How to Ask People to Talk You Up… Testimonial Style!

8 06 2010

TestimonialsEvery business has customers who love them. They love the service. They love the product. They love the experience. They love the staff. Whatever it is that floats their boats, you can capitalize on it by asking them to “share the love” with others.

First and foremost, there is NOTHING WRONG with asking customers for testimonials. Let’s banish the misconception that this is a selfish or mercenary act right now. Testimonials are a POWERFUL source of marketing, and marketing is all about keeping your business alive, so that the people who love it – and the ones who love it, but just don’t know it yet – can enjoy your product/service/staff for years to come.

When you ask for a testimonial, there are three ways to approach it:

1) True/false, multiple choice, rate this, or one word answers. These are hardly helpful in generating warm fuzzies, but can offer statistical proof that people think your business rocks.

2) Free for all. Ask your customers to write something nice about your business. Just don’t be surprised when you get back everything from commentary on the day a bird got stuck in your store, to single sentence factorial statements, to epic novelettes. This can occasionally be helpful… once you sift through the deserts of irrelevant material.

3) Guided questionnaires. You will love these! Say, for example, that you want to know what your customers think about your customer service. Ask an open-ended question:

“What has been your experience with our customer service?”
“How does our customer service compare with other [insert your industry here] businesses you have used in the past?”

Some of the answers may surprise you, and some may even prove helpful. But ultimately, when you want to market your phenomenal customer service, you’ve got a plethora of customer-service-relevant content from which to cherry-pick your testimonials.

Also consider:

“What is your favorite part of shopping here and why?”
“What words would you use to describe us to your friends and family?”
“Would you recommend us to others and why?”

Give your customers a direction and the resulting testimonials will be magical!

NOTE: You will want to be considerate of your customer’s privacy. Ask permission before using their names and, yes, it’s worth the effort! Who’s to say you didn’t write the testimonial yourself? But if Alan of Howell, MI says “This is the coolest group of widget-makers on the planet”, now it’s personal!

So, if I may ask YOU for a mini-testimonial, what has been your favorite DMT Idea Board blog and why?

I include testimonials in my clients’ marketing as often as possible. Because. They. Work! Wondering how to integrate customer kudos into your own marketing plan? Please contact me!

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry, LLC  |  (810) 923-4582  |  dawn@dmtartistry.com

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You are Your Business: 5 Tips to Market YOU

17 03 2010

"Hello, my name is Dawn..." 5 Tips on How to Market YOU.With Social Networking and modern marketing practices, our personal identities have become inextricably linked to the businesses we own and operate. Why? Because in most cases we feel more comfortable buying from a person than a business entity. These days, it’s all about that magical “one-to-one” connection.

Here are 5 tips you can use to help give your business a “human” touch:

1) Post your and your employees photos everywhere – website, email marketing, business cards, email signature, etc. And I’m not talking about stuffy, tight-lipped shots either. There’s a difference between professional and prudish. You can smile warmly, and still look like an expert!

2) Update your online personal profile pictures with images of YOU… not your dog, not your best friend, not your favorite beverage. YOU.

3) Go forth and network. Online networking is just dandy, but face-to-face, handshake contact can seal the deal.

4) Tell us a little about yourself. A brief summary about what makes you unique will put the personality back in your business. Forget the typical “I like to fish, swim and hang out with my friends.”

“I know how to take down a mastodon” (Jim Gilligan, Snedicor’s Cleaners).
“I lost 107 lbs… and kept it off.” (Lori Wengle, Change Your World Fitness).
“I’ve had lunch with America’s top Pro Bull Riders” (Sarah Colburn, Scott Colburn Western Wear).

Now THOSE are conversation starters.

5) Spotlight your top clients. Testimonials (with first name and city) let people know that others in their community love your service. Showcase how they’re using your product or service, or even give them a place to post their own comments. You’re marketing yourself by letting others do the talking!

Have examples of creative self-business promotion in action? Please share!