Testimonials: Why Bother, How To Get Them and How To Use Them

Testimonials Matter

These days, perhaps more than ever, testimonials are like the peanut butter in a PBJ sandwich.  It carries weight and delivers texture.  It can be the Testimonials - Thumbs UPthing that shifts one from a “who cares” to a “Hmm – maybe I should check it out“.

Other terms tossed around in lieu of “testimonials” include social proof, referrals, recommendations, etc.  The bottom line?  It is someone who has had experience with you and believes you did a good job, you delivered, you came through.  As a result, they are a satisfied customer.

Testimonials carry more credibility than does stand alone advertising or perhaps public relations.

So, how does one get testimonials? 

You want to make it easy for your customers to deliver you praise worthy endorsements.  Here are a few ways to do that…

1. Ask 

Whenever a customer makes you blush because they are so pleased by your service or product, be it in person,  via an email or through social media, ask them for permission to use their comments as a testimonial for your business. Of course, they’ll say “yes”.

2. Online Comment Form

Make certain you have a contact form on your website and encourage visitors to use it to ask questions, provide you with feedback or to share their opinions with you.  Yes, you may get some negative comments, but that’s actually a good thing.  Better you be made aware of a problem, so you can adequately address it.  Chances are high, most of the comments you receive will be positive.

3. Point of Purchase Comment Forms  

We’ve all seen table tents on restaurant tables asking for use to evaluate the customer service we received.  Simplified feedback forms could be placed near the cash register, at a customer service counter or any spot where the customer will be spending time after or during their experience.

4.  Receipt Reward

Use your receipt as an opportunity to request feedback from your customers in return for a free gift, a small discount or entry into a bigger contest.  It won’t cost you a lot, you’ll get some great testimonials and you’ll be solidifying your relationship with your customers in the process.

5. Via Email

Use email as a follow-up after the sale to ask each customer for their feedback.  You can also use your email newsletter as a way to collect testimonials by providing them with a link to your contact page and asking them to share their most memorable experiences with your business or staff.  Just be certain you’ve asked the customer for permission to email them.  You don’t want to ruin a perfectly good experience by becoming an email spammer.

You may also want to use these same techniques to get your customers to provide you with some positive feedback and social juice through recommendations on your Google+ Local page, on Yelp and/or LinkedIn.

How Do You Use Testimonials?

Use them everywhere.  You worked hard to get these testimonials, so don’t be shy.

Use them throughout your website, share them in social media posts, in your brochures, in your eBooks, in all of your sales materials.

Include some of the most glowing remarks for your advertising.

You may discover some very catchy testimonials that you could use for promotional purposes…on t-shirts, mugs, etc.

Keep your eyes opened and you’ll see lots of ways to use testimonials to promote your business.

Two Extra Tips

Wherever possible, get a photo of the person providing the testimonial.  The simple addition of the photo with the words will increase the credibility of the testimonial.

Lastly, don’t forget to thank those who provide you with testimonials.  Send back a little lovin’.  You’ll be glad you did.

How are you capturing testimonials for your business?  Share your ideas in the comments box below.

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Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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