Guide To Creating An Effective Testimonial

Guide to Spinning a Testimonial

Making weak ‘content’ work harder. 


SUGGESTED STEPWISE APPROACH:

How to Create Useful, Meaningful ‘Content’ from Next to Nothing:

A ‘weak’ testimonial may be positive in sentiment but contains nothing of real interest or value. Follow the steps outlined below to convert this into meaningful content.

 


Feedback Obtained from the Client Satisfaction Interview:

 

Q:  What Stands Out About the Service You Receive From ……….…?

A:  “The work that has been done for us has been excellent, and we are very pleased with the service”.

 

Would Recommend?  Yes

Delivered as Promised?  5 out of 5

Value for Money:  5 out of 5

Considerate and Helpful?  5 out of 5

Communication?  5 out of 5

 

Q:  What Could They Do to Improve The Service You Received?

A:  “All aspects were dealt with very efficiently and courteously”.


             

Additional Information from the Supplier and their client:

The Supplier:  A Web Development company specialist in Hospitality and Directory Listing Websites.

The Suppliers Client:      A niche Consultancy Practice focused on the Hospitality sector. 

The Product / Service:  The Supplier had built a Website / Directory Listing site for their Client.

The Suppliers Website:   www.supplier.com

The Suppliers Target Keywords:  Website, Website Design, Internet Marketing, Directory Listing Site, Online Marketing, Hospitality Marketing, Hospitality Website.


Brief for the Marketing Team / Copywriter:
“Craft a company reply to be published with the testimonial,
thanking the client for their ‘testimonial’
and making it more useful from a marketing perspective”.


RESULT:

Testimonial:

“The work that has been done for us has been excellent, and we are very pleased with the service”.

Company Reply:

“Thank you for your feedback Keith, we’re delighted to note that you were pleased with the work and with the service you’ve received”.


CRITIQUE:

Whilst no damage would be done by publishing the testimonial with the ‘Company Reply’ in this format, it is weak, and it represents a major missed opportunity for the reasons outlined below:

Shortcomings:

 

1.       Some elements of the feedback provided were missing reducing its ‘positive’ impact. 
For example, ‘5 out of 5’ for all performance measures is high praise indeed, this needs to be highlighted.

2.       The superlatives have been ‘downgraded’ and strong words removed. 

The words the client provided, with superlatives highlighted:

“The work that has been done for us has been excellent, and we are very pleased with the service”
 and
All aspects were dealt with very efficiently and courteously”.

The copywriter failed to use these strong words effectively / at all.  If anything, they should be slightly enhanced in the ‘interpretation’.

3.       There was no effort made to provide any sort of context. For example, what is the profile of the client who provided this glowing testimonial and what problem were they trying to solve?

4.       No attempt to clarify what the actual product or service was, incorporate / re-enforce any key sales benefits messages or USP’s.

5.       No attempt is made to incorporate any of the keywords provided.  Important for ‘on-Page’ copy and for any social media or other online content and (as it costs nothing) keywords should, wherever possible be incorporated into any published text in an appropriate manner.
 

If the reader is unfamiliar with the work of Dr Robert Cialdini and how the key drivers of persuasion can be incorporated to deliver a better result for the client, watch this:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFdCzN7RYbw

 

 

SUGGESTED STEPWISE APPROACH:


1.       Ensure all available feedback is used effectively and don’t omit valuable words or sentiment.

2.       Craft a company reply that repeats the superlatives and if anything, enhances them slightly.

3.       Provide Context:  Describe the client and try to make them look great.  Describe benefits of the service / utility being delivered.

4.       Clearly describe the product / service and if possible also incorporate the benefits, key sales message and if possible re-enforce USPs.

5.       Search Engines.  Everything written up to now is for the human audience.  Thinking SEO, seek to incorporate keywords and phrases into the text in a way that does not make it less easy to understand. 


 

WORKED EXAMPLE:

1.       Ensure all available feedback is used effectively and don’t omit valuable words or sentiment.

Start by writing the words provided by the client as follows:

Q:  What Stands Out About The Service You Receive From ……….…?

A:  “The work that has been done for us has been excellent, and we are very pleased with the service”.

Q:  What Could They Do To Improve The Service You Received?

A:  “All aspects were dealt with very efficiently and courteously”.

Q:  Would you recommend them to others?

A:  Yes”.

Q:  How good are they on a 1 to 5 scale:  (5 = Excellent, 1 = Very Poor).

