What is a Testimonial?
Testimonials are written or recorded statements from your clients about the quality of service you have provided. They can be in a written form. and audio or a video format. All are acceptable but they are of little use if you have them filed at the office. To be effective they should be readily available online for all to see. Testimonials or as they are sometimes called a review build authority and trust. Google likes them and displays them. Prospective clients will usually look for them to assure themselves that they can trust you. It does not matter how great you say you are, Independent verification is what is needed. When independent people give support to your credibility and level of expertise. then authority and trust is established. Testimonials are a wonderful tool that helps you to attract a much larger interest from both perspective clients and existing clients and will ultimately make you and your business increasingly more successful. Even your existing clients will love the verification for others that they have made the first choice.
Word of Mouth used the be the most effective referral system you could have. But that was one person talking to another. Online testimonials have now replaced this system because it is now one person talking to potentially 100s or 1000s or people. Even when someone has been recommended a product or service from a friend they will often go online anyway to check it out and validate their decision.
Sadly the majority of local businesses have very few or even no online testimonials. They may have had a client tell them how good they are or even written it down in a letter but these do not really count.
Somer businesses add them to their website but these testimonials have a loe level of trust. After all the business owner has full control over whet is on his/her website. They could have written the testimonial themselves or at least only published the best.
So What is a good testimonial?
First of all it must be genuine. A statement in any format that give as true account of the client’s experience. It is best if it comes with a star rating. It should be on an independent site where the business owner has no control. They should not be all 5 star. That does not look genuine. There is no business that can completely satisfy ever client every time. There will always be times when some clients will only give a 4 star rating. This is quite acceptable and more accurately rates the competency of the business. When you get 3 stars or below look at the service you provided to see if it could be improved.
What do you do to maximize the effectiveness of testimonials
- Ask your clients for testimonials.
- Make it easy for them by giving direct links to your sites. The best ones are Google My Places, Facebook, (every business should have these set up and active) and a local directory ( True Local,Start Local etc).
- If you get a negative testimonial respond immediately . You may be able to fix the situation and have the rating improved or at the very least other clients will see that you are trying.
- Remember that the only one who can change a testimonial is the person who wrote it.
Can negative testimonial be removed?
The short answer is no. But they can be buried if you have a system that is always asking your satisfied clients for testimonials. The newer testimonials are usually on top and so will bury the bad one.
But the majority of people are reasonable and if you have 30, 40 or more 4 and 5 star ratings and then get a 1 or 2 start rating,they will usually go with the majority decision.
For more information or to seek help in setting up this system contact