How do you influence customers to make a buying decision?

Research has proven that the MOST influential forms of advertising are word-of-mouth recommendations and customer testimonials or reviews posted online.

According to Nielsen, recommendations from friends are trusted by 92% of people, and consumer opinions (testimonials and reviews) posted online are trusted by 70% of people.

Compare that to the number of people who trust your own branded website – 58%. Or who trust the emails they subscribe to – 50%.

When your customers share their opinions about your website or your products, this can also be a very high quality source of traffic to your website. And we all know traffic = sales, right?

So you want as many reviews and testimonials as you can, right?

Now, you may think it’s not possible to have any control over what people say about your business or brand. But luckily that’s not the case.

Read on for my 3 quick questions that get killer testimonials.

Three quick questions that get killer testimonials

Q1: “Before”

In your first question, you want customers to describe how things were before they bought from you.

Yes this might seem like an easier question for those selling products that provide a solution to a very clear need, such as a my client Baby Loves Sleep who solves the problem of babies waking at night with their ‘startle reflex’.

But, this question can work for all products. For example, I could easily describe my search for the perfect pair of jeans that fit and flatter my figure and don’t roll down over the post-baby-belly!

The goal here is to help potential customers to recognise themselves in the ‘before’ descriptions.

Q2: “During”

In the second question, ask customers what, specifically, did they love about your products and about their experience of buying from you.

Key word here is ‘specific’. Concrete, tangible examples sell. Vague, intangible words do not.

For example, a comment like ‘Great!’ is not going to help you much, is it?

Whereas, something like this will be a lot more persuasive:

‘OMG these are so comfortable! These are my new favourites! I have 2 other pairs (light blue & dark blue) I love that the black is dark black & not faded. Only washed them once so far & they have retained their new look. I love that they are elastic & thicker than jeggings so you don’t feel the need to wear longer tops to cover the crotch.’

Q3: “After”

If appropriate for your kind of product, ask what things are like now for your customer.

Most importantly, always remember to ask, ‘Would you recommend this product?’

Nifty new apps like Stamped.io will help you to automate the collection of killer testimonials. Plus, it’ll give you the ability to ask for a rating (ie 1-5 star rating scale) and have that rating display on your website.

Ask persuasively

Next, I want you to think about HOW you ask for feedback.

What is more enticing?

‘Can you fill out a brief survey?’

Or, ‘Hey! I was wondering: I know it helps potential customers to work out what they really need when they see that others have had a positive experience when buying from us. Would you mind answering three quick questions for me? It’ll take about two minutes and you’d be supporting a small business as well!’

Don’t copy my suggestion word for word of course. But the point is – add a bit of human touch to your request!

AND remember ‘three quick questions’ is gonna sounds easier than ‘survey’.

Use your customers to sell the transformation

The goal with collecting quality customer testimonials is to illustrate the transformation your product provides.

Remember, people buy their desired end result, not the widget.

So you want to help your potential customers to believe that their ‘ideal after’ is attainable by shopping from you!

Do you collect reviews?

Comment below to share what you’re doing currently, or with your ideas on how to ask better questions to improve your customer testimonials.