Why Customer Testimonials Are Critical in Business Today (+ How To Get Them Easily)

Andrew Dunn

Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to buy something from your favorite online store once you’ve read a review or two about it? There’s something so comforting about knowing someone else has tried the product you’re about to buy and loved it as if that will somehow translate to your experience with the product.

Or how about when companies post that their product or service has thousands of five-star reviews from anonymous people around the globe? Is there any way to verify Sam D. from Chicago actually gave this product a five-star review?

Absolutely not.

It’s also not possible to know if real people are leaving testimonials or if the company is doing them. But it doesn’t really matter because it’s all about the psychology of social proof and seeing that other people are satisfied with your product or service. Basically, if people don’t know anything about your product or service, they’re going to trust the opinions of others.

Customer testimonials are so essential in business today because they will push people on the fence about making a buying decision over to your side.

And while there are thousands of analytics tools, marketing software, and SEO tools out there to help grow your business, there’s nothing quite like social proof from testimonials to increase your business.

So let’s dive into why customer testimonials are critical in business today and how you can get them easier.


Customer Testimonials Are Vital

Customer testimonials are essential to success in business today for many reasons.

Customer testimonials, also known as user-generated content (UGC), can be used for social proof on your website. It is a guidepost and the start of building trust with new customers. When they see that other customers are happy with your services, they are more likely to purchase your products or services.

You can also use customer testimonials for other marketing materials, such as

  • Brochures
  • A dedicated testimonials page
  • Product or service pages
  • Your homepage
  • For crowdfunding
  • Social media
  • Blogs or case studies
  • Anything else that people will see publicly

Many businesses (such as Amazon) would argue that user-generated content is the most critical part of their business. Would Amazon be as successful as it is without the ability to see what other customers say about the products they sell? Most decidedly not.

What Is the Difference Between a Testimonial and a Review?

A testimonial is a user-generated piece of content demonstrating a customer's satisfaction with a product or service. Testimonials are typically positive in nature, and they are designed to show the good side of what is being sold.

A testimonial is a user-generated content that serves as a powerful marketing tool because it establishes the credibility of a product or service. Testimonials reassure potential customers that a product is "tested" and "works great," making it a less risky purchase.

In contrast, reviews are user-generated pieces of feedback that show what customers honestly think of a product or service. Reviews can be positive or negative, providing an honest assessment of the user experience. Unlike testimonials, which are carefully curated by businesses, reviews are spontaneous and unedited, giving potential customers an unfiltered look at a product or service.

Why Are Testimonials Better Than Reviews For Your Business?

In today's digital age, user-generated content is more important than ever. Testimonials are user-generated content that can be incredibly powerful in swaying potential customers.

Why? Because they act as a social proof mechanism.

When someone sees that someone else has tried a product and loved it, they are much more likely to take the plunge and buy it themselves.

User-generated content is a powerful tool that can help businesses to build trust and credibility with potential customers. In a recent study by BigCommerce, 72% of consumers said that positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more. Moreover, 88% of consumers said they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

These findings show that testimonials can be valuable in winning over new customers. By showcasing genuine user experiences on your website or in marketing materials, you can give potential customers the confidence they need to take the next step and purchase your product or service.

Businesses should consider (if they are not already doing so) featuring testimonials prominently on their website and using them across all marketing channels. By leveraging the power of testimonials, businesses can create an authoritative and trustworthy brand that stands out in today's competitive marketplace.


Customer Testimonials Are Critical In Today’s Business World

User-generated content is essential to any business’s online presence and marketing plan. You're leaving money on the table if you aren't collecting and displaying your customer's testimonials as social proof to attract more paying clients.

Before we get into the list of the best ways to get customer testimonials, let’s look at what makes up an excellent testimonial.

The Makeup of a Great Customer Testimonial

When using testimonials, select specific and explicit content, as user-generated content that is too general or vague can make your testimonials sound fake. Select testimonials that are positive and upbeat. UGC that is negative or critical can damage your credibility.

Finally, be sure to use user-generated content that is recent. Outdated testimonials will also make your testimonials seem less credible.

According to Psychotactics, there are three core elements to create a fantastic customer testimonial, and they have to do with the timeline of the customer buying journey:

  • Before: This stage is where the customer writes about how they had doubts and fears about the product or service. For example, “I needed to (action they needed to be done), and I didn’t know if (product or service) would be able to help.”
  • During: The customer writes how they feel about using the product. For example, “(product or service) worked great! It did its job exactly as described. I was pleased.”
  • After: The customer states how they felt after using the product or service and what they learned from the experience, for example, “Now anytime (problem) happens, I know I can count on (product or service) every time. I am so grateful I found (product or service).

