Testimonials are the cornerstone of a successful marketing plan. We buy from people and companies we like and trust. And we go to people we like and trust for recommendations. If you are going out to dinner in a new town, you will ask a friend who lives there, “Where should we eat? Do you know a great place?” If we have a home service emergency, we call a neighbor for a recommendation, or we go to Yelp or Google and check out the reviews and the stars.
Ask, ask, ask.
Unfortunately, many of your happy customers may not have taken the time to write a love letter or post a review. They may even mean to, but they are busy and it just doesn’t happen. You can help them along. Here’s how to get really great testimonials. Follow along and fill in the blanks.
Who is your very favorite customer?
If you could clone one person 10,000 times to fill out your customer list, who would that person be? Let’s call her Mrs. Fernwicky.
Why do you love her?
Come up with a few reasons, like… she pays with a smile and she takes the time to visit with you so she can make educated decisions. Jot them down.
Then, call her up.
“Mrs. Fernwicky, a friend of mine asked me, ‘Who is your very favorite customer?’ I answered…YOU. I just wanted to call and tell you that and why it is such a pleasure to work with you.” Tell her why and thank her for her business.
Wouldn’t you appreciate a call like this? Sure, you would, and so will she. It feels great!
Next, ask if you could set up a time to stop by.
Tell her you would like to get a picture of her and your work. Show up on time, of course. Ask her to share why she likes working with you. Perhaps she will say something like, “I was hesitant to call a service company because I was afraid I would be left with a big bill and even a bigger mess. But when you showed up, I could tell you were a professional. You are neat and clean and know what you are doing. We got the problem solved. Your financing really helped with the cost. And, the basement looks better than before you arrived!” Nice.
Get her permission to record her response on your phone, so you can post the video on facebook and on your YouTube channel. Have some fun and get her to smile! Take a selfie of you and Mrs. Fernwicky.
If she isn’t comfortable with a video, write down what she says. Ask if you can create an email or a postcard to send to her neighbors. Use her full name. Testimonials without a picture and with initials instead of names looks like you wrote them yourself. Do such a great job that she would proudly add her name.
Here’s the bottom line.
Make it ridiculously easy for her to brag on you. First, do a spectacular job. Second, tell her how much you love working with her. Third, you do the heavy lifting. You do the typing, take the pictures and do the recording, and hand her your phone.
There’s nothing like visiting with your customers, shaking their hands and looking them in the eye. Get their testimonials and leverage them with relentless e-marketing. Old school and new school… it’s still word of mouth.