Using Customer Testimonials Effectively

“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” – Walt Disney

We all know the ‘super powers’ that customers possess and the fact that they would be willing to use in favour of a company, if they are pleased with it. Many companies claim that they are the best but unless customers are convinced, none of these claims would hold any water. When they truly believe that a company is the best, they come forth to speak about it and it would be wise for a company to use these customer testimonials effectively and to advantage. Customer testimonials are proof of the hard work and great experiences your company has provided and serve as a decision-making tool for new or potential customers. In addition, glowing customer testimonials would give a company the edge over its competitors. We know that gaining such positive word of mouth is not easy and companies would do well to use customer testimonials effectively – to gain new business, attract the best talent, impress investors, and many other such profitable things.

Every company faces challenges – some of which if not handled well can stop the company in its tracks. However, if a company has gained the trust and established its credibility, customer testimonials will continue to flow through and could well be the reason that could save a company. A company may have many advantages, but few are as potent and powerful as customer testimonials from existing or even happy former customers. Each one of the customer testimonials help a company, even if they may not be as ‘glowing’ as another. Some customers may just mention that the company or its products are good, while others may actually take the time to express why the company and its offerings were good for them and how they helped to achieve the company’s goals. While the first kind of customer testimonials is good too, the second type actually helps a company to be noticed and be set apart from competition.

Some companies request customers to write testimonials for them and happy customers may comply. However, in order to gain and use customer testimonials effectively, they would require some depth – that is, they could give information about a company that others could find useful and interesting and may be even consider doing business with the company.  If a company uses customer testimonials effectively, it could stand to gain immensely – more customers, enhanced market reputation, heightened enthusiasm and engagement within employee ranks, spur the growth of business and many other such competitive advantages.

In order to gain effective customer testimonials, it would be wise for a company to devote time and make the effort to put together something like a questionnaire, which would elicit detailed and pertinent answers in favour of the company. A company should be able to gain answers on why their existing customers chose them and why they continue to use the company and its offerings. In order to use customer testimonials effectively, a company should also check with its customers what they believe about its competitors. Gaining information on whether their customers have used competitor products or services is a great way to understand how the company compares. This information would also help to benchmark against the best in the industry and implement their practices to get better. Your company would also get to know whether any of your current customers left a competitor for your company – this could a powerful testimonial of your company’s prowess.

Another way to gain effective customer testimonials is to ask them to elaborate on how the customer’s business is benefiting from the association with your company. Such testimonials could prove to be the unique value your company provides – it is a validation of the effectiveness of your company and its offerings. A company could also ‘quiz’ interested prospective customers as to what they expect from the association, what they believe the company can offer, and how successful the company would be in meeting their expectations. This is valuable and additional information about your company – something you may not have known and could weave into your customer testimonials.

We know now, that the balance of power has shifted toward customers. Companies no longer control what customers see and when they should buy. Most of the information that customers may need before buying is already freely available – empowering today’s customers and keeping them in control. These factors add even more value and power to customer testimonials and any company would be lucky to have them. Most prospective customers now first read the reviews about a company and its offerings before making any decision. These customer testimonials are free from marketing and promotional material – they are just candid opinions from existing customers and not exaggerated with jargon or meaningless ‘frills’. They are words from regular people and hence more believable.

Case studies for example are very effective forms of customer reviews. They clearly highlight the value and benefit existing customers gain from using your company’s offerings. Case studies happen only with customer consent – this on its own means that it has the customer’s approval and therefore carries a lot more weight than any generic studies or market reviews.

Social media has become central to everyone’s life now and with its high visibility, it is a great platform to show case all the great things customers say about your company. Weave these positive customer testimonials into your social media sites and link the comments therein to your company’s website too. This would highlight every good thing customers have to say about your company and would be seen easily by others.

Every company’s backbone is their workforce. They work hard to ensure repeated success of the company and deserve to know how their efforts are making a difference. In order to use customer testimonials effectively, share them with your employees. By hearing these positive statements, employees know they are working for a good company, that they are part of its success, and are contributing to their own success and that of their co-workers. Sharing good news is always a great way to strengthen bonds and make your company stronger on the inside. The manner in which these positive reviews are shared with your employees depends on the culture of the company – however, it would be best to hold a company-wide meeting to share the ‘good news’. You could also share this via the company’s intranet and or email blasts to all employees. Whatever be the culture, the fact is that a company must share customer testimonials with their employees to encourage them to work better and continue gaining favour from customers.

There is no doubt that everyone loves receiving compliments – and when customers make the effort of praising your company and the experiences they have had with your company, they only make you want to do even better. Take advantage of and use customer testimonials effectively since they are an invaluable tool and that energy potion which could skyrocket your company’s reputation and chances of success. Sadly, some companies simply jam their customer reviews on a nondescript page on their website and expect it to work for them. In the crowded business world of today, if your company does not use every resource and tool at its disposal to stand apart, you risk getting lost in the melee and being overshadowed by someone else. Do not underestimate the power of customer testimonials – the honesty and integrity in them are sure to translate to positive results and take your company that much closer to success. What is the unique way that your business uses customer testimonials?

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