How to Use Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Before we go into how to use customer reviews and testimonials we will discuss what they are (you can also refer to our handy table opposite) as both contain a customer’s opinion of you and possibly pictures of your product in use.

What is a Customer Review?

A customer review communicates to others a customer’s experience with your company’s products or services. Reviews can be found on sites such as Google Reviews, Amazon, as well as websites set up specifically for reviews such as Yelp and Trustpilot, and industry-specific ones such as Tripadvisor for Travel.

Just about anyone can publish a review online but more and more sites are making people sign up for an account or verify a purchase before they are allowed to publish a review.

Why Are Reviews Useful?

Reviews are valuable as other potential customers use reviews to understand the experience other people have had with your product or service.

As they are posted on third-party sites by real users of your products, and not produced by the company itself, consumers view these reviews as a more reliable source of information and they can influence how much a customer trusts a new brand or product. 85% of people are willing to trust reviews from strangers as much as those from peers, and among B2B buyers, customer testimonials are valued as highly as any other form of content.

Reviews reach your customer at just the right time, when they are researching products and looking to purchase.

From a business’s perspective, reviews also help you to understand why you might be losing customers or the positive aspects that help you retain customer loyalty.

To use Google Reviews you need a Google My Business profile – read our blog to find out how to set one up if you don’t already have one.

Responding to Reviews

Although you can’t remove negative reviews, most platforms will remove reviews that do not meet the requirements of their policies such as use of hate speech, fake comments, spam, illegal information or a conflict of interest. An important part of customer reviews is your response to them. You can even turn a negative review into something positive for prospective customers, how you respond to criticism says a lot about your company’s values and character. Remain positive – and ask for more details if you need it – and show that even when things go wrong you will put it right with great customer service.

Asking for a Customer Review

Sometimes you need to be proactive and ask for reviews. Here are some ways you can do that:

  1. In a conversation or response to praise. If someone is saying something nice about your product, ask if they would be willing to write you a customer review. Send a link to anyone that agrees to write a review to make it as easy for them as possible.
  2. Send an email.  Send an email that asks for honest feedback, providing a ink and easy-to-follow directions on how to do it.
  3. Request a post-purchase review.  After a customer makes a purchase, ask them for feedback. This can be on your receipt or invoice or via a follow up email that contains a link and instructions.

What is a Testimonial?

Testimonials are honest endorsements made by customers of your product or service. They are posted on a company’s website and used in marketing materials.

These are managed by the organisation and are usually initiated by them.

Each testimonial should be different, to highlight different products, services or types of customer.

You can also create a case study highlighting your customer’s story and obtain a testimonial during this process.  See our blog on case studies

Why Are Testimonials Useful?

Although testimonials are usually driven more by the organisation than the customer, testimonials still offer your target audience the opportunity to hear the customer’s voice.  As testimonials are better structured they are usually comprehensive and cover all areas of produce and services whereas reviews will only cover what the customer wants to mention.

Testimonials still provide the credibility for your products and are among the most trusted content types according to 60% of marketers.

Types of Testimonials

Testimonials can vary in length and type.  Some might not be more than a paragraph but there might be customers that want to say more and you can get a much longer testimonial.  If you think there is a lot of information they you might want to turn it into a case study instead.

Video testimonials are a highly engaging way to present a testimonial. Customers can actually see and hear other customers talk about their positive experience, it’s much more compelling than a printed document.

Asking For a Testimonials

There are a few tips for success in obtaining a testimonial:

1. Ask immediately.  You want the information in the testimonial to be as accurate and up to date as possible.

3. Ask again. If you ask for a review and don’t get one, wait a couple of weeks and try again (unless they have specifically said no). Providing a testimonial is not going to be top of their list so you might need to ask twice.

4. Make it easy.  Do as much of the legwork for them as you can.  Suggest areas that they might want to mention in the testimonial (or even ask them specific questions about it) and offer to edit comments where necessary,

Using Reviews and Testimonials

  • Add to your website
  • Include in your sales tech
  • Use in advertising

If you need help adapting your website to showcase your reviews or testimonials, contact us for help.