Customer Testimonials = Validation!
Customer testimonials are a great selling tool and have been used in marketing and selling circles, since the beginning of time.
Frankly, there’s no better way to communicate the value that you provide to your customers than through a testimonial from an existing satisfied customer. Your prospects are much more likely to take their word for it, than yours.
3 Types of Testimonials
There are several types of customer testimonials, here are three of the best:
1 -The Official Endorsement Letter – This is where your customer writes a brief, albeit thorough, letter on her company letterhead, endorsing your product or service.
Pro Tip: Write the endorsement letter for your customer, sort of. Don’t put words into your customer’s mouth rather, make it easy for her by putting an outline together that she can follow.
Have a conversation with her and ask some pointed questions about her satisfaction and specifically what she values most about your product or service. Feed that back in the form of an outline, confirming your conversation asking her to elaborate and edit your comments for accuracy.
2 – The Interview – This type of testimonial holds real power it terms of communicating the real value of your product or service to future customers. In this testimonial, you interview your customer and document her responses.
Pro Tip #1: Prepare with Purpose! Go into the interview prepared! Make sure you have a list of (open ended) questions written down, that you want your customer to answer. When putting your list of questions together, think about what your “new” customers are going to want to know about your product or service. Think about the benefits (not the features) they will derive from doing business with you!
Pro Tip #2: Record Your Interview! Use your smartphone to record your customer interview. Unless you are an Investigative Journalist, skilled in the art of conducting and documenting an interview longhand, I strongly recommend that you record the interview with your customer.
Pro Tip #3: Transcribed It! Save yourself a Ton of time by using a transcription service like, Rev.com! It will cost you $1.00 per minute of recorded information. I’ve used Rev.com extensively and I have found them to be extremely responsive and accurate! All you have to do is send them the digital file of your recording and they will send you back a document of your interview!
Pro Tip #4: Write A Case Study! Now that you have your documented interview, go over it and edit-out the mistakes, there will be a few, and turn it into a Case Study! The previous link will take you to more than a dozen examples of case studies that I have documented with my customers.
Many people prefer to see how your solution solved a customer’s problem, in the written form, and the Case Study is an excellent way to communicate your value to them.
3 – The Testimonial Video – The Mother of All Testimonials!
There is No Better Way to communicate the value of your product or service to potential customers, than with the Customer Video Testimonial!
All forms of testimonials are useful and have their place in building trust with your future customers but, there’s no better way of communicating your Unique Value Proposition – UVP to your prospects than through a streaming customer video testimonial on your website. The power of video in this context cannot be overstated!
Pro Tip: The previous link is an excellent post that steps-you-through the process of creating and documenting your Unique Value Proposition – UVP, and why it’s So important for you to have one!
Gone are the days of big ad budgets, expensive video shoots, film crews and hired talent. All you really need is a reasonable and relatively inexpensive digital video camera (or video capture device i.e., a tablet or smartphone), the ability to transfer the video file to your computer, some editing software, the talent to use it and a willing customer or two.
Pro Tip#2: Use your iPad, if you have one to record your Customer Video Testimonial. You are probably closer than you think to having the gear you need to record professional quality video.
It is quite literally SIMPLE to make a Customer Video Testimonial with your iPad.
The previous link will take you to a blog post where I detail all of the things that you will need to capture your Customer Testimonial Video. What’s even better? You can do it on a shoestring budget!
Follow the instructions in the blog post to learn how to edit yourself out of the video, once you’ve shot it.
Five Tips To Creating Your Killer Customer Video Testimonial
First – What Is Your Goal?
What is the goal of the video testimonial? Well, as with all of your marketing and selling activities, it should be to get more of the Right Customers to do business with you. Having customers is mandatory for any business. Having the ‘Right Customers’ is optional! This is something that successful businesses learn to distinguish sooner or later, preferably sooner!
Knowing who your target customers are should impact your choice of which of your existing customers you want to get a video testimonial from. Pick the ones that you would like to duplicate. Don’t choose the ones who cause you fits and sleepless nights. They probably won’t give you a good testimonial anyway.
Second – Relate With Your Audience!
The idea here is to have the people viewing the Customer Video Testimonial identify and associate with the person speaking in the video. Therefore, it’s important to consider where your prospects are in their lives and in their businesses, at the time that they are viewing the Customer Video Testimonial.
Having the person in the video speak about what their situation was like when they were at that (previous) point is Very Important. Ask your existing customer to speak about the problem(s) that you solved or the pain that you eliminated. Chances are, the person viewing the video has a similar problem or pain.
Third – What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Everyone is concerned about results and Return On Investment (ROI). Your prospects and future customers are no exception. Make sure that the person that you are interviewing on video talks about the results related to your product or service, In-As-Specific-Terms-As-Possible!
Some examples of these results include, increased sales (revenue), reduced costs, increased income (profit), reduced cycle times or down-time reduction, etc. The more concretely she describes the results that you have achieved for her, the better!
Fourth – Be Clear!
Your interviewee should give a very clear and articulate expression of her satisfaction with the service that she has received from your company. One of the things that I like to include here is to have her talk about how long she has been your customer and how that relationship has continued to grow and improve over that time.
This builds credibility and communicates the legitimacy of your business due to the longevity of your customer relationships. On the other hand, if you have customers who have had significant results in a short period of time, this is another great message that can be communicated through your video testimonial.
Caution: There is one risk that you run with having your customer talk about time and length of relationship specifically; You are putting a virtual ‘date stamp’ on the Customer Video Testimonial. This means that you will not be able to use it indefinitely.
Fifth – Keep It Real!
Finally, keep it real and don’t be phony! Nobody likes phony people. Actually, only phony people like phony people. In this socially conscious world that we live in, phoniness will not be tolerated, especially as it relates to your Customer Video Testimonials.
The more candid you can be and the more realistic the expression of your existing customer’s satisfaction on video, the better.
Keep in mind that these testimonials are not an advertisement for your company. They are the next best thing to a first person referral, from one trusted friend to another.