Word-of-mouth recommendations are one of the most powerful forms of persuasion in the customer’s buying journey, but also one of the most difficult to generate. They’re also impossible to control and direct towards the people who you most want to hear them. Therefore, customer testimonials are the next best thing.

If you haven’t got any (or many) testimonials on your website and in your marketing materials, I’d encourage you to do so.
Here’s my guide on how to get persuasive testimonials from satisfied customers:

1. Start by asking good customers to provide testimonials.
These are the long-standing ones who tell you how pleased they are with what you’ve delivered. And that’s the moment to ask them for a testimonial.

2. Get an interesting, cliché-free testimonial that people will trust.
Writing a quote that they are happy to put their name to, can be daunting and time-consuming for your customers, so make it as easy as possible for them:

  • Think about what you would like them to say as part of the testimonial.
  • Do you want them to say how good the product or service was?
  • How good your customer service was?
  • How their customers have responded to the product supplied?
  • What the impact on their business has been?

Make a list of questions that incite the information you want. Make sure they are open questions (see our favourites below) to get them talking. Try and get them to tell the story of how and why they became a customer, as well as their experience of what you delivered for them.

3. Get their answers verbally
Speak to them and get their answers by phone or in person, as the testimonial will sound much more realistic that way. From our experience, when people write down a testimonial, they invariably end up sounding forced and clichéd.

4. Record or write down their answers
If you can video their answers, even better, but get a record and then edit it to something short, relevant, and interesting.

5. Send their testimonial to them to approve
Keep them involved and in the loop; no-one likes to find out their name has been attributed to something that they didn’t agree to or realise it was going to be used in a certain way.

6. Our favourite questions to ask: 

  • Why did you choose us?
  • What were your perceptions before we started?
  • What were your aims/objectives for the project? What was the problem you were trying to solve?
  • What did you like most about the product/service?
  • Has the project been a success? If so, in what way?

Thank you to our guest blogger, Ros Conkie, for writing this informative and practical blog.

If you’d like to find out how to use Testimonials as part of an effective marketing plan, then do contact Kara Stanford from KMS Marketing, Hampshire, UK or Ros Conkie from Ros Conkie Marketing, Bristol.

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