When purchasing a product – especially a high-end item – you read reviews and feedback from other users to make sure you’re making a smart decision. If you see low ratings or harsh words on how the product didn’t work, you avoid it. Consumer product companies closely follow this feedback and do their best to turn a negative review into a positive one so sales are not affected.
This is not so different in the B2B market. Customer testimonials are one of the most powerful parts of a successful marketing program. Testimonials may come in the form of a quote on a website, short professional video or ad, written case study, product review, speaking presentation or one-on-one conversation with potential customers. Regardless of the delivery method, customer testimonials build trust with prospective clients and create a positive feeling toward brands. A customer’s voice is more persuasive than any sales rep as they are the actual user of a solution and are not being paid to promote the product.
When building your customer testimonial program, you should follow a few simple rules:
1. Ensure it will be positive.
Don’t ask the customer who had a service issue, whose product failed miserably or who had a less than favorable experience with customer service and support teams. Make sure the customer can speak favorably – and honestly – of how the product worked for them and the problem it solved. You can select customers who had problems to be a testimonial, but only well after the issue was resolved and who can address how well the service team responded.
2. Keep it simple.
You’ll find a lot of customers will agree to be a reference or provide a quote and then there is nothing but crickets. Make it easy for customers to interact and serve as a reference by proactively drafting content for their review, asking them to participate in a video testimonial while at a training event, or going to their location to see the product in action.
3. Engage on social media.
In today’s social world, a simple tweet or LinkedIn post can be as influential as a multi-page case study. Asking for a 140-character post is a small and easy commitment, and it is something that can be easily reused and shared throughout your networks.
But the simplest of testimonials guidelines is this: Just ask. You won’t get the feedback and endorsements you need unless you merely ask your customers during the course of your engagement.
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