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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One Comment

  1. Posted January 16, 2012 at 5:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Good insights in customer success management challenges – we’d like to hear more form you in our community at http://www.customerreferenceprogram.org/ where you can network with other customer reference professionals

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