A very powerful tool in your marketing kitbag is the testimonial. In this case, a testimonial is a small paragraph of text written by your customer saying what is goof about your business and often also saying that they would recommend you. These testimonials can then be used to show to prospective customers (e.g. on your website or in a brochure or sales letter) to demonstrate your credibility. And while one testimonial may not be particularly influential, if you can build up a bank of testimonials, the sheer volume of them can certainly help present your business as a trustworthy and good quality provider. The problem however, is that customers can be very difficult to extract testimonials from. This is typically not because the customer isn’t happy to recommend you, but simply because they never seem to get the time craft some eloquent words. This being the case there are some things you can do to make it easier to gain those valuable testimonials:
1: Ask specific questions that you can use to compile a testimonial For many customers, the act of writing the testimonial is the biggest barrier to them providing one. They might sit in front of a blank screen wondering what words to choose and then ultimately get sidetracked on to something else. So, an easier alternative for the customer is if you gave them a short list of specific questions to answer, e.g. what was your favourite aspect of our service? Or, in less than 10 words, how would you describe the way you were served by our business? Doing this makes it much easier for the customer to jot down a few notes to answer each question. They don’t need to worry about being eloquent or sounding intelligent with their words, they are just answering some simple questions with short answers. Once you have the answers, you can then put them together into one overall quote or testimonial from the customer. If you have changed the words at all to make the sentences flow better, then perhaps send the final text back to the customer for approval – which they are much more likely to do as most of the text will be their own words anyway. 2: Write them for the customer to approve
It might seem strange for you to write a testimonial for the customer, but in many cases, the customer is perfectly happy for you to do this – as long as you have their approval upfront and their approval of the text you write. Write an honest but positive paragraph and explain to the customer that you are doing this to help save them the time of trying to craft the words. 3: Exchange testimonials with your customers This might seem strange, bust some customers who are also aware of the value of testimonials will also see the value in them having positive testimonials from their suppliers. There is no harm in you approaching your customer to say that you very much enjoy the working relationship with them and would it be an option to have reciprocal testimonials. If they agree, then write yours first so can start the ball rolling, and also to help the customer know the kind of words they may write in their testimonial back.