Testimonials – Expectation Vs Reality

Testimonials are a great way to add credibility to your business but they are not the only way. Remember that people can be sceptical and if you have hundreds of over the top reviews they may look fake – even if they are genuine.

How do you establish credibility for your small business? Perhaps you do one or any number of the following:

  • Have a professional up to date website
  • Deliver great customer service
  • Have your contact information easy to access
  • Share reviews, recommendations and testimonials
  • Show security badges
  • Share press or features you have had
  • Display and share awards
  • Give and receive guest posts
  • Celebrity endorsements
  • Easy to read information
  • Ease of navigation
  • Staff and founder bios with images
  • Up to date pricing
  • If you are e-commerce, a secure checkout process

For this blog, let’s just look at Reviews, Recommendations & Testimonials.

Perhaps you have hundreds of testimonials or you may only have 1. Either way, you want them all to be the best they can be.

According to big commerce, 92% of consumers read testimonials before going ahead with a purchase.


Testimonial – a formal statement testifying to someone’s character and qualifications.

Review – a critical appraisal of a book, play, film, etc. published in a newspaper or magazine.

Recommendation – a suggestion or proposal as to the best course of action, especially one put forward by an authoritative body.

You may have noticed that Facebook reviews are now Facebook recommendations!


The Reality

Most of the time unless you ask for a testimonial, review or recommendation you are unlikely to get one. People who are happy don’t always take the time to tell anyone about it – shocking I know!

Think about your own purchases, do you make the effort to leave a testimonial, review or recommendation every time?

Therefore – every small business should make an effort to ask EVERY client for a testimonial. This way you have a chance of getting more and more testimonials as some will do it and some won’t.

The Expectation

What will the testimonial, review or recommendation be like? Will the customer take the time to write a thoughtful note about your business. Will they add their name and photo to it?

It is all a mystery until you receive that notification from social media or Google to say, “You have a new testimonial, review or recommendation”.

What do you do then it the review is less than ideal?

Showcase Testimonials

Having a procedure that asks your clients for a testimonial in a specific way will ensure that you get more testimonials. How amazing does it look when you see a well thought out testimonial that includes the image of the person, their name and business?

What about when you see a video testimonial – now this person has really gone to a lot of effort haven’t they.

So, if you already have a few testimonials to choose from – pick the best and showcase them.

Why not go as far as to have a landing page dedicated to testimonials.

Add them to your products and services so that people can see other happy people.

Make it easy

Here is a simple email template you can use:

Hi Fred,

Thanks for your time on (date). It was so great to be able to work with you on (task) and complete it on time. Would you have a spare few minutes to provide me with some feedback on your experience us (you and company)?

Follow this link – and leave your testimonial (choose Google or Facebook or your website if you have a form)

Many thanks in advance and let me know if you have any questions.

Simple huh – Make it your own and start sending them out!

What to do about bad reviews

Always contact the individual and see if you can fix the situation and they can then adjust their review.

If it is a spam review, contact the platform to request removal. This can be difficult sometimes but customers are savvy and realise when a review is deliberately malicious.


Testimonials can be hard to get and hard to give but they do make a difference to both small business and their clients. So, if you have a moment provide a well thought out testimonial to a business you have bought from, they will be very thankful you did. Plus let them know they can use your image, name and business if applicable.

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