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Website Testimonials: Great Sales Agents or Cheesy Annoyance

August 11, 2009 - Mumbai.

When done right, testimonials can convince guests of the quality of your hotel’s rooms, services and location. They can persuade hesitant guests to take the final step ‘book’. When done wrong i.e. too clichéd and insincere, they can damage your reputation and cause visitors to run in the other direction. When crafting your guest’s testimonials for your hotel website, here are 3 few tips to prevent you from harming instead of help:

Be sincere. No one likes a fake
Never doubt your potential guest’s intelligence! They know when a testimonial is faked. Take the effort to ask guest for feedback or request them to send in a testimonial. You may need to correct the English or re-structure a sentence or two but that it is better than writing a fake, gush unbelievable testimonial.

Details Matter. Details connect visitor to guest
A testimonial that just has initials or the guest’s first name comes of as insincere and fake. When requesting the guest for a testimonial also asks permission to use the guest’s name, profession and location in the testimonial. By adding this information, you add value to the testimonial, as visitors no longer doubt the testimonials authenticity.

Credible, Believable & Readable
Would a customer really write a page long testimonial? Would a visitor really read a page long testimonial or just read the first two lines and change the page? Don’t take the two-line testimonial that your guest has written and transform it into a page long gushing review. You will put off visitors and make them doubt the sincerity and authenticity not only of the testimonial but also of your hotel and the services.

Here are two examples of testimonials, you judge which one is more believe:



If you compare the two testimonials, you will notice that the basic content is the same. However, the second testimonial is more believable than the first. What makes the first testimonial unrealistic for two basic reasons – first, the guest is a random unidentifiable person and second, the testimonial gushes praises about the hotel without substantiating what makes the hotel so great. The second testimonial indicates what the guest likes about the hotel and it clearly identifies who the guest is, where he is from and what he does. All of these small details add value to the testimonial and helps convert the visitor into a guest.

To summarize, if you plan to or are using testimonials to enhance your hotel’s value and boost your conversion rate, make sure every testimonial posted on your hotel website is credible, endorses the key benefits of your hotel, substantiates your claims and clearly identifies the guest, thus making it easier for future guests to relate.

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