So what's so important about them anyway? Well if you're anything like me (and I'm very much your average Jo), the biggest part of any research I do when looking to buy something significant or take on a new service, is what people (complete strangers remember) have to say about it.
There seems to be an unwritten understanding that anyone who comments on their experience of a product or service is telling the complete truth, even if it was a bad experience. Now I might be naive and I'm sure there will be examples out there of purposeful sabotage, but in general I tend to believe what I read when it comes to testimonials. Of course, there has to be some legitimacy around them too. For me there has to be elements such as the referee's name, company, position, location, maybe a photo or a link to their email or website; something that makes that person real - and therefore much more believable.
So why do we shy away from asking for testimonials?
Is it because we think the client might have been exaggerating when they told us how well looked after they were? Or is just that typical modesty gene that most Brits seem to have (especially when compared to our American friends).
We regularly get great verbal feedback but for some reason the task of asking for a testimonial is one of those things that remains at the bottom of most people's (and my) to do lists. All my client communications are written with a polite tone but when it comes to asking for testimonials the words seem to take on an 'if you've got a minute - if you really don't mind - I hate to put you out' sort of slant. So this week I've taken the bull by the horns and simply asked. It wasn't so hard after all!
Surprise, surprise, the clients weren't fibbing at all and really are pleased with our whole range of business support and marketing services. Here's one of the lovely testimonials we received this week.
Claire and her team have been supporting my business for over six months now. They are a pleasure to work with and provide structure, capacity and expertise to help me run and develop my company.
Claire has a very organised approach to every aspect of her service and it is a pleasure to work with her to develop our marketing and business development processes. she knows a lot about social media, IT and business administration and it is great the way she keeps me on track when it comes to routine tasks such as writing my blog or monthly newsletter.
I would unhesitatingly recommend Claire to anyone looking to grow their business - but be prepared to be pushed and organised - which is probably exactly what you need!
Steve Hinton, Managing Director - Hinton Sheerline Ltd
Customer testimonials are powerful in helping potential buyers make you their choice - are you gathering them routinely or shying away from asking?
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