Let’s Talk Testimonials
Your company’s got a fan club—so spread the word!
People love you!
They’re thrilled with your service.
Some are even telling their friends!
What more could you ask for?
Word-of-mouth marketing is golden to company growth. It means you’re doing a spectacular job. It means that your clients and customers think highly enough of you that they’re encouraging their friends, family members, coworkers to give your business a try. You should take great pride in that.
Unfortunately, the limited social circles that most of us boast greatly hamper the reach of our recommendations.
And here is where the beauty of the tried-and-true customer testimonial comes in. If you’re really rockin’ your profession and you’ve gotten great verbal feedback from your clients, it’s time to give them a mouthpiece. The praise of your very satisfied customers, if leveraged correctly, can serve as your own self-generating PR.
How then, does an admired professional who’s clearly exceptional at his or her job (I’m lookin’ at you, Reader) elicit the ever-coveted customer testimonial from his happiest clients?
Your company website is a terrific place to start. The simple addition of a link in a prominent spot on your site gives clients some direction. A simple heading like “How did you like our service?” followed by the call-to-action line “Click here and let us know” is both encouraging and customer focused. In essence, you’re asking for feedback on a client’s experience, which most people are happy to give.
With a little creative thought, you can up your approach by adding a touch of flattery to your request: “Your opinion means so much to us—please let us know how we’re doing in meeting your needs.” A compliment will go a long way in fostering action on the reader’s part and verbiage like this emphasizes your gratitude for your client’s input.
Once you’ve gotten an assortment of positive responses logged in, you’ll need a platform for spotlighting the praise of your growing fan base. An IT professional with even a modicum of website-building experience can build a dedicated testimonials page on which to showcase
your popularity and your expertise. New clients can be directed to this page for examples should they choose to post one themselves. It’s worth noting here that any testimonial will further consumer trust and company transparency if the feedback is tied to the customer’s name, profession, and geographical location. It’s also essential that you follow up on each client’s submission with an email of thanks and a request for permission to feature their comment on your site.
Quid Pro Quo
Are you offering a new service through your company? Perhaps you’re launching a new product to your line of consumer goods? Take advantage of any new business initiatives in soliciting feedback. Offer your customer base a free sample of a new product or a complementary session of your latest service. In return, encourage them to write a testimonial that reflects the experience. This approach serves two valuable purposes. In reaching out with a free or discounted offer, you’re emphasizing your appreciation of the recipient’s patronage and secondly, in giving something away, you’re bound to be reviewed favorably. Most of us are vulnerable to the seduction of a “freebie” and most of us will show some appreciation when given anything free of charge.
Tempt The Team
Your employees can serve as fantastic conduits for your business. They share face-time with your clients and, over time, have most likely developed a warm rapport. Establish a Testimony Drive within the office. Encourage your team to gather comments, elicit stories, and feedback from your loyal customers. An incentive for their efforts could make this a lively, friendly competition among your workforce. Entice them with a promise of a half-day off for the employee who collects the most testimonials. If your staff believes in your mission, they’ll be eager to help you out.
Sometimes, the easiest solution to a problem is the most obvious. If you’d like real feedback from real people, just ask them for it. Create a templated email simply asking for the customer’s honest response to your service or product. Begin the correspondence with something gracious (“As a valued customer, I’m very interested in knowing how we’re meeting your needs”) and then follow with some guiding questions. Far too often comments will be vague or irrelevant to your marketing needs so a few key questions will navigate them toward more valuable responses.
Try three direct, easily digestible questions mirrored after the following:
- What issues were you or your business facing before contacting us?
- How have our products or services helped you to remedy these issues?
- What personal or professional improvements have you noticed since working with us?
You’ve worked hard. You’ve built a great business. People are taking notice. Give them a platform for sharing their love. A testimonial is a can’t-miss marketing tool for your customers to sing your praises. Loud and clear.