Yesterday, I was reading about how -- and why -- to get great testimonials from your customers and clients. (Sean D'Souza at Psychotactics has a lot of great marketing information and ideas out there. You should check them out sometime.)
Anyway, it got me thinking about what I see a lot of building industry companies doing to get feedback to guide their future marketing efforts... surveys.
My beef with surveys?
Several years ago, I signed up with several different publishing companies and other survey agencies. I wanted to be an industry expert they could send surveys to.
Partially, for the chance to help the companies looking for feedback, but also for the free stuff (like Amazon gift cards to feed my book-reading addiction...)
I noticed some peculiar things about my own behavior, as well as some of the other survey results I've had the opportunity to see... We tend to answer the way we think the survey wants us to answer.
For instance, some of the surveys ask a few qualifying questions at the beginning to rule you out if you don't fit the criteria.
Which means you won't get the goodies. So, you might stretch the truth to make sure you get to take the survey.
That's bad for the company paying for the survey. It means you're not getting a clear picture of what your actual audience wants or thinks. Just some answers plugged in to get to the end of the survey.
There have been some good surveys I've participated in. But most seem to be asking the wrong questions or getting tainted feedback based on how the system is set up.
But most companies take the survey results at face value and use it as a guide for their marketing efforts. It is a way to show they're trying.
What's a better way to get valuable feedback?
Ask your customers and clients for that feedback. Better yet, ask for a testimonial from every customer who tells you, "Great job."
When's the best time? As soon as they say they're happy with your product or service. Get them while the happy feeling is still fresh in their mind.
You can use these testimonials in your marketing. All over the place...
On your website. On your one-sheet product summaries. You can expand the really good ones into case studies. That's what I helped one client do recently.
They had a 20-minute interview/testimonial they'd done with a contractor who'd used their product. As well as a couple other interviews with architects.
We took those interviews, transcribed them and used them to create an awesome case study. Now they can hand that out at tradeshows or use as a leave-behind after an office visit.
They also broke out sound bites of the interviews to sprinkle throughout their website. And at the end of their lunch-and-learn presentations and whitepapers.
So what makes great testimonials so powerful?
If you take my advice and start collecting and using great testimonials, you'll find yourself opening new doors you didn't imagine.
The most obvious one is you'll be collecting some great feedback on things you're doing right.
And if you ask the right questions, you can get feedback on what objections some architects might be having to choosing your product or service.
Why's that important? Once you know the objections, you can deal with them upfront and help your prospects get over them quickly.
Think of great testimonials in your marketing like a mirror. You want them to reflect the type of customers and clients you want to work with.
If you want to appeal to commercial architects... Get some testimonials from architects specializing in that market. And be sure to include that information in the captions you provide.
Want to appeal to contractors? Get some of those testimonials in there as well.
If you want to start getting great testimonials but aren't sure what questions to ask. Or need a third party to help you start getting those collected.
Let me know. I can provide that as a service to get the ball rolling for you.
Send me a note on the Contact Form and let's discuss how I can help.
Until next time...
Make it a great marketing day!