November 16, 2015

Effective Customer Testimonial Forms: Everything You Need, Nothing You Don’t

Effective Customer Testimonial Forms: Everything You Need, Nothing You Don'tSo, you want to effectively leverage customer testimonials on your website. Great! You’re on the way to strengthening your brand and building your client base, because testimonials are one of the most high-impact ways to convert leads. Video testimonials aren’t “salesy”; they don’t turn clients off with heavy-handed, questionable advertising; and they build trust because other real people are backing your product or service. And if anything sways peoples’ opinions, it’s the opinions of others. In fact, some statistics site that word of mouth is responsible for 20-50% of all purchasing decisions.

The next question to ask yourself is, how can you create the perfect customer testimonial form, with everything you need, and nothing you don’t? The testimonial template you provide your customers is vital in determining the quality of the testimonial, and even the attitude your customers approach it with. While the features of a killer customer testimonial form will vary depending on your product, service, target demographic, and the style of your brand, there are some basic elements that hold true across all testimonials. Here are some tips for crafting a great testimonial form, to gain the most leverage from your happy clients’ feedback.

Ask for specifics.

Imagine a video testimonial where a happy customer says, “This product was awesome! I got everything I wanted and more, and the customer service was great.” Perfect, right? Well, not quite. While this person is clearly enthused, their feedback really doesn’t tell your potential customers any real information.

Instead of asking, “Did you like our product?” a question like “What was your favorite feature of our product?” will lead your reviewer to name specific details — which, ultimately, will be more meaningful to anyone listening.

Create questions that target clients’ interests, which might be different from your interests.

When creating questions, it’s important to know what potential clients are interested in, what they’re curious about, and what’s important to them. For instance, clients might want to know: What will happen in their lives as a result of choosing this service or product? What’s good about your customer service? What are the outstanding aspects of this service or product? What are its fallbacks?

Notice that these questions are all targeted to the interests of consumers. You, as the business owner, might be wondering: How did you find out about my product? What is your background in education and career? Where are you from? How many people have you recommended this product to? While this info might provide valuable information to you, it’s likely not going to be as persuasive to potential clients.

Even a small amount of less-than-captivating info on a video testimonial can lead to viewer disengagement. You only have their attention for a limited time, so make it count by soliciting only details of high interest in your testimonials.

Cut the filler.

Testimonials are tiny works of art. They are meant to capture and persuade using style, personality, and captivating details. Including filler questions can make the viewer feel like they’re watching a boring lecture, rather than a stylized and personal account of a happy customer. Less is more. Three bulls-eye questions will be more impactful than six meandering ones.

Use questions, and wording, that encourages the style you’re aiming for.

Want to target millennials? Baby-boomers? Top tier executives? Pick your wording appropriately. The specific wording of your questions can influence whether your testimonials appear hip and fluid, elite and formal, traditional and conservative, fun and artsy, etc.

One of the best ways to know if your testimonials are killer or filler is to show them to a test audience. Then, once you launch them, track the impact on your conversion rate, because nothing tells the truth like data. Good luck creating high-impact video testimonials to build your brand!

Video Testimonial Success