We all know the value of a happy customer in that they’re not only likely to return but also to spread the word on your behalf.
But how good are you at capturing the happiness of that customer so that others who know neither you nor them are positively affected? I’m talking about company testimonials and making the capture of them part of your marketing process.
Always be ready to write down anything which is said and ask if you can use it.
Spontaneous verbal testimonials have a lot more energy than those written down. This means you avoid the stilted “I would thoroughly recommend Hiram Hoodle to do your website” which has about as much energy as a broken lightbulb.
The secret is always to carry a pen and notepad and remember to say – “What a great thing to say – would you mind if I used that in my marketing?”
Got a client that loves you? Send them an e-mail with suggested wording
That e-mail should say something like “Al, you’re one of my best customers, the last few times we’ve spoken you’ve said the kind of thing I’d like to use in my marketing materials such as….”
I’ve frequently used this kind of approach, I’ve never had a knock back and in fact most people would rather have examples they can OK that be asked to think up something original when they’re busy on their own business! I’ve even had a client say “I agree with all that and would also like to add…”
No testimonials in this new business? Don’t panic
Recommendations and testimonials about you as a person still work. You haven’t changed character since you became self-employed. And can still be described in the way you were when in a previous role:
• Someone who instinctively understands the challenge or
• Is honest, hardworking and focused or
• Never fails to deliver to the best of his ability
So use these.
You are, of course, asking questions on your client feedback form that evoke testimonials aren’t you?
One golden question that usually delivers is: “May I ask why you chose me/us?”
Plant a social media seed…
Do you get the chance to train in your subject or talk about your specialism at business networking? Plant a not too subtle seed in the heads of the attendees– “Folks, if you enjoyed the talk /workshop please follow me on Twitter and wave at me”.
Make the most of your e-mailed testimonial
Great; your happy client has e-mailed you and it’s a great testimonial – the only problem is only you can see it. Wouldn’t it be great if more potential clients could see it too? No problem e-mail back and say – “Thank you so much for your great e-mail could I be really forward and ask if there’s any way you could use this as a LinkedIn Recommendation?”
I have used this tactic and no offence was taken, the reaction was “You’re not being forward that’s just sensible marketing”
Make the most of Twitter compliments
Has someone said something great to you on Twitter? There are three ways to make the most of this
1. Favorite it
2. Re-tweet it with a comment – “Gotta love a happy client…”
3. Use the More function on Twitter to embed it into your website or blog
I hope this has been helpful, they key thing to remember is that this is a two-step marketing process:
1. Make it easy for them to recommend you
2. Make the most of the great things they say about you
What’s the nicest testimonial you have ever had?
Reference: Many thanks to Jane Buswell for contributing to this post. She has been working hard to get great client testimonials since she set up her Hampshire based Marketing Consultancy in 2002. Her marketing blog can be found on www.businessfulcrum.co.uk and she is @janebuswell on Twitter.