Consumers are more sophisticated than ever these days, so simply claiming to be “the best” is not enough. Testimonials offer an independent indication that you have done a good job and can help reassure new or nervous buyers, as well as distinguishing you from your competitors. Here are ten easy steps to generate customer testimonials.
1. Ask your customers for feedback. Be organised and send out a standard email after a purchase to generate a steady stream of feedback. Alternatively, approach key clients personally, explaining you are updating your marketing materials and would appreciate their comments.
2. Consider which type of testimonial best suits your business. You could use simple client quotes, reviews of your products or even videos of customers praising your services. A free YouTube account and simple video camera will allow you to distribute footage on your website. Alternatively, consider hiring a video production agency. It will cost more, but may be worth the investment.
3. Make sure the testimonials reflect your target audience. For example, if you are selling to a specialist market, ordinary consumer references are unlikely to make an impact.
4. Keep quotes short, snappy and easy to read — and for authenticity, always try to include a full name, company and job title. If the person is happy to be contacted, you could supply their email address so potential buyers can get in touch.
5. Be creative with your material. Consider inserting a page of satisfied client feedback in sales packs or share testimonials in a blog. You could even use a buyer’s comment in an advert or put a positive quote on the back of your business card.
6. Arrange testimonials according to category so you can address specific concerns that your customers may have. Comments that highlight your credibility as a supplier or feedback about swiftness of delivery, for instance, could be used on your order page.
7. Don’t just think in terms of individual names. Can you add the names or logos of respected companies that use or buy your services? If you can showcase an impressive client list, do so.
8. Keep testimonials looking fresh by regularly updating them.
9. Build up an online community. Include a link to your client’s website alongside their comments. Listing reciprocal links also allows potential buyers to see who you do business with.
10. Get the customer’s permission first before using their remarks and make sure they are happy about their comments being made public.
With thanks to Ann Holman, founder of Total Marketing Solutions.
More on the importance of customer feedback: