Issue #3     










The Power of the Testimonial

Making the Most of Your Customers' Satisfaction


>>  Do you want to boost your company's credibility?

INCOMPAS is here to help with our customer testimonial tips and plan to assist you in creating winning customer success stories.


>>  Looking for someone else to take care of this important task?

Check out some of INCOMPAS' recent testimonial success stories, and contact us today.


INCOMPAS Communications

T: 604.302.2055  |  F: 604.852.6274  |  E: info@incompas.com  |  W: www.incompas.com


You have just completed a major sale for one of your best customers, and they’re not just satisfied with you, your company, your products and your services – they’re ecstatic. So pleased they are with your firm that they’re singing your praises to everyone in their immediate circle, which will undoubtedly heighten awareness and even bring you new business. But wait! Before you move on and file the experience as a job well done, there’s more you can do to spread your hard-earned goodwill around to a much larger audience, and you must act quickly before that “warm and fuzzy” feeling cools down. Writing and publicizing an effective customer testimonial or success story will not only help you sell more products and services, it will also enhance your reputation and strengthen your brand awareness and appeal.


Customer testimonials are perhaps one of the most adaptable marketing tools a company has in its promotions arsenal. If you write them correctly and effectively you can post them on your website, turn them into sell sheets, include them as references when bidding on new projects, and publish highlights from them in your company’s brochures and other promotional literature. Another bonus to producing a strong testimonial is its extended shelf life – words of satisfaction and praise can last for months, even years.


The trick to writing an effective customer success story is to tell an engaging story that will hook your new and potential customers and keep them reading until the very end. You must answer the all-important question that’s on the mind of every single one of your customers: “What’s in it for me?” A good testimonial will not only answer that question in three-dimensional detail, it will also help your new and potential customers relate to your existing customers in a much more personal way through an exchange of shared ideas about your products and services. Whereas paid advertisements are broadcast to a wider audience that includes your target customers, testimonials are personalized stories that speak directly to your customers, enabling them to visualize the benefits of owning your products or benefiting from your services through a story told by someone with whom they can relate and share similar experiences.


INCOMPAS can assist you in writing and producing your own effective testimonials, or we can edit your existing customer success stories and offer constructive feedback on how you can strengthen them to better showcase your company. To get you started, we’ve developed a step-by-step guide to assist you in producing a winning testimonial.



Step-by-Step Plan for Stellar Customer Testimonials


1.       Seek Permission. Before you do anything else, request approval from your customer to develop and publish a testimonial based on their recent experience with you – as soon as possible after the deal is final and while the experience remains fresh in everyone’s mind. Your customer will be far more open to this idea if you explain to them that their organization will receive additional exposure through publication and distribution of the testimonial; you can also assure your customer that they will have ample opportunity to review the finished article and make whatever changes they feel are necessary before you post it on your website or otherwise broadcast the article.


2.     Conduct a Professional Interview. Many companies have realized the advantages of arranging for a separate interview with your customer to be conducted by someone outside your company. This independent approach will enable your customer to answer any questions candidly without feeling unduly pressured to overdo their praise or gloss over important details. Remember, a good testimonial mirrors real life: even the best customer experiences include unforeseen challenges that must be solved in the course of doing business. Your testimonial will ring much truer if it contains honest comments from your customers about how you dealt with any problems that arose during the delivery of your company’s goods and services. The person conducting the interview must be professional in both appearance and conduct; he or she must also be familiar with your company and your products and services, and also with your customer’s business. Your interviewer should not only pose questions about the quality of the products and the level of customer service that they enjoyed from your company, he or she should also ask questions about any problems or glitches that arose and required resolution. Even if you don’t use these anecdotes in your finished testimonial, honest feedback from your customer can only help improve the quality of your products and services in the future.


3.     Record and Transcribe the Interview. It is essential to capture your customer’s exact words – not your interpretation of what you think they intended. Like it or not, we all process incoming information through our own personal filters, and our own biases from our past experiences can alter the speaker’s intended meaning. Besides, few of us know shorthand, and your interviewer will be spending more time taking notes than really listening to your customer and responding to their feedback. Keep these transcribed interviews on file and refer to them often when developing future marketing pieces. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll be able to use from a strong interview. Remember though, every time you quote one of your customers in a new marketing piece other than the one you first developed after seeking initial permission, you must once again approach your customer and ask for permission to quote them, and be prepared to show them how their anecdote will be used and presented.


