Msg#: 11314 posted 11:04 pm on Mar 25, 2006 (gmt 0)
It has been suggested a few times that I include testimonials on my website from past guests who have used our services. From time to time, I even get clients requesting this sort of thing. (Boggles the mind ... but OK)
I have always been of the opinion that this sort of self serving aggrandizement is annoying, often unbelievable and far too easy to "fake". In fact, I laugh at those one paragraph "testimonials" that read like:
"We had a wonderful time! The boat was great and performed well. We loved the country and particularly enjoyed yada yada. We will definitely be back and next time we will bring a few more friends so we can get a bigger boat!" Joan & Jon - Gary, Indiana
Jeeze ... who buys that cr@p? I sure don't!
Having said that, I have almost been convinced to go ahead and do it. However, if I am going to do it, it must be done in such a way as to be believable.
I have a few ideas such as using photos of happy clients (at the dock), interviews, rating systems, etc. but I would like to hear from you what your general feelings are on this topic and specifically:
Do you use testimonials?
Have you ever faked them? Come on, be honest!
Do you think they have any true value?
If you do use testimonials, do you do anything different than that which I have written above and find laughable? (Sorry if I insulted you by the way)
If buying a vacation somewhere, do you look for testimonials or read them even if they are available?
If you are like me and don't believe most internet testimonials hold much water, what might convince you that any testimonial was valid ... short of giving the client's address, e:mail address or phone number?
Do you have any suggestions as to how to provide a truly believable testimonial that even the most cynical amongst us might buy?