Customer testimonials are an important tool when customers are researching businesses online.
According to the 2018 ReviewTrackers Online Reviews Survey: Statistics and Trends, there are more and more positive reviews. There’s a shift taking place — more customers are using reviews as a way to talk about positive experiences rather than negative experiences.
In addition, 63.6 percent of customers report they are likely to check online reviews on Google before visiting a business, making it the No. 1 site for consumers. Google is also the No. 1 place for the distribution of reviews.
Here are three more reasons why customer testimonials help drive business success.
Customer Testimonials Establish Trust
Sarkis Hakopdjanian, director of strategy and principal at The Business Clinic, says customer testimonials are a very powerful tool to establish trust with customers.
“They are a form of third-party validation,” he says. “In other words, I can say that I’m the best marketing specialist in the city, but it’s not very compelling because I have a bias to promote myself. If an existing or former client says that I’m the best marketing specialist in the city, it’s far more credible.”
Hakopdjanian says that a testimonial is only effective if it’s real and believable.
“For example, a testimonial on a company’s website could be real, but it could also be fabricated. Having a photo, full name, title and company name and website increase the trust in people’s eyes that the testimonial is authentic,” he says. “However, if the testimonial appears on a third-party website, like Google reviews, or Yelp, it’s even more credible because the company that received the testimonial can’t selectively choose which ones to display. Many companies have been receiving criticism for hiring people to provide fake testimonials and reviews, which tarnishes their reputation and credibility.”
Customer Testimonials Impact Sales
Justin Kubiczki, business owner of Just Rite Painting, says that for small businesses especially, customer testimonials can have a massive impact on sales results.
“Outside of hearing about a company via a direct referral, most businesses don’t have any kind of reputation – good or bad – in the eyes of a potential customer,” Kubicki says. “When they stumble upon a company for the first time, they’re not sure whether that business can be trusted. Online reviews and testimonials are the best and easiest way to put any doubts to rest.”
Although on-site testimonials are worth having, Kubiczki says that on-site testimonials are not as trustworthy to consumers as a third-party source, such as Google or Yelp.
“In most cases, customers assume that these reviews are legitimate and not produced by any kind of false method,” he says.
Customer Testimonials Improve SEO
Margaret Adsit, owner of digital marketing agency The Scribe Away, says customer testimonials help businesses improve their search rankings on Google. Customer testimonials also help drive more traffic to a business’s website. This ultimately helps businesses drive more sales for their products or services.
“Customer testimonials is the closest thing to “word of mouth referrals” that exists,” she says. “Currently, the most powerful testimonial types are provided by third-party review sites (think Google reviews, Facebook Reviews, TripAdvisor, Yelp). I also encourage all of my clients to have an in-house review system that encourages a customer to review a product or service within 24 hours of receiving the service/product.”