Let’s say you’re in the market for a fitness tracker.
The Fitbit looks good. But then so does the Nokia Steel.
The Nokia has less functionality of course, but it’s waterproof.
You don’t swim much, but not having to take it off in the shower is weirdly appealing.
You spin the options around your head for a few days, weighing things up in a mental boxing match of pros and cons.
But then, you stall. Something’s missing…
You go online, start scanning the testimonials.
“The Nokia Steel is the perfect balance between discrete daily watch and connected fitness watch.”
You picture yourself smashing through the finish line, grabbing your 5k medal, and flitting off for a boozy lunch with pals. Your shiny new watch effortlessly transitioning with you. Fitness to fun, that’s you.
This image spools through your tentative brain.
And bleep, phhaarrrt, B A N G!!! — out pops a confident decision.
Why are customer reviews and testimonials SO powerful?
As you can see, testimonials are a smart n’ sneaky way of helping prospects overcome decision paralysis and resistance.
By piping in extra nuggets of detail you might not comfortably (or ethically) include in your copy.
Take this example from The Funding Circle:
See how the testimonial helps you visualise owning the ISA? With dates and numbers to sharpen the image?
And like a perfectly-timed punchline, it whacks you in the face, just at the point sceptical readers — teetering between two similar products — might welcome a push.
Which is exactly what fence sitters crave when they’re knee deep in decision mode.
Whether it’s fitness trackers or SaaS products, you can use customer testimonials to dangle colourful snapshots into the minds of your B2B leads. Vivid pictures of their lives made better with your product or service.
And when you’re shrewd about where you put them? That’s powerful stuff.
Check out Mailchimp’s homepage:
The features are clear to see. But it’s the testimonial that does the heavy lifting.
By using a customer testimonial to talk up the benefits, it’s a zillion times more compelling than even the cleverest piece of Mailchimp copywriting.
And that’s sayin’ something.
How do customer testimonials manufacture brand trust?
But these things aren’t the only reason your prospects love testimonials.
Independent, unbiased feedback literally soaks your business in credibility.
I could tell you, for instance, that my writing helps businesses grow sales. But you’d believe it way more if you heard it from my happy customers, right?
Course you would! We’re ALL social proof-hungry beasts at heart. And the data doesn’t lie…
According to Feefo, 94% of consumers check reviews when they’re looking to buy something.
So feed your prospects with photos, names, job titles… anything to big up the authenticity of your customer testimonials.
Look how the smart cookies at mHelpDesk tick all of the above, PLUS video:
They know that their prospects want to quickly see other people (people like themselves) using their services.
Remember: read feedback helps your prospects trust you.
What getting strategic about testimonials does for YOU
When you’re strategic about collecting reviews and customer testimonials…Like when you’re proactive and you ask the right questions….AMAZING things happen for your business.
When consumers interact with reviews, they’re 58% more likely to convert and on average spend 62% more revenue per visit.
Plus, since Google, loves fresh, product-specific content, you’ll get more eyeballs on your website, too. Adding reviews typically results in a 15–25% increase in search traffic.
And finally… HOW to gently shove your leads into the buying zone
Never forget that your happy customers are your biggest brand advocates.
So collect their glowing sentiments like your business depends on it. Better still, build it into your sales process. Make it instinctive, automatic, perpetual.
And when speaking to your customers, ask WHY, not just HOW. Keep your questions open-ended. Get the nitty-gritty.
Better still, get an impartial third party to do it for you. A decent case study copywriter (oh hi!) knows the right questions to ask and how to unearth the answers your prospects want to hear.
Just remember to always, ALWAYS record their exact words and statements.
This is how you’ll unearth the answers your prospects want to hear. And it’s how you’ll present them in the most magnetic way.
So why not take advantage of this proven tactic to gently shove your leads into the buying zone?
Chances are they’ll thank you for the helpful nudge and you’ll double digit your conversion rates.
How are you using your customer testimonials? Is a more strategic approach appealing? Tell me in the comments.
About Tam: I help B2B technology businesses attract and convert more leads by turning dull, lacklustre and complex copy into clear, vivid, human language. You can find out more about me on my (woefully out of date) website: www.hellogather.co.uk. New website on my list!