Transparency has become a vital core value for each company. This is especially important for web or e-commerce businesses mostly because the potential customers do not have a physical contact with the company’s staff nor products.
The companies that will manage to provide and maintain their transparency, truthfulness, and authenticity will win big in the digital world.
But how a company can provide transparency?
There are a lot of ways how web-based businesses publicly expose their closed-doors activities. Starting from publicly announcing their product roadmaps, staff salaries, financial documents or publishing open letters to unsatisfied customers.
But, we can all agree that when a customer comes to a website will not always see these type of activities. Instead, they will probably check their latest posts on social media, read comments or testimonials from previous customers.
And showing some boxes of text with a customer stock photo on your website is just too 2000’s and it will never work again.
One of the most effective methods to provide transparency is to showcase real case studies, testimonials or social proof of the actual use and previous experiences of your products/service. Having a transparent social media policy is just a must. It is no longer an option to just delete negative reviews. Responding with an action to solve the customer problem must be a regular procedure in every company’s operations.
Furthermore, the testimonials you will provide on your website must reflect the real customers, and in many cases to give a choice for the potential customer to find also some unsatisfied experiences.
That is why in this article we will outline one of the most innovative ways to provide transparency, trust, and proof through actively maintaining testimonials webpages.
Please note that the most valued benefit of the testimonials is their direct impact on the speed in making purchasing decisions. Our study showed a 12% lift of booking rates in only 4 weeks after the company placed Facebook reviews on their website.
Having that said, let’s get some inspiration and see a few examples:
1. Casper Mattress Shows 1-star Reviews
Let’s break down how the famous mattress company Casper is using the customer testimonials page or as they call it Reviews page to provide trust for their website visitors.
Dedicated Top Reviews Menu – They have emphasized the importance of the reviews and place it at the top header navbar in order to make it visible for visitors to immediately find their customers’ testimonials
An inline Call To Action button – placing a call to action button in the middle of the reviews page makes a total sense, as it shows that this company has probably tested and realized that a big percentage of the potential customers will make an action to place an order once they read positive experiences.
Testimonials categories – As you can see Casper is providing reviews based on a specific category which represent a potential benefit of their product. This means that if people value the most some of the categories they can easily find previous customers’ testimonials.
Showing negative reviews – Additionally, the reviews page has a link that drives people to a dedicated page for ALL reviews that are in the specific category. In this page, the company displays extremely valuable information regarding the reviews, such as Number of reviews and also filters by stars so people can have a chance to also read the negative reviews.
I will definitely note, that this is one of the rare companies that display so many of their reviews on the website and at the same time provide also the 1,2, or 3-star reviews.
Although the reviews are mostly negative with 1 star, still the willingness to show the reviews from unsatisfied customers make the company very legit, gives trustworthiness and proves that it is simply not possible to fulfill every single customer issues. But always try to make it better.
And last but not least, Casper also provides an information on how the review was collected.
Just WOW! A transparency at it’s best.
As you can see Jen wrote a great 5-star review, but Casper is saying that This user received a sweepstakes entry for writing a review, an information that might change your perspective when you read her review. An information that this company thinks that you should know about. Bravo Casper!
Check out Casper’s Testimonials Page for more inspiration.
2. Basecamp Explains Features with Reviews
Basecamp has one of my favorite UI layouts, mostly because is extremely simple and has a very straightforward user experience.
When it comes to showcasing customer experience with their platform, they represent them in a very creative way.
Testimonials as features text – Basecamp is using their customer testimonials in order to describe their software features. This is just a great idea. When you use your customer words to explain the benefits of the features you provide it makes a very good copyrighting material that closely resonates with your target audience.
Cool ‘Testimonials’ menu label – Instead of Testimonials or Reviews, they use Real results in the menu that actually represents the page where are listed their customer testimonials. This text is very interesting and I believe that they’ve tested a variety of label texts before they came up with the most clickable one.
Highlighters for the best quotes – this actually is handy for reading the reviews. They have highlighted the best words and sentences that their customer wrote, and are making the reviews page more interesting and quick to read.
Check out BaseCamp’s Testimonials Page.
3. FitBit’s Unconventional Reviews Page
Links to relevant articles – The famous wearable brand has made an interesting approach to showcase reviews about their products from a variety of sources. They are selling tech products and the most common approach is to provide reviews from tech writer or experienced bloggers who will publicly write about their experience with the product. Please note that most of these publications such as Engadget, The Verge, PC Mag are very familiar to their audience and have a strong reputation in the community. Do not use this approach to pay bloggers to publish your own PR-review text and just ‘fake’ a staged press. This is not how transparency works.
