Storybrand customer testimonals

Why Your ‘Brilliant’ Testimonials Are Worthless

Nothing beats that feeling when you receive a glowing testimonial from a client.

Reading the words ‘Jackie is brilliant!’ gives Jackie a glowing feeling inside for sure. But just how useful will it be to attract new clients?

Testimonials can be a powerful way to on board new customers. But they’re an often overlooked in a marketing strategy.  Either that or reviews are left entirely in the hands of customers.

In doing so, organisations forever miss opportunities to showcase the impact their product or service can have on a customer’s life. And herein lies the problem.

As humans, our primitive urge is to find a solution to our internal problems.

Take Jackie, for example, who, let’s say, for argument’s sake, is an ace hypnotherapist.

When her clients are looking for a hypnotherapist to overcome a phobia, are they more likely to buy from a competitor, a qualified hypnotherapist who has 8 certificates and 5 awards, or from Jackie, who has helped dozens of people with crippling phobias regain control of their lives again?

Immediately we’re drawn to Jackie, who is selling us the vision of what we as customers want to achieve, rather than selling herself. Jackie’s marketing is providing the solution to our problem - to gain control of a crippling phobia.

Your testimonials are an effective way to sell this vision and give potential clients compelling social proof that you’re as good as you sound.

Take control of your testimonials

Never be afraid to take control of your testimonials to make sure you get the best out of them. And it’s ok to edit them down – no-one wants to read a 300-word testimonial, no matter how amazing you are.

Ideally, testimonials should accomplish one or more of the following:

  • Overcoming resistance: For example….working with Jackie was such a smart move….(because)…
  • Celebrate a success: This will entice readers. Have customers saved money, freed up time, reduced stress etc. If so, feature testimonials that explain what life feels like now.
  • Demonstrate empathy and authority: Elements that position you as the expert in your field. Aim for customers to express a problem they had, how it made them feel, how your brand understood and had empathy. Anything that says ‘this company is competent’.
  • Demonstrate avoidance of failure: Do you save people from something difficult or painful? Aim for statements like “Other hypnotherapists I spoke to were a, b, c but then I met Jackie….(dream come true).

Top 7 questions to ask your customers and get answers that will actually benefit your business.

  1. What problem were you dealing with when you called (your company)?
  2. How was this problem making you feel?
  3. How did (your company) demonstrate they understood your problem?
  4. Why did you trust (your company) to solve your problem?
  5. Did you notice any difference between (your company) and similar companies?
  6. What surprised you about working with (your company)?
  7. What does life look like now that (your company) has solved your problem?

You may find it useful to build into your process a survey when you finish a project with your clients. This allows you to control your testimonial to a degree and get the compelling words you need, in a format that’s going to be most effective and entice future customers.

Always edit your testimonial to position the problem first, then the solution you provided and finally the outcome experienced by your customer.

Your testimonials could be in written form or on a video, you could also use third-party tools such as Facebook and Google (which may also boost your SEO).

Don’t settle for poorly-written testimonials... or worst still none at all.   Create a process that allows you to secure your success stories as testimonials so you can let all your future customers know how great you are.

If you need help clarifying your marketing message so your potential customers sit up and listen, schedule a call today.


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