I believe every website should have testimonials of some kind. Sadly, most testimonials I read are useless.
Web Designer – “I very much appreciate the acknowledgement when work is received, an estimate of when the work will be finished and a follow-up email when it is completed, along with the URL to check.”
Who doesn’t appreciate this? What good designer doesn’t do basic check-ins with clients?
Wedding Planner – “Thank you so much for all of your hard work and last minute saves! Everyone has said that they loved the event and that they thought it was a success.”
This would have been better with more specifics about the “saves,” the venue, the unique touches of the company.
Landscaper- “ABC Landscaping did a wonderful job in the design and installation of our new backyard! They completed the job on budget and on time.”
Has it come to this? Do we praise our vendors for doing what they say they’ll do? Again, more specifics would make this interesting.
A good testimonial from the same landscaper – “When a tree came down during Hurricane Irene and hit my house I tried calling all the tree services in town, but no one could get to me until next week. ABC calmed me down over the phone and arrived in about a hour and a half with an army of chainsaws cut down the thick branch and carted away all the debris! It doesn’t even look like a major branch ever fell down. I am extremely grateful to ABC and amazed at their speedy service and compassion. I am now a customer for life!”
A worst-nightmare story that people can visualize and relate to.
Home Organizer – “A special project was my “office” which she transformed from old papers on the floor, a desk you could not see and random storage to a thing of beauty with organized files, temporary holding bins (for current projects) and an efficient gift wrapping storage unit.”
Everyone worries their space is irredeemable, this example paints a picture of an unproductive cluttered space transformed into an efficient, happy place.
So what makes a good testimonial?
Stories – Connect with your reader through a before and after story. Even if the details don’t apply, prospects can envision their own situation through another person’s experience.
Specifics – Many testimonials are so generic they could be patched onto any website, for any service. “Great job – so efficient” is meaningless. What wasn’t working before, and what did you do to solve the problem?
Uniqueness – The landscapers above did something others didn’t do – what do you do that stands you apart, and that your clients appreciate?
Names – Tom Jones is better than Tom, which is better than no-name.
Look, I know clients won’t hand over perfect testimonials, and it’s unfair to ask them to spend an afternoon crafting something perfect. But – a quick phone interview about their experience is great follow-up, and can help focus them on what they liked about you specifically.
If you’d like a website analysis, I’m offering a 50% discount through the Summer. I use a 21-point system, and go through all elements of your site, including content, design, and SEO (search-engine optimization). Normally $99, I’m doing these for $50 through August. You’ll get a written summary, and a follow-up call to discuss easy, low-cost ways to improve your site. Email me directly at Stacey@FocusCopywriter.com, and please put Website Analysis – Summer in the subject heading.
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