Customer testimonials are an excellent marketing tool that can help substantiate the claims you make on your website about your products or services.
If you are offering a product, it’s easier for prospects to compare your products with competitive products. They can easily check features and prices of your competitors and compare different products and find proof of your claims. For service companies, it’s a bit more difficult. Testimonials can help you support your claims about the benefits of your service.
Creating Meaningful Testimonials
Everyone knows testimonials are useful, but the challenge is getting your customers to give you meaningful, believable testimonials that ring true to your site visitors. In reality, anyone can make up testimonials and put them on their website. The goal is to make your testimonials believable.
A testimonial is only as good as the person who gives it. If your customer won’t allow you to put their name on their testimonial, then there’s really no point in accepting a testimonial from them. The more specific you can be about the source of the testimonial the better. If your customers are businesses, include their name, title and company and offer to include their logo with a link to their website. If they are individuals, include their full name and town.
The first step is to get the testimonials in the first place. If you’ve tried to do this yourself, you know it can be like pulling teeth to get your customers to write something about you. It’s not that they don’t want to help, it’s just that they are busy and it’s not a priority for them. They also don’t know what to say, so they put it off until they have time and it doesn’t get done.
Often times, when you do get a testimonial, it’s often not the endorsement you would have hoped for. You know that your customer could have made a stronger testimonial, but they just gave you something quickly and didn’t think much about it.
Most likely, your customers will welcome your help in crafting their testimonial. They don’t have time to think about it and they want to sound intelligent. This gives you the opportunity to develop a strong testimonial that contains their opinion and more. All they have to do is approve it.
Shaping your Customer’s Testimonials
To get quality testimonials from your customers, take control of the process. First, ask your customers if they would be willing to give you a testimonial. You may get lucky and get a great testimonial this way that needs little editing. If they agree but don’t have the time to write the testimonial themselves, offer to write the testimonial for them. Ask them what they like about doing business with you. Then offer to write the testimonial for them based on what they said, assuring them they will have the opportunity to approve the testimonial before it’s posted.
Once you have your testimonials, of course you’ll want to put them on your website on a special page. You can also take your strongest testimonial and put it on your home page, in your email newsletter or direct mail piece as an attention-getter and lead-in. Be creative!
Should you create a mission statement for your company?
I’m not a big fan of mission statements. Most mission statements are poorly written and too vague to be useful.
Although mission statements can be useful as an internal credo to help define your company, I much prefer to create something more meaningful, like a positioning statement, so I have something to base my branding and marketing strategy on. Learn more about creating a positioning statement for your company.
Another option is to create a mantra. A mantra is a three or four word statement that says why your product, service or company should exist. Watch this short video to learn more about mantras.
Creating Mission Statements
If you would like to create a mission statement, Here is an excellent video from Fast Company on how to do it right:
The bottom line is, there are many different ways to define your company. Whichever direction you choose, avoid long convoluted statements that mean nothing to your employees and customers. The goal is to create a useful definition that everyone can relate to.