The Value of Testimonials: Go Beyond “Great Job”

When you’re shopping, do you read customer testimonials? Do you look at those star ratings to help you decide whether or not you buy something? Sure you do! I think we can agree that we all use customer reviews of products and services on a regular basis. Testimonials on site like Yelp and Amazon play a huge role in how we perceive a product don’t they? These recommendations, good or bad, factor into our daily purchasing decisions. So with that being said…

Are you collecting testimonials as a natural part of your marketing efforts?

You want to collect testimonials to add the end-user experience to your sales and marketing collateral. These reviews, if they’re written in a specific way, will support your existing marketing efforts because they will prove why your features and benefits work. In order to yield the best results from your testimonials, you’ll first need to understand how to gather the right kind of recommendations from your clients and customers.

Encourage your clients to go beyond the surface level “great job” testimonial. Ask them for details, for specific quantified results-driven quotes. Let’s face it, we get testimonials to increase sales. It’s no secret. Therefore the best testimonials will highlight the benefits of using our products and services.

Think about the difference between these 2 hypothetical testimonials:

Testimonial #1: “ABC Printers is awesome! Their products are great! I will definitely use them again!”

Testimonial #2: “Using ABC Printers saved me 25% in costs over my usual printer. The selection was twice as large and their production time was 3 days faster than what I’ve been using all along. I can’t believe it took me this long to call them but I’m glad I did!”

The first testimonial sings your praises but doesn’t actually say anything. It doesn’t tell me why you’re awesome and why the person would use your products again. It’s a glowing review, but it lacks substance.

In comparison, the second testimonial tells me exactly why I should use ABC Printers. I’ll save money, get my products faster, and have a better selection to choose from.

So here’s the question: Which testimonial would convince a prospective client to use ABC Printers? If you were ABC Printers, which testimonial would you want? EXACTLY! So let’s work on collecting and using testimonials that work!

5 Ways to Collect Testimonials

  1. Client satisfaction surveys – during and after the sale for service-based businesses, and after the sale for product-based businesses. At the end of the survey, ask for a testimonial in the form of a couple of sentences. Also ask if you can use the recommendation in your marketing materials. Just be sure to remember to get permission.
  2. During a live event, if you’re a speaker, vendor, etc.. Video is particularly useful during an event to capture the enthusiasm of the moment.
  3. When a customer says something positive to you about your product/service, ask them to write it down on their company letterhead. Sometimes customers say the nicest things, and you want to capture the moment and the message.
  4. Allow customers to submit reviews of your products and services online. If online is not possible, send them a postage-paid postcard and ask them to say a few words.
  5. Offer discounts and freebies in exchange for product review.

5 Helpful Hints When Using Testimonials

  1. Don’t be shy about asking for details regarding a testimonial. Remember testimonial number 1 above, the glowing ball of nothing? This is what most people will say if you ask them for a testimonial. They’re not thinking like you as the business owner, they just want to sing your praises. But with a little helpful guidance, you can get them to share those details that will make all the difference.
  2. Your clients and customers are busy people, so give them an idea of what you’re looking for. If you have some clients that you know are happy with your company but they can’t seem to find the time to write a recommendation, offer to draft it for them. This is not pushy, it’s actually appreciated and makes it easier for them to help you. Believe it or not, satisfied clients will gladly give testimonials and recommendations, you just have to ask for them!
  3. Testimonials can be in the form of words, pictures or video. A mix of all three media will suit just about need you can think of. Collect them often!
  4. Using the person’s name and company name lends credibility to the testimonial. It makes it real. Be sure to get permission to use the testimonial.
  5. You don’t have to use the entire testimonial or recommendation every time. Sound bites work wonders, depending on where you’re using them. Sometimes a quote here and there can give just enough oomph to make you shine!

The same advice holds true for most product reviews or any kind of recommendations you receive. Now the question becomes, what to do with all those glowing recommendations?

10 Places to Insert a Testimonial

  • Business card
  • Company brochure
  • Sprinkled throughout your website
  • Dedicated “Why Use Us” webpage
  • Press/media release
  • Twitter background
  • Facebook company page
  • Preview to upcoming product launch
  • Proposals to new clients
  • Vehicle wrap

There are tons of other ways you can use testimonials, so get creative! If you don’t have testimonials, go back to clients and get some. Testimonials offer a treasure trove of sales verbiage and they always boost your confidence, so why not start using them today?

Ciao,
Miss Kemya

     
Meet the Author

Miss Kemya is a Marketing & Social Media Strategist at Marketing Sparkler, a marketing consulting firm that facilitates the growth of small businesses through conventional marketing techniques merged with social media tactics.


4 thoughts on “The Value of Testimonials: Go Beyond “Great Job”

  • Thanks for the tips, Kemya. Interestingly, one or two of my clients have asked me to write or edit their testimonials of my services for them! Flattered by their confidence in my honesty but still feeling weird about it, I tend to stick to details instead of glittering generalities, so at least we both can be sure I’m only telling the truth on myself. Still odd, though.

    • That’s actually more common than people realize. When people like your writing, or they don’t know what to say, they ask you to write your own testimonial. Its sounds backwards but it works. It sounds like you’re spot on; the details will sell it every time. Thanks for commenting!

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