There are few things more valuable to a company than brand awareness and reputation. The goodwill generated through a carefully managed brand is a true asset that adds to the value of the company.
One of the best tools we’ve found to help build brand awareness and reputation is the testimonial.
Usually provided by a customer, the testimonial is a vehicle for people to express how and why they think well of you. Testimonials can influence a purchase, reinforce a decision and garner a good deal of attention in the media and elsewhere.
We encourage our clients to use testimonials in a number of ways, including in media interviews, as sales collateral and in social media efforts.
A good customer testimonial includes four key ingredients:
- Credibility. Comments and experiences described in a testimonial must be authentic and reflect the customer’s true feelings.
- Metrics. There must be some measurable benefit to working with you. Ideally this includes hard metrics: increase in sales or revenues, a decrease in risk, etc.
- Specifics. Delve into the nitty-gritty. The testimonial should detail a before-and-after scenario that shows the progression of your relationship. Ask your customers a combination of closed- and open-ended questions to bring out good quotes.
- Approval. Make your customers understand how testimonials will be used. Will they be quoted in the media, part of a Website, included in a new business proposal? Gain official approval of the finished testimonial.
Finally, develop a library of testimonials that come from multiple sources, different industries, varying geographies or different sized companies. The best time to get testimonials from customers is when you don’t have an immediate need for them.