Stand Up & Testify: The Power of Testimonials

November 7, 2012
Customer testimonials share business value and reputation

When I think of testimonials, I am taken back to childhood memories of church services. Once in awhile someone in the congregation would stand up and “testify”: they had experienced something profound and wanted to share it.

Testimonials are a way for your customers to demonstrate appreciation and affirm your business’ value and worth. They make you feel good, but the true beauty is that they can make potential customers feel good about you, too!

Your Pulpit

86% of consumers do research online before making a purchase. There is a lot of information available, and what existing customers say about a company carries a great deal of influence.

Companies that share testimonials demonstrate two things:

  1. They provide the products and services consumers are looking for.
  2. They do it with such professionalism, expertise, and customer service that their customers are happy to share their experience and recommend the company to others.

The Promised Land

Testimonials provide consumers with comfort as they explore new opportunities and take their first step toward engaging with your company. Testimonials are proof that people trust you to provide exactly what you promise.

Consumers are just as happy to write negative testimonials (affectionately called “complaints”) when you fail to deliver on your promises. We’ve talked before about the power of your brand and the importance of your online reputation; you can’t take the absentee approach when negative circumstances arise. This is your chance to be responsive, right a customer wrong, and capitalize on the opportunity by sharing it with your audience.

Are You There?

It’s imperative that you listen to your customers. Sure there is both good and bad, but listen. Promote what they identify you do well; take criticism to heart and do your best to resolve any issues.

Do these things often and well, and you may soon have enough happy customers to start converting those testimonials into something greater: case studies. These can be powerful resources for you, but you have to start somewhere.

Closing Thoughts

Insights, customer reviews, feedback, testimonials — no matter what you call them, these thoughts and feedback can build trust, two-way communication, and give you a crystal-clear idea of what your customers think and want.

Don’t be afraid to ask for them, engage with customers about them, and promote positive outcomes and experiences.

Amen!

[Image: allistair]

Comments

With the growing distrust of

With the growing distrust of brand advertising, both B2B and B2B buyers increasingly turn to word-of-mouth testimonials as the only trustworthy source of information for making purchase decisions.

Smart brands have realized that they need to create "evangelists" online to help them spread their brand gospel -- but how do you find and recruit them?

Social media monitoring is a discipline that no corporate marketing department can do without. Monitoring social networks allows brands to assess their share of voice, sentiment, and most importantly -- identify & build relationships with digital influencers.

You can read more at www.social-exposure.com

Hi Steve. Totally agree with

Hi Steve. Totally agree with the value and art of creating empowered evangelists. There is no better resource than that sincere and trusted testimony to provide consumers peace of mind. It inspires trust and the opportunity to establish and build upon those relationships.

Thanks for your contribution and commentary.

Jeff

irony -- the marketing

irony -- the marketing industry taking cues from church.

where's the irony? i arrived at your article as part of my research aimed at bringing awareness to churches about their branding & customer outreach opportunities.

true, the church is called to preach the word but what they don't realize is the WHY? why are we called? the purpose behind the calling -- to reach the world. but too many times the church falls short because their missional paradigm isn't big enough to consider who their customer is, what the customer needs, and how to best reach their customer.

Hi Becky. Thank you for your

Hi Becky. Thank you for your comment and taking a moment from your research to share your insights. Awareness and outreach is indeed important and those opportunities to improve do exist. Understanding that brands are incorporated in almost everything, you have brought a very specific customer need and reach to light.

Thank you so much for sharing.

Jeff