Then DON’T ask your customers to write them for you.
Do this, instead.
Ask your customers to answer these six questions:
- What was the problem they wanted to solve or the result they wanted to get?
- What other products or services did they try before they approached you?
- In what ways did these other products or services fall short?
- How did your product or service help them / what result did it deliver?
- How was your product or service better than or different from other products or services they tried?
- What is the one thing they think other people should know about your business/product/service?
Then, take their answers and turn them into a testimonial YOURSELF.
Why do it this way?
First, because many of your customers won’t know how to properly structure a testimonial. Or, without doing the exercise above first, won’t automatically include enough of the specific facts that help make testimonials believable.
Which is completely understandable… it isn’t their area of expertise, after all.
Second, by doing this yourself you have more control over the quality of the “finished product”. And once you have answers to the six questions above, you pretty much have all the raw material you need to write up the testimonial, in the right order. It’s now mostly a case of polishing and editing.
Third, the polishing and editing is actually the most time-consuming part of writing. And your customer will likely thank you for taking this task off their hands.
Of course, you are probably wondering…
Isn’t it “cheating” or dishonest to write your own customer testimonials?
Not if you follow this golden rule:
DO NOT change the meaning or intent of your customer’s answers.
Because a testimonial should HONESTLY reflect a customer’s opinion or experience of using your product or service – for legal, moral and good karma reasons.
But as long as you STICK TO this golden rule – and don’t make stuff up – there’s nothing wrong with YOU writing the testimonial.
And here’s three more things to keep in mind when you do:
One: Try and keep the writing in your customer’s voice. If they used any unique words or phrases, or even if there are small errors in their answers, you can often leave these in. These small quirks, and even mistakes, make testimonials seem real. Too polished can sometimes seem fake.
Two: There is a hierarchy of testimonials that goes video, text + photo, text only. So, where you can, try and get video testimonials or include a photo of the person giving the testimonial.
And three: be sure to send the testimonial to your customer to review, and when they are happy with it get written permission from them to use it.
Of course, getting great testimonials ultimately starts with having a great product or service and customer experience.
And if you are open to exploring this, a great way to start is by requesting a marketing health check which you can do right here: