We’ve all seen testimonials before, and as such, we know they aren’t all created equally. In today’s business climate, a sincere “qualified” testimonial from a satisfied customer goes a long way, especially in an age where social media and word-of-mouth marketing are replacing traditional advertising venues. Let’s look at these two testimonial examples:
- “I loved your product and it saved me a lot of time and money!” – L.M.
- “The only word I can think of to express how great your New Fangled Widget is “WOW!”. I don’t know how I lived without it in my life, and I don’t know what I’d do if it were taken away! The moment I got it, I put it to work and it saved me 30% on my utility bills in just one month! I appreciate how fast you delivered and installed the New Fangled Widget and your Customer Service Representatives were so attentive when I inquired about the possibility of upgrading to New Fangled Widget 2.0. You have a new customer for life, and I can’t wait to come back to you when it’s time to upgrade. Keep up the good work!” – Heywood U. Cuddleme, Manager, Hugs-R-Us
There are vast differences between the two, both in terms of length and substance. First, the first one looks a bit made up, and it’s very generic, in that saving time and money, while being a good thing, doesn’t really tell you about the product and how it may have done that. Also, the signed name “L.M” doesn’t inspire much confidence, nor does it give you the impression as a would-be reader of this testimonial that you could somehow contact “L.M.” to verify his testimony, should you want more information about how the product fared.
On the contrary, the second testimony clearly shows the person’s enthusiasm, gives a specific instance of how the product was used to deliver a real benefit to its user (i.e. saved 30% on utility bills in one month), and it’s signed by “Heywood U. Cuddleme”, who could easily be Google Searched and located by looking up the “Hugs-R-Us” in your community. Overall, the second testimonial would likely inspire more people to do business with your company, as they can see a very enthusiast cheerleader is encouraging them to do so!
Here is a brief guide that highlights the best way to leave the most effective testimonial that looks good for you and the business you’re rewarding with kind words:
- Avoid Generic Language: Mention the name of the product or service you’re testifying about, and tell what specifically prompted you to talk about your experience and how the product or service in question impacted you or your bottom line.
- Be Verifiable: Transparency is very important today, especially in the new media era where information is everywhere. If you take the time to write, comment, or testify about your experience, please leave your name, title, and company, so that people will know you’re a real person, and not just a filler comment that may have been planted by the company.
- Be Specific: Tell why you would recommend this product or service. Specify the benefits you gained from the product/service’s features.
Compelling testimonials that are verifiable, drastically increase the effectiveness of your message to new customers of the business because they are the word-of-mouth beacons that help shine a light on the really good products or services in that marketplace.
So, with that in mind: What tips do you have for giving business testimonies?
By the way, if you want to leave a testimonial for the great service you’ve received at SSS for Success, click here (and use "Testimonial" as the Subject line).
Kindra Cotton, Small Business Survival Specialist