Your perspective customers want an element of proof to the claims that you are making, testimonials are that proof. Testimonials are able to slip through the defenses customers put up and are seldom detected on BS radar. A favorable account of your service or product goes a long way to setting the mind of your potential customer at ease. If you have a plurality of positive comments, testimonials can quell the fears of most shoppers. Below are some tips for making the most of your company testimonials.
1. Always Ask for Testimonials
Make asking for testimonials a part of your routine. Every customer should be asked for their input and testimony. You never know when a customer will say something that would really speak to your Perfect Customer. You should make asking for testimonials a habit.
2. Always Get Permission
You should have permission to use someone’s words and or likeness in your marketing. I typically ask for permission while I ask for the testimonial. “Could you write a sentence or two about your experience with us, we like to use them on our website. Would that be okay?” You don’t need a signed release form but you should have some written permission.
3. Never Use Fakes
Real customers. Real testimonials. Every time. Most people can spot a fake. Its something about the words used and the over the top endorsement. Which brings me to my next tip.
4. Always Make Them as Real as Possible
It seems a bit redundant, doesn’t it. If they aren’t fakes, then they must be real. Well yes and no. You may have some great testimonials from real customers, but until your potential customers think that they are real people that I can call and get the scoop on you and your service, they don’t really work. Add photos, Names, Towns they live in, which company they are with. Give the viewer as much evidence as you can to make these words as authentic as possible.
5. Always Highlight Solutions
Use testimonials that spotlight a certain benefit or solution you provide. Use sections of testimonials that make your service or product the hero to the customer’s problem. “I could never get the grass stains out until I started using DetergiMAX. This stuff is GREAT.” Use your testimonials to actually do the selling. They should echo your marketing message.
6. Never Mix With Surveys
The temptation is to piggy-back your testimonial request with a survey or some other correspondence. Don’t succumb. Surveys need to be anonymous so the customer can say what they really feel. Ask for your reviews in separate contacts. Just a side note: you also want to ask them for a testimonial as close to the initial purchase as possible, it will improve the chances of a great testimonial.
7. Always Ask Them Questions
I usually send them a Testimonial Questionnaire. It has 8 or 9 opened ended questions that solicit the responses I am after. For example, I start with, “write a paragraph about your experience with our company” then I ask “how would you describe our service?” and then “If your were talking with someone thinking of hiring us, what would you tell them?”
8. Always Be Picky
When you get a good number of testimonials, you can start being picky about which ones you use and which ones you toss. You are looking to parlay the good reputation you have into more business, so don’t use just any customer reveiw. Be picky, use the best ones.
Testimonials can boost your marketing and convert more potential customers than normal sales copy. Create a system to collect testimonials from every customer and your bottom line should feel the surge.