7 Surprising Benefits of Testimonials

{Read length: 7 minutes} Why do we showcase testimonials on our websites and other marketing? We all know that testimonials edify our credibility and trust; nowadays, this is called “social proof.” Of course, some use testimonials to “humblebrag” (y’know, to humbly brag about yourself – in this case, through a third party). Citing testimonials helps to overcome objections from prospects; testimonials also combat negative reviews found online. Those are 4 basic benefits: You may be overlooking 7 other surprising benefits of testimonials.

Before we get to those, when was the last time you updated your website’s testimonials? Even if you do have easy access to your site (via WordPress, etc.) it can be a pain to ask a client for a testimonial, and then follow-up to actually get it, and then to get it onto your website, and then to do this over and over again. Here’s a cheap plug: Check out Raviate.com; it’ll automate this whole process for you, make it fun, and really capture your client’s passion. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming:

1) Client loyalty

Have you ever given someone a testimonial? Have they used it on a website? Imagine. Wouldn’t you feel honored and appreciated? Wouldn’t that increase your emotional bond with that company, with that person who asked you? What if you made each one of your customers feel honored & appreciated?

Loyal customers refer others; loyal clients also give you leeway! All this from just featuring their testimonial on your website. A seemingly selfish act turns into a great win/win; surprise!

If you’re antsy about what they’ll say, ask for feedback instead (neutral) or blame it on “a marketing project.” And if you like what they say, ask for permission, “Thanks for that great feedback: Can we show it on our website?”

2) Referral dress rehearsal

When someone gives you a testimonial, it’s great practice for what they can say to others. Recommending someone can be awkward: We may not know the right things to say. It’s a mental roadblock that can be overwhelming. It’s just easier to keep our mouth shut than to feel uncomfortable. So, we don’t recommend.

However, when someone gives you a testimonial, they’re mouthing the words; they are literally flexing and exercising their jaw. Those kind words about you will spill out more easily at the next opportunity to do so. It’s a surprising by-product. Try raving about others: The more you refer others, the more others will refer you.

3) Steal their words

Of course you should ask their permission before showcasing their testimonial. But what if you don’t give them credit? When clients give you a testimonial, they won’t use your carefully crafted corporate crap. They will speak like normal people. They will express your “unique selling proposition” and “distinctive value prop” in everyday language.

Realspeak naturally resonates with people. Part market research, part copy editing, use the language from testimonials in all of your marketing text. Then show them where you’ve lifted what they literally told you; they’ll be as honored as #1.

4) Improve or focus

Sometimes the feedback isn’t 100% positive, or it’s a backhanded compliment. Or maybe the testimonial highlights something you didn’t realize was of great importance. Either way, collecting testimonials is always a great learning experience.

Like above, this market research can lead to great planning, improvements, or a re-focusing of what you offer. Repeated testimonials can have a surprising effect to totally reshape your business model or come out with a new product.

5) Staff appreciation

If you’re the business owner, ask your clients to give a testimonial about your staff. You will look honorable to your client, and it’s a great way of appreciating your employee or agent. Showcasing staff compliments on your website is a win/win/win. Testimonials about your workplace can even help to recruit more staff or agents.

Similarly, ask co-workers to highlight something positive about each other. Peer reviews are different; management best practices often advise to keep these private and aggregated for anonymity. Similarly, rant or “bitch sessions” are rarely productive; though venting can sometimes be healthy.

However, daily or weekly “rave sessions” can be a simple and surprising way to build morale & team spirit. It can inspire ideas, initiative, and encourage everyone to excel. Raviate provides an easy way of capturing peer raves on “a wall.”

6) Social media posts

Sales pitches make for the worst social media posts. It’s like handing out your brochure at a BBQ. Even on your Facebook Page or LinkedIn profile – where explicit promotion is sorta expected – it’s better to showcase testimonials.

On social media, you have the added benefit of “@usernaming” them; this pings them, and makes it easier for them to share their rave about you with others. Imagine seeing a steady stream of testimonials on someone’s social media. It’d be quite surprising, and impressive!

7) Search engine optimization (SEO)

Testimonials by itself on your website don’t really boost your SEO, especially if they’re not being updated. However, a testimonial as part of a blog post, can boost your search engine results. Blogs are engineered to boost your SEO ranking; don’t worry about the technical mumbo jumbo (if you really wanna know, email me: vik@phoneBlogger.net). For your blogs, testimonials can be highlighted as a quote, used as backdrop context to a customer success story, or be a hidden inspiration (like #3).

Testimonials and reviews on third-party websites also provide great SEO. Raviate gives you an automated turn-key website featuring raves you want publicized; it is built with “Google schema” (code) to rank high for you. It takes time for Google to index new sites and profiles, so Google yourself once a season and be (pleasantly) surprised!

You already knew the 4 common benefits of testimonials in the very first paragraph. Were you surprised by any of the 7 other benefits? Now you’ve got no excuse not to make testimonials part of your marketing in 2017. You can even try Raviate for free: Start using testimonials for all that it can do for you. Stay raving about others, for all that it can do for them.

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