Harnessing Buyer Voices: Closer Look At Customer Testimonials vs Customer Reviews

In today’s digital age, consumers have more power than ever before. With a plethora of options at their fingertips, they rely heavily on the experiences and opinions of others to guide their purchasing decisions. This shift has given rise to the importance of buyer voices, particularly through customer testimonials vs customer reviews. Both serve as valuable tools for businesses to build trust, establish credibility, and engage with their target audience.

Statistics reveal the impact of buyer voices on consumer behavior.

  • According to a survey by BrightLocal, 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, and 88% trust these reviews as much as personal recommendations. 
  • Furthermore, 72% of consumers say positive testimonials increase their trust in a business, while 86% are influenced by negative reviews to avoid a purchase. 

These numbers clearly highlight the significance of testimonials and reviews in shaping consumer perceptions and purchase decisions.

In this blog post, we will delve deeper into the world of buyer voices, exploring the differences between testimonials vs reviews, and examining how businesses can effectively harness these voices to enhance their marketing strategies. By understanding the power of these authentic customer experiences, businesses can leverage testimonials and reviews to create a strong brand presence and build lasting relationships with their customers.

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Customer Testimonials vs Customer Reviews:

Might look familiar, and many businesses and customers even have the misconception that both have similar effects. And this is where they are highly mistaken, to clarify, here are the major differences between the two. This table outlines the main distinctions between testimonials vs reviews:

Customer TestimonialsCustomer Reviews
PurposeInstill confidence and build credibilityProvide unbiased feedback and recommendations
SourceCurated and controlled by the businessGenerated organically by customers
FormatWritten or recorded statementsStar ratings, written comments, or both
CollectionObtained through direct communicationGenerated voluntarily or on review platforms
InfluenceIntended to influence potential buyersInfluence the decision-making process
PlacementStrategically placed on websites, marketing materialsFound on e-commerce websites, review platforms
ControlThe business has more control over the contentLess control, as reviews are customer-driven
EngagementOften include customer name, photo, and bioCustomers can interact and respond to reviews

While testimonials are carefully curated and controlled by the business to build credibility and influence potential buyers, reviews are organic, customer-generated feedback that provides unbiased insights and recommendations. Understanding these differences is crucial for businesses looking to leverage buyer voices effectively in their marketing strategies.

Why It Is Important To Know The Difference Between Reviews vs Testimonials?

It is important to know the difference between reviews vs testimonials because they serve different purposes and have distinct characteristics. Understanding these differences can help businesses effectively leverage both types of buyer voices and tailor their marketing strategies accordingly. 

By understanding the differences between customer testimonials vs customer reviews, businesses can effectively harness the power of both types of buyer voices. They can tailor their strategies to display testimonials for credibility-building and utilize reviews to gain insights, address concerns, and actively engage with customers. This comprehensive approach enables businesses to leverage buyer voices to build trust, enhance their reputation, and make informed marketing decisions.

What Are Customer Reviews?

Customer reviews are evaluations and opinions expressed by customers based on their experiences with a product or service. These reviews typically shared on various platforms like e-commerce websites, social media, and online review aggregators, offer valuable insights to potential buyers. Customer reviews come in various formats, including 5-star star ratings, written comments, or a combination of both.

These reviews play a significant role in the consumer decision-making process, as they provide unbiased and authentic feedback. Consumers rely on reviews to gauge the quality, performance, and value of a product or service before making a purchase. Research has shown that the majority of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, emphasizing the influence of customer reviews.

Types Of Customer Reviews:

Customer reviews can come in various types based on their format, focus, and platform. Here are some common types of customer reviews:

  • Star Ratings: Star ratings are a popular form of review where customers rate a product or service on a scale, typically ranging from one to 5-star stars. This concise format allows for a quick assessment of overall satisfaction.
  • Written Comments: Written comments are textual reviews where customers provide detailed feedback about their experience, highlighting specific features, benefits, or drawbacks of the product or service.
  • Product-Specific Reviews: These reviews focus on specific products within a brand’s portfolio. Customers share their experiences, pros and cons, and recommendations related to a particular item.
  • Service-Specific Reviews: Service-specific reviews pertain to experiences with a particular service offered by a business. They often detail interactions with customer support, delivery, or other service-related aspects.
  • Comparative Reviews: Comparative reviews compare multiple products or services side by side. Customers assess and contrast different options, helping potential buyers make informed choices.
  • Verified Purchase Reviews: Verified purchase reviews are those left by customers who have actually purchased the product or service through a verified platform or retailer. This verification adds credibility and authenticity to the review.
  • Influencer Reviews: Influencer reviews are customer reviews provided by individuals with a significant following or influence on social media. These reviews can have a broader reach and impact due to the influencer’s audience.
  • Long-Form Reviews: Long-form reviews are detailed and comprehensive, providing an in-depth analysis of the product or service. These reviews often include personal experiences, comparisons, and recommendations.
  • Platform-Specific Reviews: Platform-specific reviews are posted on dedicated review platforms or websites that aggregate customer feedback. These platforms allow customers to share their experiences and provide ratings for a wide range of products or services.
  • Social Media Reviews: Social media reviews are customer reviews shared on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. They can include text, images, or videos, and often reach a wider audience due to social sharing and engagement.

How To Get Customer Reviews?

