Testimonials are Great for Raising Awareness
In my monthly meetings with clients, I often hear them tell stories that shine a positive light on their work and crystalize their edge. They usually don’t recognize the opportunities, though, until I point them out.
“That’s a story,” I’m apt to say. “Can we do a blog about that?”
If the story has broader appeal—say if a staff member won an award or went above and beyond in some way in providing customer service—I am also apt to recommend a press release.
Say you own an insurance company, and a client pops you an email to say, “I had a fender bender last night and was so pleased with the response I got when I called your office for help. Joe Insuranceguy reported the accident to the insurance company for me. I didn’t have to do a thing except have my car towed. And I have an adjuster coming tomorrow to give me an estimate. Today, even simple things can be so frustrating and time-consuming. Thanks for making something feel easy.”
When you receive feedback like this, that’s your hint to make the story work for you.
Thank your customer for sharing the positive experience and ask if you can use his or her story on your social media platforms. Ask if you—or your content creator—can do a quick interview to get more details and flesh the story out.
Don’t be shy about it. And don’t overlook the opportunity.
Here are some tips for turning testimonials into stories:
Get permission. When a client, customer, or volunteer sends you a communication or calls you on the telephone to thank you for good service or a great product, make sure that after you thank them for taking the time to pass the feedback on, your next question is, “Would it be okay to use your thoughts in our promotional materials? And can I use your name?” Don’t worry that it may seem in poor taste. Self-promotion is very effective when it’s done well. And doing it well begins with making sure you have permission.
Take it one step further. When you receive a positive testimonial and have received permission to use it, ask if you can tell the whole story. In the example of the insurance company and the fender bender, ask for some more details: What kind of car? Where was the accident? What was the name of the employee who helped you? How did they make it easy for you to file a report, and how did that improve your day? Turn the customer’s answers into a story that demonstrates your company’s excellence in customer service. Don’t know how to tell that story? Then present just the questions and answers on your website—or reach out to me!
Tell the story on multiple channels. Keep these testimonials short, under 300 words, pair them with a photo if you can, and share them in your enewsletter and your blog, and on a print flyer you post in your office. Condense the testimonial into several short sentences, and offer up several posts on your social media platforms. If you’re a nonprofit helping to transform a community, turn the testimonial into a press release and send it to the media. Create a postcard that pairs the testimonial with your upcoming schedule of events or your latest product and send it to your clients and prospects.
Ask for testimonials. Sometimes—actually, most times—our clients don’t think to thank us or offer words of praise. But many times, they would be happy to share their story if asked. If you know a client or customer who had a great experience, ask him or her for a brief testimonial, ask if you can tell the story with a simple quote, in a blog, or with a Q&A.
Respect privacy. Don’t be upset if clients or customers don’t want you to share their testimonials, but do ask if it’s okay to use the testimonial without their name.
I can help you strategize a campaign for sharing client feedback. Reach out to talk to me about how you can do that in a way that works for you.