April 15th, 2014   /   Posted by aimee   /   Category: All, Early Stage Startups, Marketing 101, Messaging & Positioning

Getting the Most Out of Your Customer Testimonials


One of the biggest obstacles that many startups face early in their existence is establishing credibility.  While there are many ways to tackle this challenge, one of the most efficient and effective ways is the use of testimonials.  Few elements are more powerful in persuading a prospect to purchase your product or service than testimonials from existing customers.

Not all testimonials are created equal. While an average testimonial says something nice about your startup,  a great testimonial explains the benefits of your product or service and how your company is different from your competitors. So rather than simply requesting that your closest customers write a testimonial for you, schedule some time with them and ask them questions that will elicit the types of information you’re hoping to hear.

Here are 5 questions to ask your customers for more effective testimonials:

1. What prompted you to purchase our product or service?
The answer to this question establishes the context of the purchasing decision.  This helps the reader identify with the customer’s previous pain points prior to engaging with your startup.

2. Why did you select our company to meet your needs?
This question is open-ended, which is important because it allows your customer to speak to the unique reasons for choosing to work with you.  Whether it’s your working relationship, ease of the product, or customer service, this answer will help your startup shine.

3. Have you ever bought a product or service from one of our competitors? If so, how do we compare?
If your startup has competitors, it’s important to find ways to stand out in your industry.  If you’ve had a customer who has left a competitor for your company, highlighting this fact in your testimonial can be a powerful differentiator.

4. How are you benefiting from our product or service?
This answer speaks to the value proposition of your startup.  When a customer shares the benefits of your product or service, they’re essentially validating your business.

5. If a potential customer were interested in purchasing our product or service, what would you say to them?
This final question is a bit of a ‘wild card.’ The purpose is to allow your customer to speak freely about your company, as you may find out information or impressions that you hadn’t previously known that could be useful for your testimonial.

Once you have answers to these questions, ask one of the stronger writers on your team to try crafting the testimonial, and send it back to your customer for final feedback and approval.  Writing the testimonial yourself gives you more control over highlighting the areas that would be most beneficial to you while taking the burden off of your customer.

If you have questions about how to craft an effective testimonial, contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

 

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