The power of testimonials
Never underestimate the power of a great testimonial
No matter how, where or how often you advertise your business, it’s only when a genuine customer endorses it that people actually sit up and listen.
In today’s world, we are literally bombarded with advertising – it’s not just on TV or on the radio, it’s in our workplaces, our schools and our homes. But we are wiser now. We know advertising is just that, advertising. Someone is trying a make a living and they want our money. Advertising doesn’t speak to the quality of a product or service; the only thing that can do that is the experience of others. Therefore, if someone who has no vested interest in your business provides a testimonial, they are putting their own reputation on the line and that’s a powerful thing.
A good testimonial is worth more than prime time TV advertising or a billboard on the back of a bus. But how do you get them and what do you do with once you have them?
How to get great testimonials
The formal approach: Following up with customers to enquire about how they are finding your product or service is good customer service. It’s also provides a great opportunity to ask if you can use their feedback to help attract more customers.
The direct approach: Don’t be afraid to just ask people straight: “I’m trying to grow my business and I wonder if you would give me a testimonial.” You can focus on loyal customers or spread the net wide. People often struggle to find time to sit down and write a testimonial, so consider alternatives – email, social media, newsletters, meetings, blogs, phone, in person. Picking up the phone results in a more natural and less crafted response, which is also more believable.
The informal approach: You may not be aware but your customers are probably giving you testimonials as you talk to them as part of business as usual – you just have to listen. If someone gives you positive feedback, ask if you can write it down to use as a testimonial.
The phone-a-friend approach: Giving new customers the contact details of satisfied customers shows confidence in your product or service. Select some loyal customers and see if they’ll agree to being contacted (chances are, just providing the details will be enough, People rarely bother to follow up).
The modern approach: According to Wikipedia: “Social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior in a given situation.” The number of ‘likes’ you have on your Facebook page, your customer rating and the time you tried a product based solely on a recommendation all come under this umbrella. It’s pretty basic but we are more likely to buy something if we know others have already bought it - it’s our security blanket.
What to do with testimonials
Use them everywhere – in conversation, on your website, in social media, in your advertising, on your walls, in your correspondence, in your email signature, literally anywhere.
Finally, don’t forget to update your testimonials regularly and always ask permission. Check out some of our testimonials.
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