Businesses rely on case studies and testimonials to build trust with their audience.  Of all the things a good case study can do for you, trust is arguably the key driver for investing time and money to build a pot of persuasive credentials.  If a customer doesn’t trust that your testimonial is legitimate, they are unlikely to purchase your product/service.  So, what makes case studies and testimonials so important to focus on?

Have you ever purchased something because someone else recommended it? This serves as an example of social proof, defined as a “psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behaviour for a given situation.”

One of the most compelling benefits of case studies is evidenced by Spectoos, who revealed that customers are willing to spend up to 31% more with a business that has good reviews.

72% of shoppers state that positive testimonials and reviews increase their trust in a business.

It’s clear that displaying positive testimonials goes a long way in strengthening your brand image. Testimonials have the potential to helping customers see your brand in a new light, making it seem approachable and even, relatable. They have a strong persuasive power when you can help your audience realize that would product/service can solve their problem.

Trust is something that takes time to earn. I mean, who would you trust more? The business owner telling you their product is great, or a stranger without any obvious bias explaining why your product is so fabulous?

Let’s be honest, you would trust the customer every time.

positive review concept

Wyzowl’s study found that 9 out of 10 people trust a customer’s opinion over what the business says about themselves.

How to create an effective testimonial

  • Mention specific features: highlight the most significant features of your product/service
  • Provide indirect praise: your testimonial shouldn’t say “buy this product, it’s the best” exactly, but it should be subtle. For example, “I’ve used many services to help with my workers training, however (service name) worked better for us than others”.
  • Come from a relevant source: your testimonial needs to come from someone who has actually used your product/service, and if possible, find someone who has used it for a long time.
  • Include pictures: Everyone likes a good photo. Reviews with images attract more views than those without. Customers also want to see what a product looks like ‘in reality’.
  • Don’t be generic: Case studies work best when they are somewhat relatable. It’s especially engaging when the writer employs their sense of humour.

The benefits of an effective case study

  1. Case studies are a great unbiased way to tell your story and expose your product/service value.

2. Hearing your message from a third party builds trust in your buying audience.

3. Once you have case studies and credentials to talk about, you can spend weeks and months sharing your goodness to drive traffic to websites, build social discussion and prime events.

4. From our experience, case studies that focus on how audiences gain value from a particular product or service are the articles third parties and journalists are most keen to share. Why? Because the publisher doesn’t feel they are at risk of pitching a biased suppliers’ message.

5. Customers aren’t the only stakeholders that value testimonials and case studies. Create case studies and you can develop trust in a variety of stakeholders including your workforce, investors, suppliers, professional bodies, and market influencers.

6. This all means, pound for pound, case studies are one of the most economic forms of social media marketing.

Final thoughts

The unfortunate truth for any business is that prospective buyers don’t trust what any suppliers say because they know full well their agenda is to win customers.  However, if it comes from a reliable source such as a previous customer with proof of purchase, they are more likely to trust the testimonial and your business. Reputation is crucial in business; you need to source reliable case studies that win customer trust.

Yes, the key aim of testimonials is to gain more customers and in turn, more sales, but this can only happen when customers trust your organization. If you are putting effort into publishing a testimonial, make sure it is a good one!

Chloe Mumford

Chloe Mumford


Chloe Mumford is a content writer and researcher for Newton Day. After completing her BSc in Sociology, Chloe transitioned over into the workforce management industry with an interest in driving value from contingent workforce programs. She can be reached via LinkedIn.