Ambassadors program – This section is very powerful. Fitbit has managed to make products that are just amazing to use and are approved by people with great authority in their fields. The ambassadors’ program features experiences from famous athletes who tell their story in an interview format with details about why they love the product. For example, here is what Jens Voigt a former professional cyclist wrote about FitBit:
Why do you love Fitbit? As I mentioned, I want to stay fit now that my professional career is over, and my Fitbit Ionic is the perfect tool to help me do that. I wear my Fitbit Ionic all the time—it measures my heart rate, counts my steps, and maps my runs. It seamlessly syncs with my computer, and I can connect with my Strava account and share my run experiences, too. I like that it’s easy to use and basically idiot-proof, which is always my weakness with technology. My Fitbit Ionic is a robust piece of technology, and it looks pretty slick and smart on my arm.
Not staged photos of celebrities wearing Fitbit – When your favorite celebrity uses a product that you are considering to purchase, you will not ever look elsewhere. Especially when this proof appears not planned or in any sense staged or sponsored by the company. Celebrity endorsements are still a thing, but when a celebrity appears that wears a product because they like it, it’s just a gold for attracting their followers in wanting your product. In the example below, you can see that they are showing a spontaneous photo of the famous actress Nina Dobrev with the caption: Nina Dobrev spotted wearing her Fitbit Alta in Santa Monica.
Check out FitBit’s Reviews Page.
4. Ritual Provides Doctor’s Email
Ritual is a company that produces multivitamins for women with the most transparent ingredient list.
We’ve all seen landing pages that promise us a ‘7-day weight loss’, ‘3 steps get younger programs’, or ‘grow hair secret formulas. It’s 2018 and we are all aware that these ‘too good to be’ programs are most probably a scam.
In order to make such a brand legit and just stand out in the ‘untrustworthy’ supplement industry, your reviews, claims and customer experiences must evolve and be REAL.
Ritual is actually trying to do this – provide a unique approach to gain web visitors’ trust. Here are some of the things that they are showcasing:
Direct contact with a doctor – something that is very specific for this type of website and product. You often see expert advice and a video for health products, but for some weird reason, these ‘doctor’s approved’ products most of the time don’t work.
So why Ritual’s doctor page is different?
Well, you can actually reach out to this person and ask for his help. They have the doctor’s email right in the FAQ section so just click on it and send him an email.
But can this approach be improved?
In my opinion, the direct contact to the person is great, but I think that instead of an email such as email@example.com, they should include ‘normal person’s’ email such as firstname.lastname@example.org that will not seem automated or managed by some intern.
Also, in the era of a social media, maybe the company should include direct social media links to the doctor or just direct Messenger or Chat room link so a person can talk with the doctor directly.
Video testimonials – again very common practice for this type of products. The published videos are professionally done and each of the customers’ has a relevant occupation, such as a fitness trainer, who gives greater credibility of the website. But, I must say that these videos would be more appealing to the common people if they were pre-generated from Instagram or Facebook profiles, posted publicly by these customers.
Check out the Ritual Testimonials Page
5. HashChing shows reviews from REAL Facebook users
HashChing is Australia’s first online marketplace for home loans. This is a very specific industry and customer reviews, transparency and trust are of an extreme importance when it comes to acquisition of new customers.
Here are 3 things that they are doing on their website:
Show relevant business data – Data never lies and companies that are winning in their markets are always in a great position to provide trust by showing their success metrics. HashChing is doing this by dedicating a core segment of the homepage to provide transparency and relevancy by emphasizing their success statistics. If you know that a service has 40809 users, it will definitely help you make your decision very fast. And to make this space more interactive, they have also included a video testimonial by one of their users.
Sync reviews from social media – With the help from EmbedReviews, HashChing syncs in real time with their Facebook page to generate and display reviews from REAL Facebook users. It is of a great importance to show potential customers how you’ve got this review and with the EmbedReviews functionality, they can easily authenticate that it was pre-generated from an actual person on Facebook who shared the reviews publicly.
Check out HashChing testimonials page.
As a summary from these analyzed innovative testimonials pages, here is a list of 10 things you can re-use right now, to enhance trust, transparency and boost conversions on your website.
- Show social media reviews and feedback from REAL people
- Create and show videos with your customers
- Make interviews with famous people in your industry
- Reach out to bloggers or journalists to review your product
- Hire an industry expert to handle customer questions (for delicate products such as health or children)
- Send samples to celebrities that might love your product
- Display the negative reviews, too
- Collect and display as much as possible reviews from all your web account
- Show your business results, number of users and similar.
- Use customer quotes to describe features about your product
Hope this article will help you and your company to use more creative approaches that will re-alive your website to sincerely speak to your prospects.
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