Consider the following statement: “I love your product. It was delivered promptly and in perfect condition. I’ll be sure to let my friends know.”
Comments like that can boost sales as much as significantly. Better still, when you get a testimonial from a customer, that person is likely to become a more loyal customer and help spread the word about your business’s products. If your enterprise is small or medium-sized, it probably doesn’t have the perceived credibility of a national brand. But even on a small advertising budget, you can increase credibility with the help of happy customers.
Testimonials increase the comfort of potential buyers and help them overcome their concerns about trying new products. So consider initiating a campaign to collect positive statements from your customers. The benefits include:
- Feedback: Customer testimonials provide valuable insight into what your customers like about your business.
- Loyalty: People willing to attach their names to your product are likely to become repeat buyers. They then tend to develop a vested interest in your organisation and believe they have a hand in helping it grow.
- Viral marketing: Customers who put their names and reputations at stake for our enterprise’s become a source of free advertising.
To gather great testimonials you first need to provide great products or services and support them with consistently high level of customer service. Once you are secure in these two areas, take the following steps:
Keep files of positive customer comments. The statements might come from casual conversations on the phone or in person. Ask your staff to write down complimentary remarks and submit them to someone in the company who is assigned the task of keeping and tracking testimonials. Ask customers if they would mind writing their opinions in a letter or e-mail.
Actively solicit testimonials by sending postcards or e-mails asking buyers what they like most about your enterprise’s products or services.
Act fast. The best comments come shortly after a purchase. That’s when customers are most satisfied and likely take the time to write something positive.
Once you receive the comments, get permission to use them and ask the customers if you can use their names, titles, and locations. Depending on your marketing strategy, you may even want to get a picture with customers using your product or service. A testimonial from a respected customer in your field goes a long way toward boosting your organisation’s credibility.
Avoid asking for testimonials during a survey. Polls are generally meant to be anonymous and customers need to feel free to make negative comments that can help your company improve.
Testimonials are among the best promotional copy there is. Let the customers speak for themselves so that the comments reflect their excitement and satisfaction. Edit them only when they need a little polish and then get permission to use the final version.
Elements of a Good Testimonial
Not all testimonials are created equal. You’ve probably seen some that appear so fake that they are likely to harm rather than enhance a company’s reputation. To ensure customer testimonials have the effect your business want keep them:
- Real: If testimonials are not honest and believable you risk losing credibility.
- Specific: Customers should say exactly what they like. Whether it’s fast delivery, great customer service, or excellent quality, the more specific the details, the more powerful the message.
- Comparative: Ask customers to discuss how your product or service has made life easier for them. Other consumers are likely to identify with the same problems and that increases the chances of winning new customers.
- Varied: Testimonials should reflect different aspects of your company’s products and services so they appeal to a broad range of consumers.