The most effective type of advertising is word-of-mouth advertising.
A friend tells you about the great experience she had at a new restaurant. A family member raves about how well he was treated at a local car dealer.
Why are you likely to put more stock in what they say than what you hear in TV or radio commercials for the same businesses?
Simple: your friends and relatives have nothing to gain by promoting a product or company. They’re impartial, and they only want to share some good news with you.
When you and other members of your team actively encourage testimonials and then incorporate them into your marketing content, you’ll tap into the persuasive power of happy customers.
Their words will resonate more with other customers and prospects because their words aren't self-serving. Their words often come in the form of unsolicited thank you notes or appreciative email messages, so, just like a recommendation from a friend, their sincerity is above reproach.
We can use testimonials on your website, as social media posts, in your On Hold Marketing and other channels as social proof of the claims we make on your behalf. The consistent truths we see in your testimonials may even help us decide which claims to make.
I urge you to make collecting testimonials part of your company culture. A few ideas:
1) When customers tell you how much they enjoy working with you, ask them if they'd be willing to express their thoughts in an email. Or if a customer compliments you while on the phone, jot down her quote and ask for permission to use it as a testimonial.
2) Whenever possible, include the customer's full name, title and company when displaying the testimonial.
3) Save each testimonial as a Word doc with a file name that includes a keyword or phrase that the customer references. That makes it easier to find testimonials about specific topics when you want to show them to prospects.
4) Consider keeping testimonial letters, cards and emails in a binder that visiting prospects can read.
5) To encourage staff members to collect testimonials, harness their competitive spirit: read the best examples during your company meetings or share them with your staff via email, making sure to credit the employee who received the praise.
6) You might also give a gift card or other reward to the team member who receives the “most valuable” or "most unlikely" testimonial each month.