The best salesperson your company has doesn’t even work for your company. That’s because your average human is a little cynical when it comes to salespeople, and is significantly more open to input from other consumers. While we’ve blogged in the past about the challenges associated with customer testimonials (most involving questions of authenticity), freely given, honestly reported comments can still be very powerful.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your customers’ kudos.
- Never alter them. Ever. It may seem like a small tweak here and a little polishing there is simply making a positive statement more presentable. However, prospects who discover you’re altering what’s been said to any degree may be skeptical. Unless the customer is willing to rephrase their comment to clear up any issues, use it verbatim.
- Be a copycat. If you learn that a customer has made a comment on some social platform or forum, ask permission to use it. People who see that the same thing a customer is reported to have said on your website has been said elsewhere in cyberspace will be reassured.
- Share “comeback” stories. Not every one of your testimonials should sparkle like a diamond. If you’ve had situations where a customer was initially unhappy with an interaction but you were able to make things right, that’s the kind of honesty and transparency people like to see.
- Use photos of actual customers. If a happy customer is willing to let you post their picture on your website with their testimonial, that’s fantastic. While a reader probably can’t say with any certainty that the stock photo you selected to represent John K. isn’t actually him, at some level they might just sense it.
- Spread testimonials around your website. A full page of “We love this product!” can get a little monotonous. Try to see your website from a prospect’s perspective and drop context-specific testimonials into places where a little "social proof" can help seal the deal. For example, a quick quote about the value of your product or service can go a long way on your pricing page.
- If you’ve got it, flaunt it. If you are fortunate enough to get an endorsement from someone high profile, be sure you give that testimonial center stage.
- Use video testimonials. While testimonials with accompanying customer photos can be very convincing, video testimonials tend to be even more so. If your customer is willing to say a few words on camera, even if it’s just a simple amateur recording, absolutely take them up on it!
- Consider a new vocabulary. While "testimonial" is accurate, "customer story" may have a more inviting feel to your audience. Some companies refer to their "clients" as "friends." There are no right or wrong answers regarding the terms you use, but do give some thought to what kind of language best puts the reader/viewer in a receptive state of mind.
Our "Outside Sales" Team
We all like the reassurance of seeing ourselves reflected in people who’ve already purchased a product or service, so consider adding testimonials to your marketing strategy. If you’d like to see yourself reflected in others who have used our Colorado Springs content marketing agency, there are testimonials on our Case Studies page. Check them out then give us a call!