Copywriting is the most valuable skill a marketer can possess. However, any online business owner or salesman can tell you that a great product description is only half the battle when it comes to making a sale. More and more in the digital age, people are relying on the input of others to make a purchasing decision. They want to know how similar individuals, even complete strangers, feel about a product before they commit. The easiest way to facilitate this is through the display of reviews on a product’s page. However, customer testimonials are tricky waters and can easily sink your business if not navigated carefully.
As competition online becomes stiffer and more competitors set up shop, the value of a happy customer base becomes readily apparent. Shoppers today are jaded towards copywriting. They might be deterred if the writing is poor or unconvincing, but even the best copy is often not enough to sway a cynical reader. This is where customer reviews and testimonials step in to turn wavering minds into confident consumers.
Amazon is an excellent example of customer testimonials done right. Many of its products have hundreds, if not thousands, of reviews from real people detailing the good, the bad and everything in between. The average shopper skips over most of the product description and plunges right into the reviews to learn the truth about an item. Amazon has taught people to expect an organic sharing of information and experience in the marketplace. Because of this, a website without a review feature, or with only a few uniform, positive testimonies may arouse the suspicions of savvy buyers.
Your business probably does not have the broad user-base of Amazon, but there a few simple rules to follow when seeking and displaying testimonials. First, make sure your review system is as easy as possible. Leave a comment box-style input under the product and send out a friendly email asking for feedback about a week after a product is delivered. This reminds people to voice their opinion and will help you get a broad spectrum of responses. For service-oriented businesses, a whole page might be devoted to the testimonies of your customers, and video formats are especially powerful.
The most important thing to remember with testimonies is to be transparent and honest with your reviews. Don’t hire someone to write a bunch of positive reviews, and don’t block or edit a critical testimonial. Above all, customers value trust and they will be able to sense if something isn’t right with your reviews. Testimonies are a great asset in the age of sharing, so long as they are managed properly.