Testimonials: Boasting or Beneficial?

In one of my groups on LinkedIn a member asked, “How important is it to post testimonials on the website? It seems to be necessary to some but few feel it’s too much of self-gratification.”

I feel testimonials are mission critical to a business website and immediately address the “Why should I hire you?” question potential customers are asking. I thought I’d share my response:

Think about it like this, do you ask friends for a great restaurant suggestion? When several friends recommend the same place for the same reasons (great food, fabulous service, fun atmosphere, etc.) do you make the decision to go to that restaurant? And when you do and have a wonderful experience, do you share that information with others? I’m guessing you do.

That’s what testimonials can do for a business, provide social proof. Depending on which study you review, purchasing decisions based on mentions and recommendations range between 72% to 90%. People have always used Word of Mouth and recommendations to determine a purchasing decision long before the advent of the web. Now, the reach has expanded.

Amazon reviews, LinkedIn recommendations, “likes,” are all testimonials of sorts.

Having them on a business website are critical – as long as the following occurs: 1) they’re true and authentic, 2) they have quantifiable results, and 3) they provide names or other clearly identifying information.

When I see only vague generalities, like “great work,” accompanied by no name or simply initials, then I doubt the veracity of the testimonial and the quality of the work.

It’s not bragging if it’s true and therefore self-gratification does not play a role. When you have experienced great results and wonderful service, it’s natural to want to spread the good word. Let your clients spread the good word about you!

© Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved. | http://knocks.com (Full disclosure: You’ll see testimonials / social proof throughout my website.)

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