A:  Delivered as Promised?  5 out of 5

A:  Value for Money:  5 out of 5

A:  Considerate and Helpful?  5 out of 5

A:  Communication?  5 out of 5

 

2.       Craft a company reply that repeats the superlatives and if anything, enhances them slightly.

We are delighted to hear nothing could have been improved and that everything was completed ‘to an extremely high standard’ and that you are extremely pleased with every stage in the process.

It is also superb to discover the team communicated well and were highly ‘efficient and extremely courteous’.  Receiving top marks for Quality and Value for Money is high praise indeed. 

 

3.       Provide Context:  Describe the client and try to make them look great.  Describe the utility being delivered.

People like flattery, especially if it is genuine. They also appreciate being treated as special so the more we can demonstrate that we know and value them, the more they will like it and us…  and remember, people who like us are more likely to say ‘Yes’.

Thank you First for such amazing feedback.  First Last is Senior Partner and Founder of Name of Company, what First does not know about managing Hotel chains is not worth knowing.  We are delighted to hear nothing could have been improved and that everything was completed ‘to an extremely high standard’ and that you are extremely pleased with every stage in the process.

It is also superb to discover the team communicated well and were highly ‘efficient and extremely courteous’.  Receiving top marks for Quality and Value for Money is high praise indeed and doubly so coming from an acknowledged expert. 

 

4.       Clearly describe the product / service and if possible also incorporate the benefits, key sales message and if possible re-enforce the USP.

Thank you First for such amazing feedback.  First Last is Senior Partner and Founder of Name of Company:  www.website.com, what First does not know about managing Hotel chains is not worth knowing.  We are delighted to hear nothing could have been improved, your Website was completed ‘to an extremely high standard’ and you are extremely pleased with every stage in the process.

It is also superb to discover our unique Specialist Hospitality Marketing team communicated well and were highly ‘efficient and extremely courteous’.  Receiving top marks for Quality and Value for Money is high praise indeed and doubly so coming from an acknowledged Expert.  We look forward to working to ensure the long-term success of your website for many years to come.

 

5.       Search Engines.  Seek to incorporate keywords and phrases into the text in a way that does not detract from the readability.  

Thank you First for such amazing feedback.  First Last is Senior Partner and Founder of Name of Company:  www.website.com, what First does not know about managing Hotel chains is not worth knowing.  We are delighted to hear nothing could have been improved, your Hospitality Directory Listing Website was completed ‘to an extremely high standard’ and you are extremely pleased with every stage in the process: branding website design, website building and handover.

It is also superb to discover our unique Specialist Hospitality Marketing team communicated well and were highly ‘efficient and extremely courteous’.  Receiving top marks for Quality and Value for Money is high praise indeed and doubly so coming from an acknowledged Hospitality Expert.  We look forward to working to ensure the long-term success of your Directory Listing site and your Internet Marketing for many years to come.

Now all that needs to happen is to put the two parts together, the original Testimonial provided by the client and the Company Reply crafted by the supplier…

 

TESTIMONIAL:

“The work that has been done for us has been excellent, and we are very pleased with the service”.   “All aspects were dealt with very efficiently and courteously”.

Company Reply:

Thank you First for such amazing feedback.  First Last is Senior Partner and Founder of Name of Company:  www.website.com, what First does not know about managing Hotel chains is not worth knowing.  We are delighted to hear nothing could have been improved, your Hospitality Directory Listing Website was completed ‘to an extremely high standard’ and you are extremely pleased with every stage in the process: branding website design, website building and handover.

It is also superb to discover our unique Specialist Hospitality Marketing team communicated well and were highly ‘efficient and extremely courteous’.  Receiving top marks for Quality and Value for Money is high praise indeed and doubly so coming from an acknowledged Hospitality Expert.  We look forward to working to ensure the long-term success of your Directory Listing site and your Internet Marketing for many years to come.

Next:

All you need to do now is make sure your client reads the words by writing to them to make sure they are happy with everything you have published.  The easiest way to do so is to send them an email with the testimonial and the company reply in the email and include links to wherever it is published.

Avoid ‘Duplicate Copy’:

Don’t be tempted to simply cut and paste the same text everywhere, e.g. on your website and in your social media for several reasons:

 

·         Google does not like duplicate content.

·         Neither do people, ‘if I have already read this then I won’t bother reading it again’.

·         Your client will ideally see the same sentiment expressed slightly differently each time they read it…

o   On your website, e.g. as above.

o   On your LinkedIn page – remember to keep LinkedIn professional and corporate in tone.

o   On your Facebook profile – make the words more informal and friendly.

o   On your Twitter feed – in 140 characters or less.

 

If you need help with any of the above, please contact Enquir3 for assistance on 0207 100 5180, www.enquir3.com.

Share Share