If you haven’t yet cottoned on to the power of customer testimonials, and their ability to drive your business, then you’re really missing out.

Perhaps you aren’t convinced that reviews of your goods or services from previous customers are of particular value – but if this is the case, you really couldn’t be more wrong.

Several studies confirm that a website which features reviews from existing customers generates almost 20% more sales than one which doesn’t.  And that’s a potential 20% more sales that don’t require any great financial outlay on your part, making it a win-win situation.

Still not convinced?  Then consider another research study conducted by WikiJob – the site measured the performance of one website page which featured customer reviews, and compared it with another version of the page without them.  The results were quite startling, showing that the page which included positive reviews achieved over 30% more conversions! Translate that into sales, and it’s clear to see that this is an extremely effective marketing tool.

Meanwhile, another survey indicated that over 85% of respondents trust online testimonials as much as they would trust personal recommendations from friends and colleagues.

Amazon have customer reviews down to a fine art.  If you’ve ever bought something from the site – and who hasn’t? – then you’ll be familiar with the procedure.  You browse the website looking at the products which interest you, and then you’ll almost certainly read what previous customers have to say.  Whether the reviews are glowing or savage, you’re bound to be influenced by the opinions of the majority.

Once you’ve made your purchase, you’ll receive a follow-up email within the next few days, asking you to review your experience.  The choice is yours whether or not you choose to respond, but the point is, your opinions are actively sought out.

Nowadays everyone is a critic, and it’s clear that people in general just love to report back on their experiences.  The plethora of online review websites, such as TripAdvisor, Feefo and Trustpilot show just how much of an industry has been built around the human need to reach out to others with advice and endorsements.

So if you currently believe that your interaction with a customer ends as soon as they have made a purchase, you could be missing out on one of your most effective marketing tools.

You don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds on garnering customer testimonials either, so its an extremely cost-effective method of attracting new business.  An automated email sent around a week after the goods have been received can provide a link to a feedback form.  Why not offer respondents a discount off their next purchase with you, in exchange for a testimonial?  Everyone loves a freebie or money off a purchase, so this an be a great way of building up a solid bank of positive reviews.

Alternatively, you could create a link to a customer satisfaction survey, which allows your customers to report back on their experience of shopping at your online store.  This is also a great way of finding out exactly what visitors like about you site, and also ways in which you can improve their shopping experience.

It takes very little time to set up a system for harvesting the recommendations of satisfied customers, so if you’re not already building up a solid bank of customer testimonials, then now is the time to start.