The Power of Testimonials and How to Get Them

June 6, 2012 at 8:50 am

By Helen Jones, Pelican Marketing & Research

Word of mouth (aka referrals) is a powerful sales mechanism and many businesses benefit from it in growing their sales. But word of mouth is invisible and uncontrollable. Using testimonials is a way of turning this into something tangible – the words describing the experiences and opinions of your happy and satisfied customers. So let them do the talking and convincing for your business using testimonials that are collected in a structured and systematic way.

Testimonials help build your reputation and maintain public respect for your business so actively seek them from your satisfied customers.

Use these tips to help you:

  • Approach the customer for a testimonial as soon as you can in the sales process, once it is clear they are satisfied. Ask personally over the phone or at the point of sale
  • Use specific questions to get the answers you want – these should describe the problem the customer faced and the solution you provided
  • Make sure it illustrates the benefits of your product or service and how this helped or improved the situation for the customer
  • Get written permission to use the testimonial in your marketing and make it clear how and where it will be used
  • Include their name, location/company and contact details to show testimonials are genuine
  • Get different testimonials to cover varying aspects of your business, i.e. your product/service itself, delivery, customer service, value for money
  • Ask specifically about whether they have recommended you to their friends and family and what makes your product different to your competitors, then use these quotes in the testimonial
  • Include the date and keep them current

Generating on-going word of mouth referrals doesn’t just happen, it’s the result of high quality and consistent delivery and customer service that meets and exceeds customer expectations.

Sometimes businesses are afraid or forget to remind customers about their experiences and ask for a testimonial, so think about using a professional service to do this for you.

Pelican offers a customer feedback service to discuss clients’ experiences with them and to get the testimonials you need. Out of sight is out of mind so keeping in regular touch with customers using email marketing, telemarketing and customer research is a cost effective way to maintain contact and bring in more business.

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