Go ahead, brag a little.
Or better yet, let your customers do it for you. When it comes to convincing prospective customers to do business with you, it pays to enlist the help of your current ones.
Using customer testimonials in advertising and marketing materials is a fairly common practice. But using them effectively requires a little know-how.
You have loyal customers who have been served well by your business—so let your new customers and prospects take their word for it by keeping these factors in mind.
Make testimonials authentic. One of the main problems with customer testimonials is their believability. To make yours credible, use pictures of the customers who provided them along with the customers’ real names. When using testimonials on your website, you might even want to include a link to your customer’s site. This adds credibility as well, plus it’s a nice gesture for the customers who are raving about your business.
Get specific. Add meaning to your customer testimonials by including hard numbers in them whenever possible. If a customer talks about how much money or time she saved by doing business with you, ask her to include those figures in a quote. A customer testimonial that says, “I saved $100” is more compelling than, “I saved money.”
Diversify. Don’t use the same testimonial again and again—prospects will wonder if this is the only person who has something good to say about your business. Also, that person may become more of a spokesperson than a satisfied customer in the eyes of prospects. Gather testimonials that consumers will relate to. Try to find a diverse group of people who talk about a variety of experiences and benefits.
Get approval. Always get written permission to use any customer’s testimonial, name or likeness in your marketing and business materials.
You may have some excellent testimonials right at your fingertips and not even realize it. Go check your inbox—many of your e-mails may contain phrases or quotes you could use to tout your business’ success. A quick message that says, “Our tradeshow was a success thanks to you!” is a testament to your company, and the great news is, it’s already in electronic format, which makes it easy to use.
Once you have some great testimonials, incorporate them into all your marketing materials, including your website. Create a page just for them and direct attention to it through a custom Spotlight and by posting it in your “In The News” section. You can also use testimonials in your e-mail signature line or in confirmation messages that go to your clients. Just remember to rotate them out.
You can toot your business’ horn all you want, but in this age of Amazon.com reviews and eBay feedback, customers want to hear from buyers who’ve been there, done that.
Capturing the experiences of your most satisfied customers and creating success stories not only boosts your credibility, but also educates buyers and shows that you’re trustworthy.