Monday, April 18, 2011

How to Get the Most From Client Testimonials

There is a natural distrust between the visitor and the website owner. This is because of a multitude of stories or experiences that involve fraud, theft, deception and a general overwhelming unsatisfactory experience online. It is sad to say but true, that there are some out there who use the internet as a way to cheat others and for this reason it is up to you to do all you can when you build your own website to persuade them that you have a safe and secure website. A great way to do this is by the inclusion of some client testimonials.

What They Can Do For You
• Proves your reliability in comparison against your competitors
• Demonstrates your experience and expertise
• Offers assurances to individuals and companies thinking of conducting business with you
• Takes away elements of doubt about the services you provide
• Provides an opportunity to clients to communicate with you and hopefully thank you
• Demonstrates that you actually care what people say about your service
• A platform to show your strengths

Client testimonials come in many forms and guises, but follow these simple rules regarding how, when and what to use and with your client testimonials you can add value to your website.

Ask At The Right Time
It is always good practice to ask for a testimonial only at the end of a sale and the work has been fully completed to the buyer's satisfaction. Asking before a transaction has been completed could have a detrimental effect upon how someone views you and may even lose some of the trust they have in you, so only ask at the end of a transaction. It is important not to leave it too long to ask for a testimonial as the longer you leave it after a transaction has been completed then the more chance they will forget and not send in a positive testimonial to you. It doesn't matter whether or not you an automated system in place or personally solicit a testimonial yourself, make sure you do it when the sale has been completed and is still very fresh in the mind of the buyer

Only Use Real Ones
It is important to resist the temptation to put some glowing but brazenly fake testimonials up on your website. You would not be the first or the last to do so, but most of the time the discerning visitor will spot a fake testimonial a mile off and it will actually have the opposite effect as to what you are trying to do. An overtly and obvious fake client testimonial may well arouse suspicions as to what you are trying to cover up with the fake testimonial.

Location, Location, Location
When you do have some good positive client testimonials to place on your website that are genuine make sure that you put them on your website where they can easily be located and seen. The home page is always a good place, but do not tuck them away at the bottom somewhere. Putting them next to the main body of content in something like a sidebar will increase the chances of the testimonials being seen and read organically, which will have a lot more effect than if you tried ramming down a testimonial down a visitors throat.

Increase Credibility
The final rule on how to use a client testimonial is to add as much credibility as you can. Make the testimonials interesting and noteworthy and wherever possible add a picture or video. One particular website ran a lot of competitions, giving away a selection of varying prizes. Initially it faced criticism for being a scam and a marketing con, but as soon as it started posting a 'winners gallery' showing photographs of winners with their prizes, the subscription to this website nearly doubled.

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