.
Use existing relationships in your subscribers list, followers or other social media audiences to get more personal testimonials.
2. The Follow Up Step
You need to follow up effectively, or leads are useless. From the first step, make two separate lists of customers. One list should include all happy customers, while the other should detail negative or even constructive criticism.
For testimonials, you should clearly focus on the first list. Our goal here is to illustrate the value the company is providing to users. Email them, asking whether they’d like their reviews to be featured. You’ll be surprised at how many people would be willing to cooperate and help your cause, provided they’re happy with the product.
3. Encourage Great Testimonials from Your Users
You need to encourage people to speak honestly and constructively about your product or service. Therefore, in your followup emails ask the correct questions to the user and from their answers you get to create an authentic and genuine testimonial. For example, if you are an online SAAS service, then you can ask the following questions:
How your product has saved time for the consumers and reduced their workload?
What is the feature users like the most?
What are the benefits of using your service (in professional and personal life)
A questionnaire makes it exciting for your users to give their feedback. Also, in this approach, you can guide the users in providing appropriate answers that can be used to showcase as consumer testimonials. Once you have a set of interesting answers, you can format those in various ways to make them even more alluring.
For example, check out a few customer testimonials at DesignBold gathered by asking the targeted questions described above.
4. Designing the testimonials
After collecting testimonials, the next step is to ensure they look natural and personal. Choose a font that is prominent but not too flashy. You can highlight some of the keywords in the testimonial. Adding a profile picture, name or company can add more credibility to the review.
Always remember to keep the testimonial focused on the user. It can be a regular user or an influencer who has benefited from your product. In addition to ordinary users, expert or industry insider testimonials can strengthen user perception by borrowing the authority of others.
Notable Examples of Key Testimonial Types
1. Social Media Testimonials
Almost every brand has social media pages where the users have the option to rate the service and also leave their feedback. You can embed these social media testimonials on your product website as a social proof. It can lend instant credibility, and many businesses have had success with this approach.
Check out the homepages of GetSiteControl & Gusto, which feature user reviews directly from Twitter.
Here is how Gusto uses testimonials received on Twitter. The “Wall of Gusto” displays some of the latest positive feedback, with the option to read even more.
Facebook pages are great for collecting feedbacks and testimonials for your brand. Like the Twitter examples above, your website can also benefit from embedded reviews.
Brands also share Testimonial articles, with featured images and highly personal feedback. Such testimonial articles have a very high click-through rate.
2. Industry Insider Testimonials
In contrast to normal users who may be more relatable, expert reviews provide an additional layer of credibility and authority. This approach could be more suitable for SAAS companies, or more complicated products.
Take the example of OptinMonster. It is a powerful enterprise-level technology to help businesses grow their customer base and revenue by helping them collect leads. You’ll note that many of these users are already highly knowledgeable about the industry.
3. Happy Customer Testimonials
This is the most commonly used variety of testimonial. It includes the review and a profile picture. Here are some notable examples.
The homepage of HelpScout features a slider featuring the testimonials with large images of the user and their feedback. A great way to showcase the user happiness quotient.
At Aweber, the editorial team has neatly arranged a list of successful user stories explaining the platform’s simplification of e-mail marketing.
4. Video Testimonials
Video testimonials are one of the recent trends in this area. This medium allows more flexibility and creativity than traditional image and text based testimonials.
Video testimonials go far beyond the usual quotes. It allows the audience to see firsthand how a service is impacting the lives of others. It’s also more trustworthy, as users can see others speaking from their hearts.
For example, Skillshare uses video testimonials of its instructors to highlight their success and motivate others to join.
5. Case Study Testimonials
These are a variation of user feedback, explaining in detail a user’s journey from point A to B with your product. This goes beyond positive feedback or compliments, and actually analyzes your company’s precise role in making success possible.
Using a simple BAB format (Before – After – Bridge), you can show the new prospects just how much previous users were able to accomplish through your product or service.
This essentially bridges the gap for a visitor to become a paid customer. Kevan Lee from Buffer summarizes the BAB formula nicely.
For every SAAS company, case study testimonials are a must as they provide a professional-level credibility to the brand. They are similar to scientific papers where a hypothesis (impact of your service) is substantiated with data and facts. Many reputed ventures like OptinMonster and Box use case study testimonials to improve their products and also for internal assessment.
In the present day marketing warfare, testimonials are more important than ever. Customers are more aware and scrutinize every aspect of a brand in great detail. Often, a first impression can be the last impression of your product or service. To succeed in this environment, you need to win this battle of perception. In this regard, testimonials are the perfect instruments.
The foundation of all successful campaigns is a strong and reliable product. However, when it comes to testimonials, remember that the users are the real heroes. Make sure to feature them prominently in all the various ways we reviewed in this article.
“Successful Customer Testimonials ARE all about creating Trust and Reliability”
As discussed, images play a significant role in creating attractive testimonials. In this regard, DesignBold can be of great help. Using this online graphic design platform, you can create high-quality images for all of your online and offline visual needs. Perhaps a visual refresh is exactly what your website or social media accounts need. And remember, our team is here to support you at every step.
We are simply a group of designing enthusiasts who want to inspire people to make their imagination come true. Our mission is to democratize design by making it accessible to everyone, regardless of their skill level or background