While a picture may be worth a thousand words, sometimes I want to hear from the person in that picture (or that person’s mom, dad, owner (if it’s a pet), etc. As a potential customer of yours, I want to know why the subject of the photo looks so stinking happy, cuddly, cute, or All-American.
Often when building our website for our small business, we focus on what it should LOOK like, carefully choosing images that reflect our style, location, what makes us different. We try so hard to paint an accurate picture of our brand. But some potential clients (myself included) want to know the story behind that image. I can see in the images you share that your business is different. But I want to know more about the experience I’m going to have if I decide to do business with you. This desire to know more is called social proof and it builds credibility for your small business. When you include client testimonials on your website, you are showing your potential clients that real people have done business with you. It let’s potential clients get a slice of what it will be like to work with you.
The design of these stories can be fresh, too. They don’t have to all be contained on one page or section of your site called “Testimonials”. The Web Design Trend blog where I got the image above shares some cool design ideas for incorporating these customer stories in your website. We’ll be doing this soon as we go through various redesigns of our two business websites.
So how do you even approach your clients to ask for these stories? Well, here are a few tips:
- Catch them while they are enveloped in the experience of your brand – when the product they purchased is being delivered or right after they have received the service. Don’t wait 3 weeks to contact them as the experience is no longer fresh in their minds. You’ll get a very vanilla description if you wait too long.
- Keep it short. Ask just a few pointed, open-ended questions about what they liked most about working with you. You can even ask how working with you was different from other places they may have gone. Then be sure to ask if it would be ok to use their comments on your site.
- Always have them sign off on the final usage of their words. Sometimes we have to edit in order to best use the space on our site, etc, so make sure they give final approval of their testimonial.
- Give them a heads up before you go live. There’s nothing worse than a client being surprised to be featured on your website and hearing about it from friends.
How are you using client testimonials on your website? Shoot us a screenshot and we’ll feature you here on our blog, or just leave a comment. We’re curious how these are working in your small business!