TESTIMONIALS: HOW TO GO ABOUT GETTING GOOD ONES

Testimonials are powerful, as are reviews. They're resonant for the social proof they epitomize, but most of all, they're powerful because they deliver a third-party perspective rather than your own. They go beyond strategy, keyword research, focus groups, and mission statements.

Everyone knows it too.

Even if it's only an intuitive awareness, people everywhere understand the power of testimonials.

When a customer produces a testimonial that's rich in detail, the endorsement becomes vivid, vibrant, and believable and that, in short, is what makes a testimonial so powerful. It's so powerful, in fact, that even a new business owner doesn't need more than a couple to leverage its strength. The prospective customer is able to see the offer through their own eyes, and that has the capacity to be game-changing.

While EZlocal is elated about its new tools and platforms—how could we not be? There's Customer Voice, Google Posts, Instagram—I thought I would try to talk about testimonials from a more substance-oriented perspective for a change. What good is a testimonial if the person giving it doesn't know what to talk about?

Why, you might ask, would a satisfied customer need help with what to say?

All I can say is, tongue-tied testimonials are all too common.

Tools and platforms take care of how you'll reach out, but they don't always answer the question of what you will say when you do, much less what you'd like your customer to say.

In the interest of tackling this topic, I put together a short list of questions that have proven to be useful for a number of local businesses and within a variety of contexts.

SMS, email, or face-to-face, these can help get the ball rolling.

  • What was your problem before you bought/joined our product/service?
  • What results have you gotten from our product/service?
  • Did something keep you from buying our product/service sooner?
  • What specific feature did you like most about this product/service?
  • Are there other benefits of this product/service?
  • If you were to recommend our product/service to your friend, what would you say?
  • What kind of support would you benefit in the future?

All good questions.

You can personalize these questions to your specific product or service, and if a conversation about it precedes these questions, it's a great idea to include that as well, referencing it along the way.

It can go a long way toward jogging a customer's memory, or affording them the opportunity to make associations or simply tell a story even.

The secret to getting powerful testimonials—the kind that in turn spur repeat customers (your favorite kind!)—is to offer prompts.
Make it easy for your clients and include a short, succinct list of questions, even if it doesn't feature this particular one!