Why feedbacks work? That's not a secret that testimonials and customers success stories are powerful when it comes to advertising tools. They are important for creating a sense of credibility and “social proof” which is the cornerstone of today's marketing.
According to the Forrester Research and Perception Study, 70% of consumers weigh their buying decisions on other clients' feedbacks. You may wonder how it works? The issue is that there's a tendency for people to believe what other people believe and say. If someone praises a product we’ll eagerly listen, especially if we know and trust this person. Moreover, if the feedback author is popular and authoritative it increases demand for the product for sure.
Words from real people are effective just because of this real effect. The trustworthy testimonials should make your clients open their wallets. And since we all like reasonable expenses, it's not as easy as putting two and two together. In this article we are pondering on the effective ways of presenting testimonials and success stories on your webs stores.
How to Use Testimonials in eCommerce Sites
How can we use testimonials most efficiently? First and foremost you should make a Success stories section or page on your website. It's nice to provide a simplified document, comments field or a short form to make leaving a feedback a quick and easy process.
Celebrity testimonials and customer testimonials are different. Celebrity testimonials will most likely require some payment, but they are worth of a thing. Such feedbacks seem pretty much believable for your customers. People trust them not just because they are celebrities, but rather because they are beautiful and successful and seem to be contented with their lives. And all of us are craving for the same. And you won't necessarily have to pay thousands of bucks for a good review. Some celebrities don’t even need the extra endorsement money if they believe in the product quality.
Nevertheless, the most reliable way of getting a testimonial is inviting your own customers to share their ideas about your website. It's a lot cheaper than inviting a celebrity and work just fine as well. Ask them about their experiences in the following ways:
- Offer a free trial of your product or a discount for your new customers who agree to write testimonials for you.
- Use social media tools to get more feedbacks (like a Facebook page with its rating of images).
- Get in touch with customers via email or phone to make sure everything is okay and they are pleased with the purchase.
- Show "Before" and "After" pictures. The images that describe results of product usage in a visual way are really convincing. If you sell a product like medicines, cosmetics, clothes and accessories, the proper visual presentation is exactly what you need! You may ask clients to upload their pictures before and after they use your goods. Encourage the clients with discounts for submitting any photos.
- Create call-out-boxes that ask to share experience about using the products. They could say “Tell us your thoughts about...” and redirect visitors to the testimonials page where they can leave responses. Select the best reviews and make them rotate throughout the site.
- And finally, explain why testimonials are really important for you. You may see the example of a nice friendly explanation provided by Commercepundit.com:
Diversify Testimonials Usage
To use the customer feedbacks effectively you should find other ways of their presentation, simply putting up a testimonials page is not enough. This is good, but it's boring, so we'd recommend you to diversify testimonials usage:
- Include customer testimonials into different forms of interaction with your clients, like newsletters, invoices and order confirmations.
- Use testimonials in your company brochures, media kit, sales letters or print ads as well as other advertising and direct-mail tools.
- Present testimonials throughout the site making them accessible on each page.
- Update testimonials regularly. Follow up recent feedback and keep them fresh.
How to Work With Negative Reviews
Face the truth - you should be prepared to getting not only the positive feedbacks from your clients. Sometime people aren't happy about working with you, but this doesn't mean you have a bad business. So what are we supposed to do with the negative comments?
The adequate answer to this question was given by Robyn from Blueacorn.com. She states that she can never modify a negative review that’s been posted on an independent blog. However she does have a decent answer to such feedback, which would be the following: “Thank you for the honest feedback. You bring up some good/intriguing/interesting points, and my team and I are taking them into consideration.” Robyn suggests to change the tone of the comment based on the level of negativity, but avoid engaging in a conflict.
As for us, TemplateMonster sometimes does receive negative feedback in testimonials or on Facebook page, and our best way to handle the situation is to actually handle it - we find our what went wrong, we assist the person and help him or her solve the problem and then just comment on the initial negative post. So being good is always the best bet, even if things don't look good at first.
Still some reviews can be written in a nasty way, and you should remain calm and professional commenting on them. Anyways, it's nice to remember that negative reviews are extremely helpful for revealing the weak points of your website in the most natural and free way.
But surely no one would recommend posting negative feedbacks on your website. It would be ridiculous because they look okay on independent blogs only.
You should also consider weak points of testimonials and success stories – people believe that testimonials are more often solicited and can be easily faked. So you should provide proven and reliable content, looking legitimate, adequate and not too emotional.
Try your best to use customer's actual information including the company name, job title and the real name to reveal authority and not make it a bold assertion. Don't edit testimonials unless there are some serious grammatical mistakes or typos in them. The more original a feedback looks, the more credible it is.
Follow these simple rules and you will be getting more and more enthusiastic clients!