Tag Archives: reference

Customer Testimonials: Now That You Have Them, What Do You Do With Them?

Testimonials are important assets that can be used in myriad ways. Be creative with them and be sure to ask permission on types of use. Include on the testimonial form a list of the ways you might use the quote. And if they prefer you don’t use their name, still gather the information. Research has shown that the use of a ‘blind” testimonial is only 10 percent less valuable than a named customer.

Here are some options for using them more creatively:

  • Get endorsements on your website through third-party review sites.
  • Post relevant quotes on different areas of your website (not just a “testimonial” page).
  • Use short customer quotes on your social media profile pages.
  • Add relevant testimonials as an appendix to proposals.
  • Arm sales people with testimonial letters that can be used on sales calls.
  • Add a customer quote to your telephone on-hold recording.
  • Add a customer quote to the back of all business cards.
  • Add to brochures, flyers, fact sheets and other marketing collateral.
  • Consider a sidebar on customer letterhead with 2 -3 short quotes.
  • Video the customer talking about their experience with you.
  • Interview customers for newsletters, blogs, webinars.

Important note:  While it is important to make use of testimonials from customers, do not overdo it! A bombardment of positive commentary about you and your business may come off as a bit disingenuous. And keep it fresh; rotate the testimonials you use every few months!

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What Should a Good Customer Reference Say?

Many of your clients may be happy to provide a reference for you in writing, but are often at a loss of exactly what to say that would be meaningful.  Some of them might just tell you to write something yourself, and they will sign off on it.  As tempting as that may be, the most value that you get out of a customer reference is that it comes from the customer!

But that doesn’t mean you can’t help your customer along with the process.  Ask them to take a few moments to answer some pointed, open-ended questions about the work you did or the product you sold.

•    What immediate or long-term benefit(s) did our engagement provide?
•    What aspects of the service experience were memorable and why?
•    What aspects exceeded your expectations?
•    What was the impact on revenue gains or cost reductions?
•    Describe your customer experience in 3 words or less.
•    What did you learn from our working together?
•    Would you work with us again and why?

Ask permission to use some of their answers as a reference for prospects.  Be sure to show the customer exactly how you are going to use their words, and in which media.

Customer references are some of the most precious assets your business has.  Don’t leave them on the table.  And once you have them, don’t squander them!

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