If you're like most people, you do your research before making big purchases. You consider your options, research alternatives, and look for customer reviews and testimonials. After all, you want to choose a product or service that's effective and has been proven to solve problems like yours. Learning how to write a testimonial is important for any business. Illustrating what your customers experience when using your product or service puts potential customers at ease. Here's what you need to know about writing effective testimonials, plus examples of testimonials that make a difference.
What Is a Testimonial?
The definition of a testimonial is a personal recommendation of a company, product, or service by someone who's experienced it. These endorsements are some of the oldest marketing techniques, found as long ago as ancient Greece. Testimonials evolved from simple word-of-mouth recommendations, and they're just as effective today as they were hundreds of years ago.
Types of Testimonials
- Conclusions: How did the product or service achieve its goals or solve problems?
- Competency: Was the product or service effective in a reasonable time frame?
- Character: How does the business support clients and live up to its promises?
- Company: Does the business hire responsible staff and work with trustworthy vendors?
A single testimonial can cover multiple topics or just one. As long as it's an honest recommendation for your brand, it's a valuable piece of marketing material.
Benefits of Testimonials for Businesses
The most significant benefit of testimonials is that they provide social proof to future customers. Social proof is evidence that other real people out in the world have also bought from a company and gotten good results.
A social testimonial is vital for modern businesses. The internet is a big place, and most people are rightfully wary of scams and sub-par products and services. There's very little that prevents a scammer from setting up a website and selling fake goods. Your audience may be hesitant to buy from you if they haven't heard about your business before.
Testimonials can help overcome that hesitancy. By providing clear proof of your past satisfied customers, you reassure new leads that your business is legitimate and that you can accomplish the results you say you can.
Good customer testimonials act as marketing material on their own. If your customers genuinely love your product, their recommendations can work better than any ad. Customers who enjoy your product may post it on their social media accounts to increase brand awareness.
Most people are more likely to trust the word of a third party over that of a marketer. Using powerful testimonials to support your marketing efforts helps your brand seem more genuine and trustworthy, which can make all the difference to your sales.
How To Write a Testimonial
With the many benefits of testimonials, it's clear that they're valuable for your business. But how do you write an interesting testimonial? It's not as hard as it seems. Here's how to write a persuasive testimonial for a company that's interesting, communicates the point, and convinces prospective customers to make a purchase.
Consider the Story
Testimonials aren't written in a void. Most companies develop testimonials in cooperation with their clients and only post testimonials that support their chosen narrative. That's why the first step to writing testimonials is creating compelling stories.
Testimonials can support narratives like:
- Offering a boutique service
- Getting things done quickly
- Providing a better quality service than your competitors
- Excellent customer service
Essentially, any marketing success story you want to tell about your brand can be supported by testimonials. You can also solicit multiple kinds of testimonials to cover different topics and stories. The point is to choose the right type of testimonial for your potential customers.
Ask the Right Questions
Once you know what your testimonials should be, you can ask the right questions. Your previous customers take time out of their day to respond to your interview testimonial request. You can make it easier for them to write valuable testimonials by prompting them with meaningful questions. These questions also help you collect valuable feedback that supports the story you want to tell.
Questions that prompt excellent testimonials include:
- What was your life or business like before discovering our brand?
- What problems does our brand help you solve?
- Why did you choose our brand in the first place?
- Why are you continuing to work with our brand?
- What has our brand helped you achieve?
- What would you like to tell other potential customers?
- Are there any unexpected benefits of working with our brand?
- What do you like about our brand the most?
You probably won't use the responses to all of these questions in the same testimonial. However, you can choose the answers that work best for your narrative.
Explain the Problem That Was Solved
Now that you've asked the right questions, you focus on how to write a good testimonial. The first thing to include is an explanation of the problem the client was facing. This can be kept short. You just need a sentence or two that covers why the person chose to work with your brand in the first place.
For instance, you can collect client responses like:
- "We were struggling to achieve our goals."
- "We needed better service."
- "I didn't know where to start."
- "I was losing time and money trying to handle things alone."
These are clear examples of how the customer struggled before working with your brand and likely resonate with readers facing similar problems.
Describe the Solution and Praise Results
Once you've set up the problem, you can explain how your brand solved it. This is where many of the questions you asked earlier will come into play.
When writing testimonials, you want to collect honest answers from your customers. You can never be sure exactly what parts of your service impacted them the most of what they'll choose to write about. By asking multiple targeted questions, you're more likely to get testimonials that support your brand's narrative.
