customer testimonials

A time-honored method for offering proof that you can deliver on your marketing claims is the Customer Testimonial.  It’s often overlooked.  Yet it’s a great way to make it easy for your prospects to believe you are a trustworthy brand.  And it’s essential if your marketing objective is to acquire new customers.

Here’s how to ask and get customer testimonials.

Find out how they prefer to do it – You’ll find that some customers like to write the testimonial themselves. However, others prefer to be given a draft to review and edit.

I’ve found that presenting these two choices to the customer is the best approach.  More often than not they take me up on my offer to write a draft for them to review, edit and approve.  This makes it convenient for them as they may find starting from scratch more difficult than editing a previously written testimonial.

Tie it to your value proposition – The best testimonials I’ve seen support the brand’s value proposition or key competitive advantages.

Get their permission – I use email to exchange drafts and edits back and forth with the customer.  In my experience, there are usually only one or two volleys back and forth before the final version of the testimonial is complete.  This process generates a record of the testimonial and the “sign off” you’ll need to use customer testimonials.

Give a testimonial or recommendation – Sometimes the easiest way to get customer testimonials is to give one.  Why not offer to give a testimonial to a supplier or a colleague?  It helps strengthen relationships.   And it often triggers a reciprocal response.

Put it to work for your brand – Once you’ve earned a testimonial from your customer, it’s time to “distribute” it to where your prospects are.  To get it in front of prospects, you have to know where they look for or do research on your type of product or service.  There are a number of good distribution outlets: a page on your web site, in your newsletter, on your social media platforms.

Consider Video – Video testimonials are hot. Plan to add them to your You Tube channel. To help boost the amount of time visitors are on your website, find an ideal page for your video testimonial. Videos create “stickiness”, which is a key element of your website’s effectiveness.

Google Reviews

Customers and buyers are talking about your brand online. And you want that conversation to be as positive as possible. That’s where Earned Media plays a vital role in your brand success.

Here’s how Hubspot defines it: “Earned media, or earned content, is any material written about you or your business that you haven’t paid for or created yourself.” It includes Google Reviews, which are very similar to the good old-fashioned testimonial described above. The advantage of the Google Review is that they’re available to prospective customers ready to buy your type of product or service.

Ask satisfied customers to give your business a 5-Star Google Review. It’s a win-win. Potential new customers get the evidence they’re looking for that your brand will exceed their expectations and your most loyal customers have the opportunity to engage with you.

Conclusion

New customers are the lifeblood of any healthy company.  However, new customers don’t know you so it’s on you to help them overcome that.  The Testimonial and Google Review are proven methods.

You might be surprised how willing some of your customers are to stand up for your brand.  Most brands have their strong advocates, try reaching out to a select few and ask. You’ll be glad you did. Good luck!