The vast majority of customers would trust a recommendation from a friend regarding a product we were considering buying. A lower but still significant majority of them would also trust recommendations of a third party. It makes sense to highlight what previous purchasers thought of your products.
Testimonials are an unerused resource that is just asking to be exploited. There are some dangers to the process but overall it takes little effort or investment in time to use them. Some pointers:
1/ Be honest. Do not invent a testimonial. It is probably illegal and surprisingly easy to identify. Once you lose the trust of a potential customer, you lose the customer.
2/ Use their own words. To sound genuine it should be genuine and nothing sounds more false than jargon or, unfortunately, perfect grammar in all posts.
3/ Don’t be afraid to edit. Whilst this might seem as a direct contradiction to 2/ above, many submissions contain waffle. Include selections but have a link to the full comment.
4/ Avoid being ambiguous. Phrases such as ‘A classic of its kind’ or ‘I could not find a better product’ are open to interpretation and, more likely, misinterpretation. If such comments are qualified in the submission, then ensure the full text is included.
5/ Spelling matters. Whether to correct the spelling of submissions is a difficult decision. If you leave it as it came and include the name of the originator, then they might well become embarrassed by an error. Don’t use [sic] unless you want to appear patronising.
6/ Allow them to specify what they feel were the most important aspects. If you have spent a fortune on big names for your seminars and an attendee reckons the they found the interface with others during the break very useful, then use it. Praise is praise.
7/ If someone says your product gives out the lowest noise of any, then unless there is independent research to support this claim add a disclaimer.
8/ Include criticism, if mild. If you have corrected the problem, then put that as a footnote, with thanks for pointing it out.
9/ Only publish with permission.
10/ Include the comments on marketing emails, websites and landing pages.