The rewards are great, both in credibility and increased sales. We see testimonials everywhere, from celebrity endorsements to local folks praising the cherry pie at Andy’s diner. That’s because they work, and better yet, unlike paid advertising, testimonials are free. If you’re just stating your new senior service business and money is tight, free is good!
The internet has given customers the ability to spread the good news about your senior service business, product or service to millions of people overnight. If you learn how to use the web to encourage testimonials from happy customers, you’ll be way ahead of most other businesses. Testimonials also have a place in old-fashioned marketing as well. You can post testimonials at your place of business, in a brochure or flyer, or on your web site.
There are three common ways to get testimonials:
1. Wait and hope for a customer or two to supply an unsolicited testimonial.
2. Ask satisfied customers for their testimonials.
3. Have a “stock” testimonial or two ready for those customers who are happy to help, but just want to sign something. When you ask for testimonials, this happens more often than you might think!
A stock testimonial could cover features about your services, how well the customer was treated when you helped them, the benefits they received from using your services, or how grateful the kids were that you were there when grandpa needed help. The possibilities are endless. It helps to have a letter ready asking a few questions from your customer so you’ll have an idea what pleased them most.
The first method can take a long time, so it’s best for the unsolicited testimonials that tend to trickle in over time. The second method is preferred, as you’ll receive positive feedback right away, and you’ll also be able to measure how your customers feel about your business from that feedback.
Another bonus of asking for testimonials is that unhappy customers will also respond, so you’ll have an opportunity to address their concerns, and turn them into happy customers. It’s important to encourage your customers to spread the word, because they can help you bring in more customers. Here are a few simple ways to do that:
1. At the end of every email or newsletter you send out, ask your customers for feedback. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – just a simple “How are we doing?” or “We appreciate your feedback.”
2. Register for appropriate online review sites or services where customers can post feedback, such as Bing Local, City Search.com, Google Places, Local.com or Merchant Circle.com
3. Make it easy for customers to leave comments and feedback at your web site. Don’t have a web site? Set up a free web site at WordPress.com, Blogspot.com or Weebly.com.
4. If Facebook was a country, it would be the third largest on earth! Tapping into Facebook and other social networks such as LinkedIn or Twitter can provide you or your business “social proof,” which can be even more powerful than a printed testimonial.
5. When posting a testimonial, provide as much information about the customer as possible – a picture, a name and a city can dramatically increase the credibility. Be sure you have a customer’s permission for anything you print or post online.
Your customer’s praise, in the form of a testimonial, is the best form of advertising money can’t buy – so make it easy for them to help you succeed.