Getting Testimonials and Success Stories from Clients
Turn your customers into your sales team with effective testimonials and customer success stories.
Written Dec 20, 2007, read 3215 times since then.
The most powerful selling tool a small business can have is a satisfied customer. Human nature, however, predicts that most people will complain to more people about a bad service than praise good or even outstanding service.
How can you get your happy clients to sell for you? Simple, you ask them.
Even if you don't tell everyone you meet about your favorite Italian restaurant, if someone asks you for a recommendation you would not hesitate to give one. It is the same with your customers. They will gladly tell others about your good service - if prompted.
You may have already tried to get testimonials from your clients, and if so you have run into a problem. Most people do not know how to write a testimonial and keep putting it off while they think about the best way to do it. At this rate, their good intentions will never materialize into a quote that will work for you.
There are two ways to add powerful customer statements to your website and marketing material, the Testimonial and the Customer Success Story.
The Testimonial is a quote that is basically a reference check on you. The most effective way to get a testimonial is to contact your customer and say:
"John, remember when you said we really saved the day by having emergency staff ready to handle your plumbing issues the night before your guests arrived for your daughter's wedding? I'd like permission to use your statement on my website. I can send you the quote via email for your approval."
This method accomplishes your goal of getting a testimonial and gives you the opportunity to remind your customer of their good experience. Your customer will also appreciate having to only approve the comment.
The Customer Success Story is an even more powerful tool, and the more of these you can have, the better. This is not the time to talk about all the wonderful things you did for your customer, even though that is your natural inclination. The goal of the customer success story is to allow other potential customers to see themselves in the story, identify with the problem, and then imagine you resolving it for them. Another benefit is that some customers love publicity and will actually link to the success story on their own websites! By focusing on your customer's success, you are allowing them to sell for you.
- First, introduce your customer and the problem.
- How did the customer solve the problem?
- What did your customer learn along the way?
- What specific results did your customer achieve?
Make it a point to ask for testimonials and document success stories from your satisfied customers BEFORE you need them. By making it a part of your overall customer relationship management program, you will reinforce goodwill, learn a few lessons yourself about the things customers like about your company (and sometimes what they don't!), and lay the groundwork for reaching more customers.