People often dismiss old school techniques of doing business as not having any value to offer businesses today, but that is far from the truth. Take testimonials. These can often be dismissed as an old school tool that doesn’t have much to offer today, but it can still offer a lot of when value when it comes to instilling new customer trust and credibility for the company.

Benefits of Testimonials

Let’s face facts, most people today are rather cynical and untrusting when it comes to doling out their hard earned money to a new company. Often, we don’t trust advertising and worry about scams because that’s often in the news. People do believe in what other people have to say, however. Websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor exist because we want to know what others have to say about businesses before we make up our minds about eating at a new restaurant or going to a new salon. Also, consider how powerful social media is when it comes to what others have to say about a business. Think about the free marketing that Zulily got when a positive customer service interaction was posted to the Internet.

A testimonial is an important endorsement because this person is staking their reputation with their friends and family. If you give a glowing testimonial, and your family or friend doesn’t have the same experience, you’re probably going to hear about it, right? This creates a bond between a business and the person that gives them a testimonial. It’s a relationship that both parties are going to hold up their end of the bargain.

Customers that look at reviews and testimonials are going to want to see a diverse customer base that makes them feel as though they can relate to the experience, and this makes the business more appealing than a company with no testimonials. This can be seen as a reduced risk in trying out a new company.

How to Get Testimonials?

Some business owners may find it hard to ask for testimonials. Often, it can be seen as going hand in hand with talking yourself up. People can feel embarrassed or like they’re bragging if they ask for a positive testimonial. They may even feel as though asking for a testimonial is telling customers that their business may not be doing well when that can be far from the case. Don’t let this be a stopping block for getting valuable testimonials for your business.

You can create an easy to remember script that helps you to hit all the salient points of asking for a testimonial.

– (Customer name), I’m so happy you choose (your business name here) over all the competitors out there. That means a lot. I’m always looking to grow my business and finding wonderful customers like your yourself is vital for that mission. Would you be willing to refer my business to your friends, and maybe whip up a testimonial? It can be short with just a few lines. Think you could help me with that?

Something like this short statement helps to engage your customer and asks them for their help with your business. This can be very persuasive, and many people are more than willing to give you a testimonial right away because of their satisfaction. Plus, you’re actively asking for referrals which can be an added bonus. You can provide your customers with a sheet that gives some examples along with some suggestions about what to write about their experience, such as what did you like most about your experience or if you could use one word to sum up the experience what would it be?

Don’t forget social media. People that are unable to give you a testimonial on the spot may be willing to write reviews on social media. You can send them a follow-up email that includes links to where you’d like the reviews posted. The easier you make it, the more likely you’ll get the review you want.

Best Testimonial Candidates

You should be looking to get testimonials from people that represent your target market. This requires you to know who makes up your target market. For instance, web developers that work with small businesses would want to reflect small businesses’ experiences in their testimonials.

Fresh Testimonials

If you’re banking on testimonials that are 10 years old or older, you probably want to get some new ones on your website. Since you’re basing your company’s reputation on them, it’s necessary to have recent testimonials. Customers may feel suspicion when all your testimonials are old. What has your company done wrong not to get a new one?

Your testimonials can also act as quality control for your business. People that aren’t happy with their experience are sure to let you know this here. You can then take this and work to improve that problem.

Posting Testimonials

You worked to get your testimonials, so you should also use them wisely. Put them on your website, printed marketing materials, and proposals. Post thank yous to your social media including the testimonial. Be creative by using them where and when you can.

Use this powerful tool to your advantage. Your competitors might call it old school and not focus on it, but you know the truth. This competitive advantage can be yours just by asking your customers.

Want more advice on how to boost your business’ bottom line? Give the experts at Grow Digital Marketing a call!