Four keys to getting authentic customer testimonials
There's nothing like a heartfelt testimonial to add credibility to your marketing. Here are four keys to getting authentic, convincing quotes:
Keep your questioning open-ended. Not, "Did it save time?" ("It did," doesn't make for much of a quote.) But rather, "Can you comment on the time savings of our product?"
Probe beyond the bland initial answer. If something was "better," in what ways was it better? How did the customer experience the difference?
Ask the same question in different forms (e.g., "What did you like best?" and "What would you tell me if I had doubts about switching to this product?") Some interview subjects may respond impatiently, "It's like I said before." But others will answer the second question with a whole new level of quotable detail.
If you are you recording or videotaping the interview, remind the customer to use the full and correct name of your product. Customers often use nicknames or short-hand terms that don't properly identify the product as yours.
Click to hear a sample testimonial audio in which a customer explains how my client's service saved $35,000 in its first two weeks of use.
Just for Fun
Santa, the Brand
Witty send-up of an overblown graphic standards manual. Click to open the PDF.
Happy holidays to you and yours!
In a Word
Give yourself wiggle room with "arguably" and "perhaps"
"Okay, so you don't have solid backing for your claim of superiority. Not to worry. You can paper it over with "arguably" and "perhaps."
As in "... arguably the most effective solution for ...." Or, "Perhaps the best way of all to ...." For more ways to create wiggle room, see my write-up on the Weasel Word Continuum.
Lively Writing, on Time and on Target
When you message needs to engage and persuade, be sure to approach it from the Write Angle. Udi Shorr writes marketing and sales-training presentations for live audiences, video, print, and the Web. You benefit from years of marketing experience with Fortune 500 clients.