Happy Speaks Happy:Let Your Customers Speak for You

Gathering testimonials and case histories from happy customers is an easy way to show prospective customers exactly what you can do for them.

If you’ve ever watched the Home Shopping Network or seen an infomercial—and been tempted to buy—then you understand the power of testimonials. Typically there’s an instantaneous increase in the number of sales when real customers are seen or heard testifying as to how beneficial a product or service has been for them. Truth sells—and you can’t get closer to the truth than when it comes from someone who’s had a real-life experience with you, your service and your company. If you’ve got happy customers, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting them to talk about how pleased they are with you.

Case Histories vs. Testimonials So what’s the difference? In a nutshell, testimonials are simply positive statements from your customers. They can range from brief kudos—”These guys saved my job!”—to longer recountings of how the product or company has performed impressively. Remember, the more well-known or networked the testimonial-giver, the more powerful the words and the impact.

In a case history, you tell a story, demonstrating the problem faced by your customers and how your product or service solved the problem.  Good case histories are rich in detail, including explanatory photos, charts and graphs when applicable. They use the real names of the players, and, of course, they end happily.

Gathering Testimonials One of the best ways to get prospective clients to buy from you is to introduce them to other satisfied customers. Ask your most satisfied clients whether you can interview them about the positive experiences they’ve had with your product and company, and record it with a video or digital camera. You can then load the videos onto your site and, with just the click of a mouse, prospective customers can play them back. If you’re ever talking with a client and they give you a great compliment, ask them to put it in writing so you can use it on your site. Received a nice e-mail from a satisfied customer? Ask them if you can put it in the “testimonials” section on your website, or have them add an update status on your Facebook business page.

Drumming Up Case Histories For case histories, keep your eyes and ears open for an interesting, amusing or revealing use of your product or service. When writing them up, remember that each case history should be brief and focused on just one or two of your product or service’s benefits. And don’t make each one sound like all the others. Give them enough character and personality to make them readable, without sounding like a prepared advertisement. Consider collecting case histories as an ongoing project. Every three months, compile a list of client projects that may make interesting case histories.

Finally, remember that the process of collecting testimonials and case histories is also a good way to do on-the-spot market research. You’ll learn a lot by asking for feedback. This also affords you a way of keeping in touch with your existing customers. Just calling for a “testimonial update” is a sure way of staying connected to your clients—and helping them remember just what a great service you have.

Compiled from an article written by Barry Farber Entrepreneur and from Knock-Out Marketing by Jack Ferrari

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