Do you like it when people take your words and post them for the world to see without bothering to tell you about it? Of course you don’t. Nobody does. So why are so many companies doing it?
Later on, we’ll talk about why companies make up testimonials for their customers-and why it’s a really bad idea. The whole point of printing testimonials is, after all, to provide your customers with an honest look at the products and services you provide. Today, let’s take a look at the second step in that process-the unwritten rules of etiquette for obtaining those testimonials in the first place.
How often do you actually get testimonials from your customers? Sometimes? Always? Once or twice a year?
Here’s a news flash for you. Customers LOVE to talk about their experiences. They’ll talk about them over breakfast. They’ll talk about them over lunch. They’ll talk about them at the water cooler.
If your customers aren’t telling you about their experiences, it’s probably because you’re not giving them a chance. Asking “How did everything go?” is begging to be told, “Fine” as they complete their visit and walk away. Offer comment forms. Ask what the best part of their visit was. Put a pad on your front counter and invite them to write a comment on their way out, or drop it anonymously into a comment box.
Social Media is the Best Source for Obtaining Testimonials You’ll Ever Find
Want to know what your customers think about your business? Take a cruise through Facebook and Twitter. They’re out there, and they’re talking. This is a great way to find out what customers really think.
Ask Before You Post/Print
Before you printing testimonials, or posting them on your website, don’t forget to ask the customer in question if they’re okay with their words going public. Most are going to say yes, but every once in a while you’ll get someone who for one reason or another wants to keep the fact that they’re doing business with you just between you. Printing their testimonials without their permission can permanently damage a beautifully budding relationship.
Consider Keeping Testimonials Anonymous
This is a tricky area for most companies, so it’s really up to you and your customers which way you want to go. Printing the customer’s full name will go a long way toward convincing future customers that you’re not making this stuff up; however, it also eliminates any privacy between you and your clientele. Some will be okay with that. Some will not.
There’s another perk to keeping testimonials anonymous, especially when you’re working in the B2B arena. If you print a testimonial that gives the company name and the name of your contact, you’ve just handed your competition a list of your clientele. You didn’t really mean to do that, did you?
I didn’t think so.
When done right, printing testimonials goes a long way toward giving your business the authentic reputation it deserves. How are you making testimonials work for you?