Reviews vs. Testimonials? Why You Need Both to Succeed

What's the difference between a review and a testimonial, do you need both? and how can you encourage your customers to leave both? Keep reading to find out!

Reviews vs. Testimonials? Why You Need Both to Succeed
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In the world of online business, your reputation is everything. Reviews and testimonials are essential to building your reputation since people trust other people's opinions more than they trust any of your own marketing materials. That's why it's so important to have positive reviews and testimonials from happy customers prominently displayed on your website.
But what's the difference between a review and a testimonial, do you need both? and how can you encourage your customers to leave both? Keep reading to find out!
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What's the Difference Between a Review and a Testimonial?

There are two types of customer feedback: testimonials and reviews. Testimonials are more formal and focus on the specific results that a customer has achieved by working with you.
Reviews, on the other hand, tend to be more informal and provide a general overview of the customer's experience.
A review is a brief, usually anonymous, description of a customer's experience with your product or service. It often appears alongside star ratings (1-5 stars is most common) on popular review sites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Angie's List. A review can be positive or negative, but either way, it's useful information that can help you make changes and improve your offerings.
A testimonial, on the other hand, is a longer-form endorsement from a satisfied customer. Unlike reviews, testimonials are usually not anonymous, and they often include the customer's name, title, company, and even headshot. Testimonials are usually positive and they are meant to give potential customers an idea of what it's like to work with you. Testimonials are often featured prominently on websites and in marketing materials. They are often used by businesses as a way to build trust with potential customers.
Additionally, testimonials are often more emotional than reviews, as they describe the speaker's personal experience with the product or service while reviews are more factual, providing an overview of the product or service.

Pros and cons of testimonials and reviews

While both testimonials and reviews can be helpful, they each have their own unique advantages and disadvantages.

Pros and cons of Testimonials

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The biggest advantage of testimonials is that they're usually very positive. After all, if a customer isn't happy with the results they've achieved, they're not going to want to write a glowing testimonial about it. Testimonials also tend to be more specific than reviews, which can be helpful if you're trying to target a particular pain point that your potential customers might have.
Testimonials are also relatively easy to obtain. All you need to do is ask satisfied customers to write a few sentences about their experience with your product or service.
One downside of testimonials is that they can be biased, as they are written by people who have already had a positive experience with the product or service. While testimonials are almost always positive, they can sometimes come across as contrived or inauthentic.
Additionally, because they're so positive, potential customers might not believe them. After all, we all know that no company is perfect and that there will always be some unhappy customers. This is where reviews come in.

Pros and cons of Reviews

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Reviews can be more objective than testimonials because they provide a more balanced view of your company since they include both positive and negative feedback. Additionally, because they're generally more informal than testimonials, they can come across as more genuine and relatable. This can make them more trustworthy to potential customers.
Reviews can also provide valuable feedback that businesses can use to improve their products or services. Customers are also more likely to leave a review if they had a negative experience since they'll want to warn others about it. Of course, this means that you need to actively manage your reviews and respond to any negative ones in a timely manner.
The main disadvantage of reviews is that they can be time-consuming and expensive to obtain. Reviews are also often less specific than testimonials. Additionally, because they include both positive and negative feedback, it can be difficult to use them effectively in your marketing materials. In fact, reviews can be negative, which can hurt a business's reputation.
Now that we know the differences and the advantages and disadvantages of both reviews and testimonials, is there one you should focus on more than the other?
You could focus on reviews since they provide a more balanced view of your company and are generally more genuine and relatable than testimonials, but you would be missing out on the advantages of testimonials. Keep reading to find out why you should actually have both reviews and testimonials, not one or the other on your website.

Why You Need Both Reviews And Testimonials

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In order to build your online reputation, it is essential to make the best use out of both tools at your disposal: Reviews and testimonials. Both of them are Customer feedback that is crucial for any business looking to improve its online presence.
After all, what are potential customers going to base their decision on when choosing between your company and the competition? More often than not, they'll turn to online reviews to get a sense of what others have experienced with your business.
Reviews are important because they provide social proof that other people have had positive experiences with your business. They help build trust with potential customers who may be undecided about whether to use your product or service.
Testimonials are also important because they provide credibility and third-party validation for your business. When prospective customers see that someone they respect has had a positive experience with your company, they're more likely to believe that you can meet their needs as well.

How to Get More Reviews and Testimonials

The best way to get more reviews and testimonials is simply to ask for them! Just reach out to your current and past customers and ask them if they would be willing to write a review or record a testimonial.
For reviews, you could send an email to recent customers asking them to leave a review on Google My Business or Yelp (or both). If they're happy with their experience, there's a good chance they'll be happy to oblige.
When it comes to testimonials, personalize your request by asking specific customers if they'd be willing to write a few sentences about their experience working with you. Making the ask via email or phone call is usually best so that you can follow up if necessary. Our tool can help you simplify and automate this process. If you get turned down, don't take it personally—just move on to the next person on your list.
Another way to get testimonials and reviews is to offer incentives in exchange for them. For example, you could offer discounts or free shipping in exchange for people leaving reviews or recording testimonials. Just be sure not to offer too much!
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Wrapping up…
Your reputation matters—maybe even more online than offline. To make sure people know how awesome your business is, aim for a mix of both positive reviews and glowing testimonials from satisfied customers.
Both tools are important for businesses, but they serve different purposes. Testimonials are endorsements that can help build trust with potential customers, while reviews provide detailed and specific insights that can help you improve your offerings.
There are a few different ways to get more of both! Start collecting and displaying testimonials by giving a try, it will help you receive your first video testimonial in no time. ✌️

Written by

Damon Chen
Damon Chen

Founder of Testimonial