In B2B marketing, customer testimonials are vital for winning business. Prospects need proof that real customers achieved results from your products and services. In other words, they want to make sure you’re worth it.
But here’s the thing: Just because you have testimonials, doesn’t mean you should use them. The key is to be selective. They should be compelling and specific about your products and services. Prospects want to be inspired by your results. If you don’t “wow” them right out of the gate, they’ll be leery of working with you.
How do customer testimonials benefit my business in B2B marketing?
Prospects don’t want to take on more risk than necessary. As a result, they crave trust. Merkle’s 2023 Superpowers Index underscores this point. B2B buyers ranked feeling “safe” in signing a contract as the No. 1 factor for a brand’s success. Buyers who trust brands are more likely to consider new products and services. Moreover, they’ll recommend the companies to others.
Buyers want to hear from your customers when they’re making purchase decisions. Strong customer testimonials show that you deliver on your promises. Amplify your brand and your credibility by using them in places, including your:
- Landing pages
- Case studies
- Email marketing
- Social channels
- Pitch decks
What makes customer testimonials compelling?
The best testimonials highlight how your products or services solved specific problems. They speak to customers’ pain points, your solutions and the results. When you’re getting testimonials from your customers, ask for hard numbers. Example include:
- Dollars saved
- Money made
- Percentages improved
- Time saved
When should I ask my customers for testimonials?
Many occasions are ideal times to ask your customers to provide testimonials. Check with them when you:
- Complete projects successfully. Do this when the positive experiences and outcomes are fresh in their minds.
- Receive feedback that your products or services helped them achieve their goals.
- Go above and beyond to help them solve problems.
- Get emails or other messages that thank you for your excellent service or express appreciation for your help.
- Work with long-term customers who are loyal brand advocates. They’re engaged with your business and are usually willing to provide enthusiastic testimonials.
What questions should I ask my customers when I’m gathering testimonials?
The questions you ask your customers will depend on the circumstances and the deliverables. You can use the questions below as a guide. Adjust them to suit your specific situation:
- What was your experience working with [COMPANY] on the [PROJECT]?
- What problem(s) were you looking to solve by choosing [COMPANY’s] [PRODUCT/SERVICE]? How has [COMPANY’s] [PRODUCT/SERVICE] helped you solve this problem?
- If someone called you and said, “Why should I do business with [COMPANY],” how would you respond?
- Did [COMPANY] go above and beyond to help you? If so, in what ways (if not mentioned already)?
How should I ask for customer testimonials?
The easiest way to ask for customer testimonials in B2B marketing is by email. When asking, ensure the process is simple and quick. Provide clear instructions, so they’ll know what to expect.
Here’s an example of an email that asks for a testimonial:
I’m so glad to hear about your success with our new project management software. Would you be comfortable answering a couple of questions about your experience for a testimonial? We’d like to use it on our website and in other marketing assets. It’ll take just a few minutes.
I’ll send you the testimonial for your review before we publish it. You’ll be able to modify it as you see fit.
If you’re open to this, I’d greatly appreciate it. If so, please share your thoughts about the following:
[INSERT BRIEF QUESTIONS]
Keep in mind that you may need to follow up to get a response. Everyone is busier than ever. Don’t give up if you don’t hear back after the first email. It might take a quick phone call to get the job done. Whether you follow up via email or phone, be polite and succinct. Move on if the customer doesn’t respond after the initial ask and one follow-up.
After customers provide testimonials, be sure to thank them. You could do this over email. But a classier response is to send handwritten notes. It will impress your customers and help you build rapport with them because you made the extra effort.
Best practices for customer testimonials in B2B marketing
- Attribute testimonials with customers’ names, titles and companies. Anonymous testimonials aren’t credible. As a result, prospects don’t trust them. Note: If you’re in a regulated industry, such as financial services, you might not be able to identify customers. Follow your industry-specific regulations and guidelines to be sure you’re in compliance.
- Keep testimonials short. Two to three sentences is ideal. Extract the best parts of your customers’ responses from your emailed questions to create compelling quotes.
- Avoid vague, lackluster testimonials. Statements like, “You met our expectations,” or “The team was great to work with” do your marketing more harm than good.
- Highlight measurable results. Emphasize positive outcomes with relevant statistics or performance metrics.
- Don’t name team members. Use quotes that praise your business rather than specific people.
- Aim for quality. Just because you have 25 testimonials doesn’t mean you should use them all. Select the strongest ones and omit the rest. As you get new testimonials, you can continue culling.
- Allow ample time for the process. Customers might have to get approval from their marketing and/or legal departments before they can provide testimonials. This is a common practice at large companies.
4 excellent customer testimonial examples
Here are four great testimonial examples that businesses are using in B2B marketing and what you can learn from each:
Gartner’s client success stories feature prominent testimonials, such as these:
Why these work:
- They come from top decision-makers, which boosts trust. When the C-suite praises a company, prospective customers pay attention.
- The executives highlighted specific benefits from Gartner’s consulting services.
- The graphic treatment and bold text stand out on each case study page.
- Each testimonial appears under a list of Gartner’s results, serving as proof points for the company’s services.
Testimonials should highlight challenges and problems that your company solved. Focus on the benefits that customers get from your products and services. Similarly, showcase customer outcomes and include quantitative ROI.
Cisco humanizes its brand by using video and written testimonials on its website. Prospects can see and hear customers discussing their experiences with the company:
Why this works:
- Video testimonials help create a more emotional connection between potential customers and your brand.
- Buyers appreciate the authenticity of your customers sharing their positive experiences using your products and services. As a result, videos increase trust in your business.
- Cisco stands out from the competition by including infographics and other supporting visuals.
If you’re relying solely on written testimonials, you may be overlooking a vital audience. Why? Video is the most popular content format, with 53% of buyers preferring video over any other type of content, according to HubSpot. Moreover, video testimonials are ideal for sharing across social media platforms, improving your brand’s visibility and organic SEO.
Kissmetrics takes the unique approach of showcasing customer testimonials on its homepage as well as its product, pricing and customer stories pages:
The company takes it to the next level on the customer stories page by featuring additional testimonials in an eye-catching design:
Why these work:
- Pictures are powerful and help convert prospects into customers.
- Placing the quotes on multiple pages helps to ensure prospects see them. Anchoring them next to known and “trusted” review sites and scores reinforces their validity.
- Using a full-page treatment on the customer success page grabs attention. And it provides additional social proof.
Check your website analytics to see which pages attract the most visitors. These are ideal places for your customer testimonials.
This testimonial from WeWork demonstrates the potential of social media for brand reach and growth:
Why this works:
- The testimonial is in the customer’s words for the ultimate in authenticity.
- The photo helps call attention to the testimonial, which attracts more eyes.
- It features a succinct story that’s real and relatable.
Interact with prospective and current customers on your social media channels. You’ll be able to form personal connections, drive traffic to your website and build brand awareness.
Use testimonials to your advantage in B2B marketing
Testimonials from happy customers give prospects a complete picture of what your business can do for them. Prospects can feel confident they’re making smart choices by choosing your products and services. Be sure to make the most of this opportunity. In doing so, you’ll create a competitive advantage for your business.