4.     Tell an Engaging Story. With every sentence, ask yourself brutal questions, such as ‘Who cares?’ ‘So What?’ and ‘What’s in it for my customer?’ If you can’t answer the “who cares” question sufficiently, then chances are few people will actually care about the experience you’re sharing and they won’t read your testimonial through to the end. Also, make sure the story is believable and relatable to your new and potential customers. Part of what makes a story good is the drama that unfolds during an experience and seeing how people react to unforeseen events. Using humour in appropriate places is another technique to keep your readers/customers engaged. People like to laugh, especially when they can relate to a funny situation with a positive resolution. And of course, tell the truth. If you fabricate a testimonial someone may eventually figure it out and you could risk losing your company’s hard-earned credibility in the process. Do the work to create happy customers and then ask them to speak your praises for you, truthfully and in their own words.


5.     Edit and Proofread Your Work. It’s amazing how much credibility a company loses by publishing spelling mistakes, sentence fragments or otherwise poorly written documents. When you are finished writing your customer success story, ask other people in your organization to proofread it and provide feedback on content. Ask them pointed questions, such as whether or not the piece holds their interest, if it positively answers the “Who Cares?” question, or if it effectively promotes the benefits of your product or service’s features. Be prepared to receive constructive criticism; remember, everyone has an opinion, and you’ll likely get more feedback than you expected.


6.     Highlight the Benefits. Instead of focusing on the features of your products and services, concentrate on discussing the benefits that your product or service brings to your customer. Who besides you really cares if your widget has a new and improved wingding – the real question is how does that wingding – or the widget for that matter – improve your customer’s experience? This is a prime opportunity to use a strong quote product or service endorsement quote from your interview. Use your customer’s words to explain why your product or service has helped them save time or money, how it’s helped them generate higher revenue, or how it has helped them feel better in some way.


7.     Spread the News. Once you and your customer are happy with your testimonial, don’t hesitate to post it on your website, print copies to include in your media kits and with existing sales and marketing literature, and e-mail the testimonial to as many people as you can think of. Repackage the testimonial into a press release and distribute it to local, national and international media (don’t forget to include your newsworthy “Who Cares?” hook). The more time you take spreading the happy customer’s story of your company and the more people who read the testimonial, the more consumer trust you will generate and the more business you will receive in the end. Remember, good news travels fast, especially if you’re the one spreading it. Use excerpts from the testimonial wherever you see an opportunity to give you additional mileage from the positive endorsement.


8.     Preserve the Praise. Every time you receive an unsolicited compliment from one of your customers, jot it down, along with a brief description of the encounter. You will be amazed at how many positive comments you receive when you take the time to collect them. Aside from being quite loyal, happy customers are typically generous with their praise, but most people don’t take the time to write you a personal letter of thanks or congratulations; they’ll typically mention their pleasure as an aside during a conversation covering a different topic. Treat every word of praise that you receive from your customers as gold. Not only can you use the kudos to help you sell your products and services more effectively, you will also be giving yourself and your team a positive morale boost by focusing on and highlighting the good work that you do.


9.     Vary Your Testimonials. Don’t expect one customer success story to function as the ultimate word on your company’s quality. Now that you’ve completed one success story, get started as soon as possible on another, and focus the topic on a different product or service. Focused, targeted testimonials are the most effective, so avoid broad, sweeping comments and instead concentrate on highlighting different products or services, or even different aspects of the same product or service. For example, a quote that says, “I appreciated your exceptional service” really doesn’t compel anyone into any sort of action, but a quote that says, “Your delivery of 9,000 widgets to our Houston branch in less than 12 hours was nothing short of amazing” says that you can deliver products directly to customers when they need them. Develop as many stories as you can and vary the topics so that you can address all members of your target audience. You might be required to solicit positive comments from some customers if you don’t receive them spontaneously, such as sending them post cards or feedback request forms soliciting their feedback about certain aspects of your products or services.


10.  Thank Your Customers. If one of your customers has taken time out of his or her busy day to comment on the quality of your products and services, make sure that you share the results of your finished testimonial and show your appreciation for your customer’s effort after the testimonial has been produced and distributed.



Testimonial Success Stories








Project #1



Con-Force Structures Ltd.



Testimonial - UBC West Mall Parkade






Project #2



Lake Country Log Homes



Testimonial - Santa's Log Home




  If you have any specific questions about our services, please use our contact form or email us at info@incompas.com
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