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Writing Effective and Helpful Testimonials for Small Businesses

July 9th 2024

Writing Effective and Helpful Testimonials for Small Businesses

Testimonials are more than just kind words—they're powerful tools that can influence potential customers and build trust in a brand. They’re among the best ways to support a small business you love or to provide constructive feedback if you've had a disappointing experience. Whether you're a satisfied customer wanting to share your positive experience or a disappointed customer who wants to share feedback, understanding how to craft an effective testimonial is crucial. This guide will help you write testimonials that are not only impactful but also genuine and helpful.

Why Testimonials Matter

Testimonials show that others have had a good experience, which can encourage new customers to trust and choose the same business. When people see positive reviews, they are more likely to believe that they will also have a positive experience. They can:

  • Build Trust: Potential customers are more likely to trust a business that has numerous positive testimonials.
  • Improve Credibility: Real-life experiences from satisfied customers add credibility to a business’s claims.
  • Influence Decisions: Well-written testimonials can be the deciding factor for someone considering a product or service.

Constructive negative testimonials also play an important role for businesses. In a world where fake positive testimonials can be purchased as a marketing strategy, well-written negative feedback can show others that a business is genuine. The way a business interacts with these testimonials, especially on platforms like Google Reviews, can help build a positive reputation for good customer service. Such feedback allows businesses to respond thoughtfully and address concerns, demonstrating their commitment to customer satisfaction and improvement.

Best Practices for Writing an Effective Testimonial

Although our examples in this section are positive testimonials, the same principles apply to negative testimonials. Writing an effective testimonial, whether positive or negative, involves being genuine, specific, and concise to provide valuable feedback.

  1. Be Genuine and Authentic
    Authenticity is key. Write your testimonial from the heart, sharing your honest experience. Avoid over-exaggeration and ensure that your feedback reflects your true feelings about the product or service.

    Instead of: "This is the best product ever and changed my life completely!"
    Try: "This product has significantly improved my daily routine by making tasks easier and more efficient."

  2. Be Specific and Detailed
    Specific details make your testimonial more believable and helpful. Mention particular aspects of the service or product that stood out to you and explain why.

    Instead of: "Great customer service."
    Try: "The customer service team was incredibly responsive and resolved my issue within 24 hours, ensuring I could continue my project without delays."

  3. Highlight Benefits and Results
    Focus on the benefits you received and the results you achieved from using the product or service. This helps potential customers understand the value they can expect.

    Instead of: "I love it."
    Try: "After using this software, my productivity increased by 20%, and I was able to complete projects more efficiently."

  4. Include Personal Information (With Permission)
    Including your name, job title, and company (if applicable) can add credibility to your testimonial. Ensure you have permission to share this information, especially if you're representing a company.

    Instead of: "A happy customer."
    Try: "Jane Doe, Marketing Manager at ABC Corp."

  5. Keep It Concise
    While detail is important, so is brevity. Aim for a few sentences to a short paragraph. This makes your testimonial easy to read and digest.

    "Using SilverServers’ hosting service has been a game-changer for our business. Their reliable uptime and excellent customer support have allowed us to focus on growth without worrying about technical issues. - Jane Doe, Marketing Manager at ABC Corp."

Tips for Crafting a Great Testimonial

  • Reflect on Your Experience: Think about the overall experience you had with the product or service. What stood out the most? What specific problem did it solve? How did it make your life easier or better? Reflecting on these questions can help you gather your thoughts before you start writing.
  • Be Honest: Honesty builds trust. Share your true feelings about the product or service, including any reservations you might have had and how they were addressed. Authentic testimonials resonate more with potential customers.
  • Use Clear and Simple Language: Write in a way that’s easy to understand. Avoid jargon or overly technical terms unless they are essential to the context of your testimonial. Simple and clear language ensures that your testimonial can be appreciated by a wider audience.
  • Think About the Audience: Consider who will be reading your testimonial. Potential customers want to know how the product or service can help them. Focus on the benefits and results that others might also experience. As tempting as it might be to write your testimonial to the business, do your best to write to other potential customers instead.
  • Proofread Your Testimonial: Take a moment to proofread your testimonial before submitting it. Check for spelling and grammar errors, and ensure that your message is clear and coherent. A well-written testimonial reflects positively on both you and the business.

Practice Writing Testimonials

If you're new to writing testimonials and want to build your confidence, consider honing your skills by reviewing well-known, highly reviewed restaurants or popular tourist attractions you’ve visited. These businesses typically receive a large volume of feedback, so your testimonial can be a valuable addition without carrying the pressure of being highly visible or impactful to the company’s ratings. This approach allows you to practice and improve your testimonial-writing skills in a low-stakes environment.

Example for a Popular Restaurant:
"The ambiance at [Restaurant] is incredible, and the food was served promptly. I especially loved the pasta primavera, which was fresh and flavorful. The staff was friendly and attentive, making the overall dining experience delightful."

Example for a Tourist Attraction:
"[Tourist Attraction] exceeded my expectations. The guided tour was informative and engaging, and the views were simply breathtaking. It’s a must-visit for anyone in the area."

What Platform To Use

If you’re unsure about which platform to use for sharing a testimonial, then the option that’s typically the most effective is Google. Google Reviews is one of the most influential platforms for testimonials. Since it’s integrated with Google Search and Google Maps, your testimonials are more likely to make a difference.

Some businesses tell you which options to use. Here’s a summarized list of which options might be best if they don't, and if Google Reviews isn’t available:

  • Business website: Many businesses have a testimonials section on their website.
  • Yelp: A great option for local businesses - particularly for popular attractions or restaurants.
  • Facebook: The best option for businesses that operate primarily on Facebook, and a good option for those with an active Facebook presence.
  • TripAdvisor: An influential option for travel and tourism-related businesses like wineries or theme parks.
  • Amazon and Other E-commerce Websites: These reviews help shoppers and build product credibility.
  • Industry-specific Review Platforms: Sites like Houzz target niche audiences.

Examples of Effective Testimonials

Here are a few examples to inspire you. These are generic and need specific details added, but they may work well as a template:

For a Software Product:
"After implementing [Software], our team's efficiency increased dramatically. The intuitive interface and robust features have streamlined our workflow, saving us countless hours each week. Highly recommend it!"

For a Service-Based Business:
"[Service Provider] exceeded our expectations. Their attention to detail and commitment to customer satisfaction were evident throughout our project. Thanks to their expertise, we achieved our goals on time and within budget."

For an E-commerce Product:
"I recently purchased [Product] and couldn’t be happier. The quality is exceptional, and it performs exactly as described. The fast shipping and excellent customer service were the icing on the cake."

Final Thoughts on Crafting Testimonials

Writing effective and helpful testimonials is a practiced art that requires authenticity, specificity, and clarity. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can craft testimonials that are impactful and genuine, providing valuable insights for potential customers and feedback for the business you’re giving the testimonial to. Remember, your testimonial not only helps the business but also guides others in making informed decisions.

We're writing a series of articles about testimonials in the SEO and Marketing section of our blog. Visit to find more tips for businesses and for customers. You'll find topics including:

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