The power of the testimonial

As businesses we all spend a considerable amount of time making sure that everyone knows what we’re doing, where we’re going and what we have found to be interesting or thought provoking.

Social media has, without doubt, allowed us to keep our audience up-to-date with our activities and opinions, but sometimes it’s good to remember that the audience we want to nurture may be more interested in what others think of us rather than the image we have created for ourselves.

That’s where testimonials come into play.  There’s nothing quite like a genuine, glowing testimonial from a delighted client to illustrate the very best features of your products and services.  It may be a little more ‘old school’ than the instantaneous information sharing we have become used to, but in terms of addressing buyer nervousness (or indeed scepticism) there really are few things to beat the reassuring words of someone who took the plunge and liked what they saw.

Most companies will have toyed with customer feedback at some point in their business journey; some at the very beginning to assess whether the product or service they were offering had hit the target with their market, some perhaps further down the line when internal quality procedures or appraisal questionnaires had demanded it.  Many company websites have testimonials pages which were created with enthusiasm but were then left without update or refresh because the true worth was perhaps never fully understood.

At RDZ we say embrace the power of the testimonial and understand the significant value it can bring when used correctly.  Here are just a few reasons why we are huge testimonial fans;

  1. They show exactly what it is like to work with you, from an independent point of view
  2. They are one of the few ways to ensure that you are (and remain) relatable
  3. They provide great content for social media posts and blogs – each with a fresh style brought to it by the testimonial writer
  4. They provide rich content for your website in terms of keywords and search potential
  5. They are a great sales tool without being too obviously ‘salesy’

We understand that many businesses will feel reluctant to ask clients to provide a testimonial and this is understandable as there is a perceived element of imposition (asking your client to take precious time out from their daily workload to express their satisfaction in the written word – especially since putting things in words may, to some, be somewhat of a chore).  So, why not ask a few quick questions by telephone and then construct the testimonial on your client’s behalf, requiring only agreement and final validation?  In our experience this more pro-active approach is generally well-received and very often greeted with a huge sigh of relief.

Whatever the method of collation, there are just a few golden rules to adhere to when it comes to publishing testimonials;

  1. They should be ENTIRELY GENUINE and reflect your client’s own words
  2. They should be USED IN FULL and not edited to discard what you think is irrelevant
  3. They should appear as part of your marketing ONLY WHEN APPROVED for use

As a final thought we also urge that published testimonials be attributed to the specific individual or business rather than just ‘John from London’ as this not only says little about the authenticity but also negates any relatability there might otherwise have been!

Used well, the complimentary words of others can be hugely powerful.  A good testimonial substantiates your own claims and, therefore, re-enforces every other form of marketing you undertake.  It also removes a significant degree of risk on the part of the buyer and makes the decision to commit just that little bit easier…