Getting customer reviews is an important aspect of building an online reputation and attracting new customers. Here are some effective strategies to encourage customers to leave reviews:

  • Provide a Seamless Experience: Deliver a high-quality product or service and ensure that the customer experience is exceptional. Satisfied customers are more likely to leave positive reviews.
  • Ask for Reviews: Reach out to customers directly and politely ask them to leave a review. You can send personalized emails, include a review request in the post-purchase communication, or use automated review request systems.
  • Offer Incentives: Consider offering incentives such as discounts, loyalty points, or freebies in exchange for leaving a review. However, be cautious to comply with review platform policies and maintain transparency.
  • Simplify the Process: Make it easy for customers to leave reviews by providing clear instructions and offering multiple platforms where they can leave their feedback. Streamline the review process by including direct links or buttons to review platforms.
  • Follow-Up Communication: Send follow-up emails or messages asking for feedback after the purchase. Include a friendly request for a review and provide links to review platforms to make it convenient for customers.
  • Utilize Social Media: Engage with customers on social media platforms and encourage them to share their experiences publicly. Respond promptly to their posts or comments, showing that you value their feedback.
  • Showcase Existing Reviews: Display existing positive reviews on your website, social media pages, or marketing materials. Seeing others’ positive experiences may encourage customers to leave their own reviews.
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What Are Customer Testimonials?

Customer testimonials are endorsements provided by satisfied customers, showcasing their positive experiences and satisfaction with a product or service. These testimonials, often in the form of written or recorded statements, serve as a powerful tool for businesses to build trust, establish credibility, and influence potential buyers.

Unlike customer reviews, testimonials are usually curated and controlled by the business. They are obtained through direct communication with customers, such as surveys, interviews, or voluntary submissions. Testimonials often include the customer’s name, photo, and sometimes even a short biography to further enhance credibility.

Businesses strategically place testimonials on their websites, landing pages, and marketing materials to immediately capture the attention of visitors. They can be featured prominently on the homepage or product pages, serving as persuasive tools to convert leads into customers.

Types Of Customer Testimonials:

Customer testimonials can come in various types based on their format, content, and presentation. Here are some common types of customer testimonials:

  • Written Testimonials: These are the traditional form of testimonials where customers provide written statements sharing their positive experiences and satisfaction with a product or service. These testimonials are often displayed on websites, marketing materials, or product pages.
  • Video Testimonials: Video testimonials involve customers recording videos in which they share their experiences and endorse a product or service. These testimonials can be more engaging and impactful, allowing potential customers to see and hear genuine feedback. One platform facilitating this is VocalVideo, a tool that businesses can use to collect and share customer video testimonials effectively, thereby enhancing your site with reviews.
  • Case Studies: Case studies are in-depth testimonials that delve into a customer’s journey, highlighting specific challenges they faced and how the product or service helped overcome those challenges. Case studies like this list of SEO case studies, provide detailed, real-life examples of the product’s effectiveness.
  • Success Stories: Success stories are testimonials that focus on the achievements or positive outcomes experienced by customers after using a product or service. They emphasize the tangible results and benefits gained from the offering.
  • Quotes and Snippets: Testimonials can also be presented as short quotes or snippets from customers. These concise endorsements are often displayed on websites or marketing materials to provide quick snippets of positive feedback.
  • Social Media Testimonials: Testimonials shared on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, fall under this category. Customers may post about their positive experiences, tag the brand, and use relevant hashtags to share their testimonials publicly.
  • Influencer Testimonials: Influencer testimonials are endorsements provided by individuals with a significant following or influence on social media. Influencers share their experiences with a product or service, reaching a wider audience and influencing their followers’ purchasing decisions.
  • Before-and-After Testimonials: These testimonials focus on showcasing the transformation or improvement experienced by customers before and after using a product or service. They provide visual evidence of the product’s effectiveness and impact.
  • Industry Expert Testimonials: Industry expert testimonials involve endorsements and feedback from professionals or authorities in a particular field. These testimonials carry weight and credibility, as they come from trusted sources within the industry.
  • Employee Testimonials: Utilizing an employee survey tool, testimonials can provide a unique perspective on a company’s culture, work environment, and values. These testimonials, enriched by the data gathered, highlight the employee experience, effectively showcasing the organization as an attractive place to work.

How To Get Customer Testimonials?

Getting customer testimonials requires a proactive approach to engaging and collecting feedback from satisfied customers. Here are some effective strategies to obtain customer testimonials:

  • Request Testimonials: Reach out to satisfied customers and ask them directly if they would be willing to provide a testimonial. This can be done through personalized emails, phone calls, or in-person interactions.
  • Timing is Key: Ask for testimonials when customers have recently experienced success or achieved their desired outcomes with your product or service. This ensures that their positive experience is fresh in their minds.
  • Provide Guidelines: Offer clear instructions or guidelines on what you are looking for in the testimonial. You can provide a list of questions to guide their response or suggest specific aspects of the product or service they can highlight.
  • Make it Easy: Provide customers with convenient ways to submit their testimonials. This can include online forms, email responses, or even a dedicated testimonial section on your website.
  • Offer Incentives: Consider offering incentives, such as discounts, exclusive content, or early access to new features, as a token of appreciation for customers who provide testimonials. However, be cautious to maintain transparency and comply with any applicable regulations or platform policies.
  • Showcase Existing Testimonials: Display existing testimonials on your website, social media profiles, or marketing materials. Seeing others’ positive experiences can encourage customers to share their own testimonials.
  • Follow-Up Communication: Send follow-up emails or messages to customers after they have had a positive experience. Politely request a testimonial and provide them with easy-to-use links or forms to submit their feedback.

After All, Is Said And Done

Both testimonials and reviews contribute to transparency, credibility, and trust in the marketplace. They empower customers to share their experiences, help others make informed decisions, and allow businesses to continually improve their offerings based on valuable feedback. 

Harnessing buyer voices in the form of testimonials and reviews is a powerful tool that benefits both businesses and consumers, fostering stronger relationships and driving success in today’s competitive landscape.

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