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Website Testimonials: The Ambassador of Goodwill

March 20, 2009 - Mumbai.

In the Hotel Industry, what a customer thinks about your hotel and its services is a very important aspect of your business. Almost every website can benefit from a generous supply of Testimonials. Testimonials are comments of customers or clients that talk about your work ethic, product usage, reliability, timeliness, etc. It almost works like a popularity poll, where people read the testimonials written by your customers and make their judgement accordingly. To have a section of testimonials in your hotel website, and having your clients, guests, and customers to write what they think of your hotel and its services can boost your image to a great extent and encourage goodwill in the market.

Testimonials are important because they can help build trust in your potential customers. They can help to establish credibility especially if you are new in the industry. People tend to be less hesitant about booking a room in at a new or unfamiliar hotel when they read positive feedback from previous guests. To make matters simple, we can say that a testimonial turns a certain customer, who tried a product or service, into a witness of its good or poor qualities. When done right, testimonials can be a strong supporter in establishing the credibility of your website, but when done wrong, they can actually do more harm than good. Here are a few tips to get you started in the right direction:

Don’t fake it: This is one of the most important rules to keep in mind. Always use real and authentic testimonials, as a fabricated testimonial can be easily exposed. Using a false testimonial could lead to terrible consequences, including accusations of false advertising. It could also damage the long-term reputation of your company and you will end up losing face in the eye of your customers.

Ask for feedback and not testimonials: Statistics prove that people feel more comfortable giving feedback than providing a testimonial. Asking for a testimonial is a more formal approach, whereas asking for feedback is casual, and you can get better and more genuine answers with a feedback. After you receive the feedback, you can use it as a testimonial.

Include customer information & photos: One of the best ways to keep testimonials more believable is by including customer information such as name, occupation, designation, contact information, etc. Including photographs of people who have written the testimonials can also add value to your website. Photos can bring more credibility as readers of the testimonial can identify the testimonial with a face, which makes it more believable that someone actually wrote it and that it’s not just made up.

Avoid lengthy testimonials: No-one has the time to read testimonials that ramble on for 15-20 sentences, talking about how good your hotel is. It may have a negative impact on your reputation, as you may come across as pompous and arrogant. 2-3 sentences are more than enough to convey a positive message.

Avoid excess editing: Testimonials should be kept as real as possible in order to assure utmost originality. Avoid editing and making it sound as professional as possible, as that would steal the charm from the original testimonial.

Upload audio testimonials: Online audios are very beneficial and can draw a lot of attention to your website. You can put up an online record of people's testimonials with a mini tape recorder over the phone, on your answering machine, or voice mail. Then you could convert the recording into an online audio file and upload it to your website.

Upload video testimonials: A video testimonial is the best way to go, as it cannot be faked. With a video testimonial, one can easily see through the genuiness of the testimonial as they can observe the body language and the sincerity in the person’s face.

Avoid cramping up of testimonials: When you put too many testimonials on one page, it completely loses its appeal. It is advisable to use not more than 4-6 testimonials on a page, to make it more effective.

Testimonials are a powerful tool as they leave a very good impression on everyone. If used appropriately they can make a big difference in your business. Genuine testimonials have a personal and unique appeal to it, and it is best advised to keep it as simple as possible!

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