Collecting testimonials is the best way to influence customer purchasing decisions. To go a step further, video testimonials are are far more convincing. In fact, 64% of website visitors are more likely to purchase a product at an online retail site after watching a video (ComScore). The problem is, how do you get customers to submit video testimonials? There are a few different psychological tricks you can use to your advantage.

Here are 4 Principles of Persuasion to Use to Collect More Video Testimonials

Tip #1: Give a Testimonial, Get a Testimonial

If a friend invites you to their party, chances are, you’re going to invite them to your party in the future. This is because as humans, we feel obliged to reciprocate after receiving something. Before asking a customer for a testimonial, give them a testimonial or something similar first. If you’re a B2B company, take some time to record a 30 – 60 second video reviewing the given brand. Giving a testimonial before asking for one employs the persuasion principle of reciprocity.

Reciprocity is the principle of people feeling obliged to give back to others in the form of a behavior, gift or service that they have received first. However, in order for this to work, the behavior, gift or service must be unexpected and personalized. The principle of reciprocity also works for B2C companies, although instead of giving a testimonial you can opt to give a gift.

Tip #2: The Question to Ask Before Requesting a Testimonial

Before asking customers to submit a video testimonial, get a feel for their attitude towards your brand. Simply email them a survey asking them “on a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend?” This stems from the concept of Net Promoter Scores, which aims to measure the customer experience and predict business growth. Customers rate the business, and their answer plops them into one of three categories: detractor, passive or promoter. Detractors are those who dislike your brand, passives like your brand and promoters love your brand and will be willing to tell others about it. This gets the customer thinking about your brand, and if they answer above a 7, they are more likely to agree to submitting a video testimonial later on. If the customer answers below a 7, have a follow up question ready such as: How can we improve?

Continue fostering a strong relationship to secure a great testimonial down the road. By fronting your customer with a question regarding their attitude towards your brand, you are exercising the persuasion principle of consistency. The principle states that people like being consistent with the things they have previously said or done. You activate this psychological trigger by asking for small initial commitments, such as a NPS survey. If people gave you a high rating, they’re more likely to speak about your company highly in the future and agree to submitting a testimonial.

Tip #3: Do Your Customers Like You?

There are three main factors that people use when determining whether or not they like someone: if they are similar, if the person pays them genuine compliments and if they are both working toward a mutual goal together. To foster a deeper connection with your customer, be sure to personalize all communications. Be easily accessible on social media to further “humanize” your brand and make sure to respond to all comments. Pay your customer compliments with actions such as leaving video testimonials for their business, interacting with them on social media and pointing out what you like about their brand.

You and your customers are both working towards a mutual goal together. Your business wants to solve one of their problems, and by providing the best possible product or service – you’re holding up your end of the deal. Make sure your customers keep their love for your brand top of mind realizes by highlighting these elements. Make the similarities obvious, pay your customers compliments often and always make them feel as if you’re in this together as a team. This will make them more willing to provide you with a glowing testimonial. All of these tips tie into the principle of liking. This persuasion principle revolves around the idea that people are more likely to say “yes” to those whom they like.

Tip #4: Establish your Authority

People are more likely to respond positively when you request a testimonial if they respect you as an authoritative figure in your industry. There are a few different factors that increase your authority. First, your background and time in the industry. People are more willing to trust a company that’s been around for 10 years than a company that started six months ago. Secondly, your network is vastly important. The more connections you make within your industry, the further you reach as an authority figure extends. Making connections with the press is never a bad idea either – the more good publicity you get, the more established your business becomes. An easier way to build authority is to get licenses and certifications to post on your website. If you’re apart of any associations, if you have any partners, or sponsors, be sure to add those to your website as well.

By building up a sense of credibility around your business, people are more likely to submit great video testimonials. It will make them feel as if they’re making a contribution to a worthy company, which in turn, could benefit their company as well. Keep in mind that building authority takes some time. As mentioned before, a key trust factor for users is longevity in the industry. You’re more likely to get a response from someone who has worked with you for a long time than someone who was recently introduced to your business. Go after your longest standing customers when you begin requesting testimonials. Those that have some history with you probably have a great deal to say and will be the most willing to do it.

Collecting a feed of glowing customer testimonials will help you close new sales in the future. Connecting with your customers so that they’ll feel comfortable and willing to submit a testimonial doesn’t have to be tricky. Use these key principles of persuasion to overcome the obstacle of collecting testimonials and you’ll be well on your way to having a plethora of optimistic testimonials available on your website for future customers.

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Posted in: Conversion Optimization, Social Proof, Testimonials