General Business, Marketing, Series, Uncategorized

Harnessing Word of Mouth – Testimonials

This is Part 2 in the Trust series. Click here to view Part 1.

It’s hard to prove your business credentials to others. You can say many things about your product and services and the value that they provide. You can mention that it’s cheap, or that it will save you money. You can mention the long term benefits, or how it works. You can list the clients that you have or the credentials of your staff. But consumers are sceptics, and they have been misled before.

How can my business prove itself?

Being able to prove that your product or service does what it claims to do is critical to more people purchasing from you. One of the most powerful tools is word of mouth. Any time a customer provides positive feedback, capture it, and display it publically as a testimonial.


Testimonials are a great way to prove what results you have achieved without an intense breakdown of how things are done. They are short and sweet, and are trusted because the feedback comes from someone other than yourself. A good testimonial will have the following:

  • Value – What was result achieved by your product
  • The How – How your product or service achieved its result
  • Emotive Language – Use positivity in how you articulate the result
  • A Personal Touch – Use first names to describe who helped achieve the result
  • Credentials – Who is speaking in the testimonial?
    • In the case of a customer, list the full name and context
    • In the case of a client, list the full name, position title and company

Bad Examples:

“Tom sent me balloons for my birthday. They were great.” – John

“We use JQE’s accounting software which saves us time and money.” – Finance Manager, Pluto Mobile

In these examples, we can see that there is no real emotion in these statements. We can only see what action was taken, not what problem was solved. There is no description of how these problems were solved or why the solution worked. Both of these cases lack a personal touch, credentials and context, making them feel faked.

Good examples:

“Tom was a great help in providing balloons for my birthday. He delivered them on a very short deadline and the balloons were great quality, they lasted all night!” – John Smith, John’s 30th Birthday

“JQE’s accounting software has saved us both time and money. Our invoices are all automated and are now sent without errors. Plus, Julie was a great help in getting us set up easily.” – Jane Smith, Finance Manager, Pluto Mobile.

In these examples, we see a strong articulation of value, for instance, cost savings, efficiency and reliability. The use of emotive language tells shows us that the solution was positive, and we can see that each customer spoke to someone they remember by name. Finally, each testimonial is listed with a full name and the context of their position, to give credibility to their statements.

How to get testimonials

Every time a customer provides you with feedback, ask to get them to write you a short testimonial. Just ask them to answer three quick questions:

  1. Why did you require my product/service?
  2. How did my product/service meet your goals?
  3. What is the result of using my product/service?

My name is Peter; I’m a marketing consultant by day and a writer by night. If you’d like to find out how I can help your business grow, send through your details and we can have a FREE 60-minute chat. This post is Part 2 in the Trust Series, where I go through ways you can build a stronger message to your market. Click here to read Part 1.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s