“Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.” – P. T. Barnum
Your customers will always be more persuasive than you. Effective reviews can do the heavy lifting for your marketing, but consider that not every testimonial is created equal. While all feedback is appreciated, a great testimonial is special because it’s honest and feels personal, specific, relatable and motivational.
While some companies, like Alibaba and Amazon, don’t get to be choosy about which customer reviews get posted and which do not, we suggest that you should cherry-pick your best reviews based on different fundamental points. So, don’t let your testimonials be randomly ranked.
First of all, you should handle your negative reviews. We don’t advise silencing these, but it’s better to concentrate on reviews that are specific and as personal as possible, putting them in first place and leaving the rest behind.
You need the most credible reviews, which ease the customers into making their buying decision.
One of the best ways to build trustworthiness is to add photos to the reviews. People are visual, and it creates even more credibility for them. If people see a strong quote from a random customer, they are likely to feel exaggeration behind it, but when they see photos, they won’t get this feeling.
The best case is when you have the opportunity to add the customer’s face to the review itself. Faces are proven to be one of the most eye-catching elements in marketing materials. When one glimpses a human face, it stimulates their brain to start feeling empathy toward the person in the picture.
To legally use a customer’s photos, you always need their consent upfront. See one example by Kissmetrics. They not only put the face of the customer but also use their name, position and the name of their company. Another opportunity is to use their location. Thereby, the reviews become more specific and help you target your audience.
Don’t waste too much time on half-hearted kudos.
’’Awesome product; it helped our company and their support is great!’’
Nice review, but I’m sure everyone has seen a comment like this a thousand times before. This first example is short and quick, but testimonials are usually read by an interested audience. They want to learn more information about your business.
See this from TheStoryofTelling.com:
"I was fortunate to recently work with Bernadette on a storytelling project. Her blog posts resonated with me greatly and I hoped she could help my team with storytelling tools and techniques. What I received was far more. Not only did I get useful tools to help tell stories throughout our process; but her philosophy helped me see the larger impact I could have within my company. Bernadette took the marketing and business “speak" we so often used and transformed it into my department’s raison d’être. She helped open my eyes to the habitual thinking that was dragging us into the same feedback loop, and understand why we had difficulty finding new solutions. Her teachings, instruction and leadership helped me to see with new eyes....to put my feet in the consumer’s shoes, and finally to create impact through storytelling. Lastly, Bernadette is a joy to work with - passionate, fun, and relatable."
— Antonio Zea, Director of Innovation Adidas
A review like this has the real edge that you need. This speaks about the ‘why’ and ‘how’ as well. This conveys feeling to the reader. We can find the problem-solution structure as well. The language is also persuasive. It’s like a sales copy penned by a customer. Perfect.
As well, use reviews that contain numbers and statistics. When people see something like 63% or 29%, they are more inclined to believe you. Don’t choose rounded numbers. People often confuse accuracy and precision, and they end up believing that because a number is not rounded and is more precise, it’s more accurate too. It makes the reviews more persuasive.
On the whole, you should pick the best customer reviews to beat your competition. Use the faces and details of your customers, if they approve, prefer longer testimonials with engaging stories, and don’t be afraid to use reviews with precise numbers and details.