by Tash Hughes
of Word Constructions (www.wordconstructions.com.au)
informal reviews of something – people give their
opinion of a product or service and often include words
of thanks or detail how the good or service was of use
They can be a
very useful business tool, especially as they don’t cost
money to get or use.
good about using testimonials?
As a business
owner, you believe in your product or service and know
all of its features. Your website and advertising
materials can list of all of these features and even
your personal guarantee, but that doesn’t mean everyone
will be convinced.
After all, some
sales and business people would say anything to get a
sale wouldn’t they? Why should potential customers trust
that you are telling the complete truth?
On the other
hand, if a previous customer refers them to you, they
already have reason to trust you and your product or
service. Word of mouth advertising is highly effective
but not always reliable nor widespread.
testimonials from satisfied customers gives a different
perspective to potential customers. As they don’t have a
financial investment in future sales, they have no
reason to lie so have instant credibility. Their words
are also coming from a customer perspective so the
benefits they mention will attract other customers.
In short, using
testimonials can increase your sales without much effort
on your part.
words about your business provides information to
customers in a non threatening way; listing all the
advantages yourself is probably closer to bragging than
any third party testimonial.
buying a new book. The title and cover catch your
interest but you’re not sure if you want to buy this
particular book. You read the blurb on the back and the
short reviews from major papers or famous authors. The
reviews are good and give you an idea of the book’s
style so you make a decision.
Those reviews on
the back of the book were simply testimonials. Did you
consider the author was bragging by having them on the
back cover? Or was it a useful way of learning about the
As long as you
don’t include too many testimonials or hype them up,
testimonials will not come across as you bragging or
showing off; they will be a legitimate way of reassuring
potential customers about your business.
Where to find
you’ll be lucky and happy customers will spontaneously
tell you how great your business is. The rest of the
time, you’ll need to be proactive about it.
It isn’t hard to
get testimonials and most people won’t mind doing one if
they were happy with what you provided.
You can make it
easy for customers by having a feedback form on your
website, in product packaging or in newsletters.
just ask! If a customer is happy, ask if they’d say so
in writing so you can use that as a testimonial.
It is best to
let customers know you are using their words publicly as
a testimonial, and include their business name if
appropriate as this gives something back to them as
You may also
find some unexpected testimonials on various web
communities or review sites. Unless the reviews are
explicitly available for use, ask the person(s) involved
before using these testimonials publicly
One you have
collected and used a few testimonials, you may find new
customers are more likely to volunteer their opinions as
they can see you use them sensibly.
Tash Hughes is
the owner of
Word Constructions and is available to solve all
your business writing problems! From letters to
policies, newsletters to web content, Word Constructions
writes all business documents to your style and