Knowing what your customers think is a good thing.

Thursday, March 19th, 2009
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Now more than ever it is important to have happy customers. Happy customers usually remain customers and are often more likely to spread the word (and I mean the good stuff) about your business. A good way to use your happy customers to generate a bit of buzz about your business is to ask them for testimonials. Testimonials can be used in a variety of promotional ways and best of all, they don’t cost you anything. Ask 3-5 of your best customers for a short, one paragraph testimonial about your company, products/services and your customer service. Give them plenty of time, so they don’t feel rushed (but I’d set a clear deadline, or it might get pushed to the bottom of their to-do lists and never get done). Pick a variety of customers that you’ve helped with a variety of projects so that their is some variation to what they say.

Once you have a few (like I said 3-5) solid testimonials, start using them. (If your original requests come back without the greatest of testimonials, dig through your contacts and pull 3 more people and send requests to them. You definitiely want to have solid testimonials as you move forward.)

Use your testimonials with:

  • company newsletters (electronic and paper): you can do a spotlight piece, like “Words from our Customers” and highlight them there. Or just do a basic: Here’s what our customers have to say. This is a great way to get positive words about your company in front of your whole mailing list.
  • postcards / direct mail: this is helpful whether your list is a cold list (meaning you don’t already have an established relationship with the people you are mailing to) or if its your general mailing list & referral partners. It works particularly well with folks that don’t know you. You are not just saying you’re great – your customers are saying you’re great. It gives more credibility and kicks in some trust.
  • brochures / flyers / marketing materials: don’t be shy about sharing! Use your testimonials on your marketing/promotion materials and let the word spread out. You can use 1/2 of them now, and when you update them later … the other one.
  • company website: create a page or incorporate your testimonials into your existing pages. People, including potential customers, are turning to the web to find all about your company. Having kind words of promotion from others (as opposed to just yourself or employees) lends credibility and boosts your image.

Be creative and use what you’ve got to promote your business. Your customers won’t mind helping you out (you might want to offer to do the same for them in return). You get a valuable item to help promote your business. Go for it! Get those testimonials and improve your marketing efforts.

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