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3 steps to gathering powerful testimonials

Posted by Grace Townsley

November 22, 2021    |     4-minute read (678 words)

One of the most valuable pieces of content you can have as a business are strong testimonials. Great testimonials are powerful snippets of social proof that show your potential customers you can be trusted. And in a world of clever advertising that makes it difficult to tell a quality product from a rip-off, testimonials have never been more important for your business.

What makes a great testimonial?

Strong testimonials are authentic, believable and detailed. First, the reader has to relate to the customer. If the customer starts by explaining the problem they faced and why they chose your product, the reader can relate to them. Then, the customer shares how happy they are with your product, how much better their life is and that they’d recommend the product to anyone, and now the reader trusts your product. That’s the result of a great testimonial – it connects, points out the solution to the shared problem and offers a clear recommendation. 

To be believable, the testimonial can’t be exaggerated. Readers who are newly encountering your brand are rightfully skeptical. They want to be convinced, but they don’t yet know if they can trust you. If they sense even a little exaggeration in the testimonial, they can instantly reject your brand.

How can you gather impactful, authentic testimonials?

Ask the right questions

A question like, “What do you think of our product?” will often lead to a short, one-dimensional answer. To build a testimonial that not only sounds great for your business, but actually helps potential customers find what they’re looking for, you’ve got to nail your questions.  

One way to do this is by asking a few questions, then splicing together your customer’s answers into one longer testimonial. Use questions like: 

  • What problem were you experiencing before you bought (the product)?
  • What was your first impression when you received the product? 
  • How did it solve the problem you had?
  • How do you feel now?
  • Who else do you think would benefit from using (the product)?
The responses to these questions will fit together nicely to create a well-rounded testimonial that goes a long way to build trust, relatability and authority. 

Use video, if possible 

While any testimonials are better than no testimonials, those captured on video are the ultimate content tools. You could falsify online testimonials (but don’t even think about doing that!) but videos are the most authentic. They show true customers authentically interacting with your brand in a positive way. 

Have your customers record themselves, in their own setting if possible. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be powerful. In fact, the more professional the testimonial the less authentic it feels! Grabbing a quick video on a phone or through Zoom is an inexpensive way to add these impactful testimonials to your content library. 

Ask at key moments in the process

The best time to ask for a testimonial is in the middle of a win. A few options are right after your customer has engaged with the product, when they put in their refill order or when they’ve submitted a 5-star review online. These are the moments when your customer is already feeling excited about your brand and will likely be willing to share their positive experience. 

Post your testimonials everywhere you can

Once you’ve rounded up a few detailed testimonials, it’s time to get the good news out there. You can put your testimonials on your website, social media and on your printed materials. Consider printing testimonial posters and hanging them up around the office. You can even email them out to your list every so often to add a bit of social proof to your marketing campaign. 

Gathering testimonials doesn’t have to be difficult, complicated, or uncomfortable. If you’ve been doing good business for any length of time, there are customers out there who have great things to say about you. You just have to find them! Don’t be nervous about asking. Remember, people love sharing their good experiences. 

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