To get the information required for a fantastic customer testimonial, you’ll need to elicit certain information from them by asking the right questions. Here are some sample questions you can ask to procure more detailed information from your customers to craft better testimonials.

  1. What hesitancy did you have about buying this product or service initially?
  1. How did this product or service help you solve your problem?
  1. What is the best feature of this product or service?
  1. What three benefits of this product or service do you most enjoy?
  1. Would you recommend this product or service to others?
  1. Do you have any additional feedback?

The Best Ways to Easily Get Customer Testimonials

Now that we have established why customer testimonials are so vital to businesses, let’s dive into the ways to get them.

Do a Survey At the End of the Customers Buying Journey

A quick survey is the fastest, most direct, and best way to get customer testimonials. Setting up an exit interview or sending an online survey at the end of the customer's buying journey is an easy way to get your testimonial.

Your clients and customers are most excited about your work immediately after you’ve sent it to them. Use this time by asking for an interview or taking a quick survey. Neither you nor your client should feel awkward about this. It’s common for exit surveys to be solicited at this point in the customer cycle.

Use Bonjoro to make asking for and receiving post-buying journey testimonials a breeze. Bonjoro can help you easily collect written testimonials or more powerful video testimonials to add a new element of social proof to your product pages, social media, or website with the click of a button.


Use Facebook Reviews

One of the best ways to collect user-generated content is through Facebook reviews. Facebook testimonials are highly impactful because they come from people who have already had a positive experience with your business. Therefore, potential customers are more likely to trust what they read.

Facebook reviews also tend to be quite detailed, which allows you to highlight what your business does best. So if you're looking for an effective way to collect testimonials, check your Facebook business page first.

Try Getting Video Reviews

User-generated content is some of the most powerful marketing tools available to businesses.

And what's more substantial than a text-based review? A video of your customer talking about how your products or services have helped them.

Software platforms such as Bonjoro let you grab video testimonials and reviews from your customers, which are more substantial and have a greater impact than written ones. If everyone else has written reviews on their website, video reviews will stand out that much more.

Video user-generated content has proven to be the best converting and longest-lasting marketing content because it promotes word-of-mouth at scale, which has the highest return on investment (ROI).

A telling statistic is that 56% of consumers say photo and video user-generated content are what they want to see the most from companies. Bonjoro can help you grab video user-generated content to help boost your products and website with ease, adding a new level of social proof to your brand.

Use Local and Niche Directories and Niche Review Sites

User-generated content is valuable for any company but can be compelling for local businesses. When potential customers seek a new business to patronize, they often visit local search directories and review sites to see what others say. That's why ensuring that your company has a strong presence on these platforms is crucial.

If you have a local business, then you should already be using local SEO software and listed on directories like Google Business Profiles, Yahoo Local Business, Yelp, and Merchant Circle. But depending on your industry, other niche review sites may be even more vital for you to be active.

These sites can be a great way to ask for testimonials from satisfied customers. By actively encouraging your customers to leave reviews on these platforms, you can help boost your visibility and attract new business.


Reward Those Who Leave a Review

User-generated content, like testimonials and reviews, can be precious for businesses. It helps to build trust with potential customers and can be a powerful marketing tool.

However, getting customers actually to leave a review can be a challenge.

One of the best ways to encourage customers to post a review is to offer an incentive. This could be a coupon, special deal, or discount on the next purchase. Just make sure to review the terms and conditions of the site before offering any incentives.

By offering something extra, you can encourage customers to leave positive reviews that will help your business grow.

Wrap Up

User-generated content, or testimonials, is integral to any business's marketing strategy. Testimonials help potential customers see that your product or service is effective and that other people have had positive experiences with your company.

When selecting testimonials to use, be sure to choose specific and detailed ones. User-generated content that is too general or vague can make your testimonials sound fake.

It is also vital to select positive testimonials. UGC that is negative or critical can damage the credibility of your testimonials.

Finally, be sure to use user-generated content that is recent. Outdated testimonials will also make your testimonials seem less credible. 

The best ways to get high-quality testimonials are by doing surveys, using Facebook reviews, asking for video testimonials, using local and niche websites, and rewarding those who leave a review. Following these tips ensures that your customer testimonials are effective and help you attract new business.

Author Bio

Andrew Dunn is a serial business builder with over seven years of experience growing businesses. He is the founder of INDMND.com, providing valuable insights for business owners to leverage technology to 10x their businesses. He is passionate about scaling businesses using SEO, paid media, and remote teams.

Growth tips
About the author
Andrew Dunn
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