Testimonials are comments taken from real clients that talk about your work ethic, product usage, reliability, timeliness, etc. They can be solicited or unsolicited. Testimonials should highlight the benefits of your product/service and include the customers contact information. Including the customers contact information makes the testimonials more believable.
It’s a common thought that many testimonials that you read on the web are fake. A fake testimonial will read something like “Julia is so amazing, I’m going to start a new website just so that I can work with her again…” That’s over-exaggerated and unlikely that a customer made the comment. A real testimonial will read, something like “Julia not only completes projects correctly and on time, she also makes suggestions that helped to increase my product sales.” All of your testimonials should be specific and talk about your products. A generic sounding testimonial like “The product is great, I liked it very much” really serves no purpose at all other than filling up space on your website.
Testimonials are very important because they help your potential customer build trust in you. They can help to establish credibility especially if you are a new company. They can also have a positive effect on the potential customers purchasing decision by improving conversions. People will feel less skeptical about purchasing your products/services when they see “good” feedback from previous buyers. Sometimes people glaze over testimonials when reading them because they might be too long. A good idea would be to not list them as “testimonials” but rather have a link or section on your website called “See What Our Clients Are Saying About Us”.
You can take your testimonials a step further by writing case studies. A case study presents an account of what happened to a business or industry over a period of time. You can write about how the customers company was changed or benefited by using your products/service. Be sure to get some quotes from the companies director or manager; more than anything get them to allow you to post a link to the work completed along with their contact information. A telephone number or email will do just fine. This will allow your future prospective clients to contact them and back up your case study. With the Internet being so big it can be hard to pick a good vendor to work with. Testimonials at least allow a customer to interact with someone else who has used your products/service and they’ll know they won’t get burned. This can give you a little leverage over the other guy.
If you do decide to use testimonials on your website just remember to use honest comments from real customers. Using anything else in the long run risks permanently damaging your reputation.