Word of mouth advertising (or referrals) has always been the quiet strength for business. With the rise in popularity of Internet, Word of Mouth Marketing has become even more important as most purchasers don’t have the advantage of personal interaction before buying.
Existing customers and clients of a business, associate with people in similar circumstances and casual conversations lead to recommendations for products and services. If your existing clients are happy with the service they have received from your business, they will recommend you.
Testimonials are small pieces of proof that existing customers are pleased with the service and products received from your business.
Proof is an important part of the decision making process for a purchaser. A purchaser likes to know that they aren’t alone, and that they are making a ‘good’ decision.
Often, a customer will write a positive review on a public forum (whether that be a forum, Twitter, Facebook or blogging network). Where possible, a business owner should contact the person who has written the review and gain permission to reprint it. Remember, these testimonials drive new sales, one person’s glowing account may be worth much more than you think!
Some customers may be happy to provide a testimonial, but may ask not be named in public. In these cases, withholding the personal details may be appropriate – but be sure to record the customers permission on file, if even only in an email. This will ensure that you avoid claims of false or misleading advertising.
Asking permission is important for several reasons. Firstly, it honors your clients privacy and personal views – some people view their opinions as personal and private. Even though they may have sent you that opinion in writing, they might not want it used without at least a courtesy request. When asked, the majority of people allow publication.
Asking For The Testimonial
Ask the purchasers of your products or services for a review or testimonial. Be sure to let them know that the information they provide may be used for marketing purposes and gain their permission to publish their name and location.
Using your follow email marketing campaign is a great way to request a testimonial. Give your clients sufficient time to test the product out, and them ask them to complete a short survey or questionnaire about their experience. This provides two benefits to the business – gathering information for product improvement purposes as well as a client testimonial to use.
Editing A Testimonial
A testimonial should be be used exactly as provided by your client – although you should correct obvious spelling errors. By leaving the testimonial in the clients words, the business is conveying the customer’s words and feelings and future customers see that people like themselves have spoken positively about your company. This creates a connection builds trust.
Testimonials are a resource that is free and never ending. Are you using testimonials to aid your business? Share your experiences below…