Are you letting prospects know they can buy with confidence?

Right, so our discussion of the perfect product page has covered putting in as much information as possible, and using great photographs. We can all learn something here as users of the major consumer product sites, such as Amazon. The product pages which are most likely to give you the confidence to click “buy now” will nearly always have nice photos and plenty of description. But they’ll also have one other crucial factor: positive reviews.

Now, you might be thinking that this isn’t really practical for your range of high-end, professional blue widgets. And of course it isn’t. But there are equivalents to “reviews” which leave you in control, but which provide the same function, namely instilling confidence in the buyer. These are testimonials and case studies.

Testimonials on business to business websites tend to be more general, company-oriented ones (e.g “The Blue Widget Company provided us with a service I can highly recommend” – Fred Bloggs, Chief Engineer, Acme Products). But there’s no reason why you can’t get product-specific ones to include.

Links to related case studies are also a sadly wasted opportunity on most companies’ product pages. If you’ve gone to all the effort of getting one written, why not link to it from the related product? It’s a terrific reassurance to potential customers which could make all the difference in whether or not they take their interest any further.

Discussion

  1. David Turner

    What is your take on the increasingly common reaction of end user customers to decline permission for their name to be used in this context? I find it takes the stuffing out of any press editorial pieces. “A major manufacturer of Product X said…” isn’t my preferred option. If I was publishing such pieces on my own website should I expect a little more entitlement to quote names? I’m only stating a fact. They DID use my product and it DID make a big difference to their performance. The management of relationships is very important and so is winning future new business, so it’s often a dilemma.

  2. Chris Rand Post author

    I think you almost certainly have a right to quote them, unless their terms and conditions of doing business specifically prohibited that (and that may well have been in the small print), but whether you would quote a customer without their permission is another matter. Sadly, when approached, most will go for the quiet life and say “no, you can’t quote us”, because what’s in it for them? The answer is nothing …if you’ve approached the actual client, who’s probably an engineer, scientist, architect, whatever. But if you approach their company’s marketing department, that might be another matter. After all, in publicising your involvement, you’re publicising their product. I think I’ll bring this up for discussion next week.

  3. David Turner

    I generally approach the Marketing departments and it’s at that point that the wheels come off. US companies are the worst but many large British companies are also guilty of closing the door on this harmless mention of their name.

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