Look for concise responses that sum up the impact of your business, such as:
- "They helped me cut my expenses in half."
- "I received great customer service that made it easy to get answers."
- "They were flexible and reliable, making it easy to get things done on time."
- "We get compliments all the time thanks to the stellar results they produced!"
Two or three sentences like these are all you need to make an impact.
Consider a Call to Action
Not every testimonial needs to end with a call to action (CTA), but it doesn't hurt to include one if your clients do. If you get a response that clearly states something like "I'd recommend that anyone new to [industry] get in touch with this brand," don't hesitate to include it. This kind of effusive recommendation guides the reader to their next step of contacting your brand.
One of the biggest reasons for a testimonial is building your audience's trust in your brand. However, testimonials aren't foolproof for building buyer confidence. After all, anyone can write a testimonial. Scammers can and do write fake testimonials, and your audience is aware of that.
That's why you should avoid posting anonymous testimonials if you can. The more details you can give about the authors of your testimonials, the better. At a minimum, list a first name and last initial. This makes the testimonial seem more personal, even if it's not. Just make sure you always get permission to share the author's information before posting it.
Better yet, if a testimonial is offered by a company, name the company, the author, and their professional contact information. Clients willing to put their name behind their recommendation make prospective buyers much more comfortable. Furthermore, including contact details lets prospects follow up with the author if they're genuinely unsure.
Include Pictures or Examples
The other way to make your testimonials more trustworthy is to include actual examples of your work. Pictures are excellent if your business is in any way a visual medium. For example, a bakery could add photos of past cakes or a graphic designer could display past projects.
You can include both staged photos of your completed work and client pictures of the results after you've handed over control. Staged shots are great for putting your products or services in their best light, while client photos are more realistic and give prospects a sense of genuine connection.
If images themselves don't work, try pointing to examples. The point is to show readers precisely what the testimonial author is complimenting so they have a better idea of what to expect. For instance, a web designer can link directly to other websites they've created.
Keep It Short
You'll notice that all the examples in this article are relatively short. There's a good reason for that. A testimonial isn't supposed to be a case study. It's supposed to be a concise explanation of why a past client loves your brand. Keeping testimonials short and to the point keeps the reader from getting distracted.
Ideally, keep your testimonials to just two or three paragraphs. That's enough space to give a short overview of how you solved the customer's problems and explain why they want to promote your business. It's also short enough to fit comfortably on many types of marketing materials and keeps the reader interested.
3 Great Testimonial Examples To Study
If you're planning on writing testimonials, it helps to study the best. The following three testimonials are great examples of how to write testimonials for a company that is interesting, informative, and persuasive.
Blush Pink Weddings
The wedding planning company Blush Pink Weddings uses quote testimonials to set future brides at ease. Wedding planning is a significant investment, so these testimonials make a big difference in the decision-making process.
The company begins by making each testimonial personal by including a picture of the happy customer, their names, and their wedding date. Then the testimonials open with explanations about how the writers would have been lost without a planner. That hits on reader pain points like the worry about their big day going wrong.
Both testimonial writers explain why having a planner made their big day go smoothly and how this made them feel. Even better, both end with calls to action about choosing Blush Pink Weddings for planning. In combination, this format is a powerful and persuasive tool for people on the fence about committing to a big purchase.
Fluid Studios is a web design firm that prioritizes service. This example of a testimonial tells the story of how the firm is willing to work with inexperienced clients and guide them through the process of creating a new site.
Notice how the testimonial begins by explaining the problem — Kristen didn't know what she wanted. It then describes how Fluid Studios solved the problem and why she appreciated the experience enough to write a testimonial.
The recommendation also ends by naming the author and company behind the testimonial. The reader can visit the website that Fluid Studios built to experience the firm's creations for themselves.
This testimonial for azarchitecture in Arizona focuses on praising the business's character and company. The brand focuses heavily on word-of-mouth marketing, so its testimonials have a similar tone. This example places azarchitecture as the premier firm in the Phoenix area and praises its ability to approach issues unique to its clientele.
The recommendation also builds trust by including a gorgeous photo of the project azarchitecture completed for the client and the client's first and last name. Potential clients will feel more at ease reaching out to the firm because they know what to expect.
Start Developing Testimonials Today
Satisfied customers give you everything you need to develop compelling testimonials. Consider the story you want to tell, ask your clients the right questions, and structure it appropriately. Once you've done those things, you can create persuasive, authentic testimonials. Start today by creating your story and begin seeing the benefits of an effective testimony.