90% of Online Customers Trust Recommendations: Are You Using Testimonials?

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

It's no secret that people tend to believe what their peers have to say. In fact, 90% of online customers trust recommendations from...

One of the most effective ways to market your service or product is by gaining a good reputation and a loyal following. It's no secret that people tend to believe what their peers have to say, and that is becoming more powerful each and every day.

In fact, 90% of online customers trust recommendations from people they know, and 70% trust unknown users (Econsultancy, Socialnomics).

Because of this, using positive testimonials on your website can be a powerful tool for gaining new customers and increasing sales. If you have a good relationship with your clients, embrace their satisfaction and use their good words to boost your business.

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Types of Testimonials

Testimonials come in a few different forms, often depending on who the person giving it is. It's no surprise that the greater authority the individual has, the more credibility and attention their testimonial is given.

  • Expert opinions are great if you work in a specific and competitive industry. If you have access to an expert, or someone who is respected for their extensive work in your field, a testimonial from them could be very effective. Be sure to include their credentials or business affiliations.
  • Celebrity testimonials can really help boost your sales numbers. Celebrity endorsements can be very effective for swaying public opinion, because people tend to imitate the trends and acts of their favorite social figures.
  • Customer testimonials are from average people who are happy with your service. Don't underestimate the power of their opinions. It is likely that customers will find the opinion of someone in the same position as them even more valuable than that of a celebrity or expert.

Related: 6 Overlooked Ways to use Client Testimonials

Building Trust

In our crowded online market, customers are constantly bombarded with too many options when looking for a product or service, making it difficult to differentiate who is trustworthy. Including testimonials on your site will help put your potential client at ease and assure them of your sincerity.

  • In the testimonials you use, make sure to display the client's first and last name (or at least last initial), city and state, and their business name to increase credibility. Also consider using a thumbnail picture so that the potential client can better relate to the satisfied customer.
  • Make sure your testimonials sound natural. Be sure to use the client's own words, but is still cohesive and sounds conversational.

Promotion Benefits of Your Service

Testimonials often inadvertently explain what your product or service does. When scanning through your website, potential customers should have a clear understanding of the service you provide, but might not fully see the benefits.

Related:5 Underused Tools for Achieving Business Goals

  • A positive testimonial in a customer's own words will give a clear description of the benefits of the service you are providing. Testimonials will help demonstrate all of the positives of using your product or service in a way that you might not have been able to in your sales pitches.
  • Be sure that the testimonials include specific, quantified results. If you saved your client a sum of money, include the exact figure. If you helped them to meet their goals, include the numbers and time frame. Specificity is key to helping the potential customer understand all they will gain by using your service.

Allow your satisfied customers to do the selling for you. In fact, reviews on a site can boost conversion by 20% (Bazaarvoice.com). If you are providing a quality service and maintain good relationships with your clients, use their kind words to your advantage and include them on your website.

If used correctly, testimonials can be a very powerful tool in gaining the trust of potential customers and informing them of the benefits of your service.

 

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