How to Acquire Awesome Customer Reviews & Testimonials

Posted by admin on April 27, 2017

The way we shop forever changed when ecommerce exploded via the internet and delivery services streamlined. How customers respond to the shopping experience and how they think and feel about brands is as important as ever – in fact, with so much online competition, customer approval and advocacy has become essential.

Why testimonials have their place

Think about the process you go through when you shop. When you’re in the market for an item you’ve never bought before or a replacement product, what is the first step?

Research is often the biggest challenge, and one of the most influential parts of research is finding out what people other people think. It’s the hindsight you often wish for, made possible by an item or brand’s previous customer reviews.

63% of users indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has ratings and reviews. (Bazaarvoice)

Amazon uses the shopper review system to the full. We all know what a five star rating is, and are persuaded by it when we shop.


Asking for product reviews is simple and the more prevalent they become, the more customers will begin to provide feedback as a normal part of the online transaction.

Incorporating testimonials into your ecommerce site

Including a testimonials page on your site is a surefire way to show you have third party advocacy for your brand. But acquiring authentic reviews can be tricky and deciding where to place them needs consideration.  

Some businesses choose to dedicate and entire page to communicating their customer’s experiences. The testimonials page on Antropy is a good example of how this can be used effectively to organise and promote partnerships and feedback. It’s a simple page, but every testimonial mentions the location of the client, giving good geographical information about the brand that helps with SEO.

Featuring testimonials at the bottom of your homepage or product pages is a popular alternative. Designs that feature snippets of customer feedback in the middle or toward the end of a page reinforce the credibility and quality of the brand, and this resonates nicely when the user leaves the site.

The testimonials page from accounting platform Xero uses a two-pronged strategy. The site features a testimonial section at the bottom of the home page, which leads to more stories from customers they’ve interviewed on a dedicated testimonial page. Very powerful.



How to engage with customers to acquire testimonials

Use social media comments

An often overlooked goldmine for client testimonials is Twitter comments, LinkedIn recommendations and Facebook reviews — even Instagram likes and YouTube shares can be considered customer approval and they certainly help.

Complimentary tweets are great because they are authentic and they’re an easy way to get everything you need: the testimonial, a headshot and a recent date.

Asking happy customers to share their thoughts on social media is one way of promoting yourself via testimony indirectly, but only do this if you’re absolutely sure they had a very good experience. Receiving bad press on social media is undesirable, but if it does happen, be sure to respond. People can be converted.

Integrate review apps into your online store

Many online store providers now allow you to integrate review plug-ins and apps to your store to automate the review request process. This way you’re asking for feedback from every customer without bias — a great way to stay on top of your game and address any issues as they arise.

Send email campaigns

Use email automation to follow-up on sales and find out how customers rate the experience. Use a survey tool like Surveymonkey or Typeform to collate responses and always ask if the person is happy for you to use their comments on your site.

Be helpful and include a picture of the item that was purchased and inquire how the delivery service was. Customer service is integral to achieving positive testimonials, and reaching out with the right questions is all part of providing it.

Host or attend events

Hosting, sponsoring or attending industry events is a great way to get a lot of customer feedback in a short period. Create feedback forms or cards ahead of time, either digitally or in print, and ask people to fill them in at the event. Offer something to entice people to provide their feedback, like a voucher or prize. Not only will this give you feedback, but you can ask for permission to use the comments at the same time.

Always be authentic

When publishing a testimonial, it’s good practice to incorporate the customer's name, a headshot, and their website or location if possible. This gives them ownership and shows your viewers they aren’t a made-up person.

Avoid using stock images for testimonials, as it will discredit the person’s declaration and make it look like you’re inventing things, which reflects poorly on your brand.

It’s sometimes difficult to make even the most authentic feedback sound genuine. If you’re finding it difficult, try conducting a Q&A with the person and include a longer testimonial that touches on specific things they liked about the product or service. This will help to legitimise the positive comments.

You’re asking personal feedback — so be personal

When asking for someone to comment on your product and service, you’re asking for their time, and you’re asking them to make their comments public. Allow customers to experience the product before you ask for a review, so you’re enabling genuine feedback and respecting the process.

This is a personal request and should be treated as such. Address the customer by name and be honest about what you’re asking for and the intentions behind the request.

Testimonials have many advantages for SERP rankings, PR, marketing and social media. When acquiring feedback from people, be sensitive to their time and appreciative that they’ve given it to you. You’re asking for this information to attract new customers and retain loyalty. Give the best customer service you can with every communication, including when you ask for feedback, and always thank the individual for providing testimonials or interviews.

patrick-foster.jpgPatrick Foster: Ecommerce Entrepreneur, Coach & Writer

I am an ecommerce geek with a passion for end-to-end marketing.  I write across a number of ecommerce and entrepreneur sites and enjoy helping SMEs with strategy.

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