It’s Not Always About You

I think a lot of us are thinking of customer testimonials in the wrong way.

I’m sure you’ve read articles and blog posts that tout the power of customer testimonials. These stories have headlines that read, “The five reasons why you should be using customer testimonials” or “The six reasons why customer testimonials will improve your website,” or “The seven ways that customer testimonials can improve your conversation rate.”

While all of those things are true, they’re all about you and your business.

When we think of testimonials like that, they can feel like work. They can feel like work for you. They can feel like work for your employees, and in your mind, they can feel like work for your customers. You’re asking your customers to do something for your business. Your customers are doing work for you, and that’s a reversal of the relationship which can feel uncomfortable.

Customer Testimonials = Customer Service

But what if I told you that testimonials aren’t for you at all? What if customer testimonials are actually customer service?

Customer service is all about communication.

When I was a kid, I worked at my Dad’s flower shop. His florist shop was very popular, one of the biggest in the area. It wasn’t because he sold flowers that any of the other floor shops were; it was because he was a stickler for customer service, and my Dad taught his employees to care as much about customer service as he did.

Customer service was ingrained in all of us that worked there. We even had to carry around a card that had my Dad’s rules of customer service printed on it. The first and most important rule was if you see a customer, go up to them and ask if you can help them, ask if they’re having trouble finding anything, start a conversation with them. My Dad understood that excellent customer service and a great customer relationship begins with communication.

That’s why customer testimonials should be a form of customer service. It’s a communication between your company and your customer.

When working with companies, one of the most common notes I receive is, “Get to the part where they talk about us faster.” It makes sense. Cut to the chase, right? And in a lot of formats, that’s a legitimate note. In a 30-second commercial, you have to talk about the product your selling.

The goal you set when creating a testimonial is essential. Your end goal is going to affect how you tell a story, the energy it puts into the world, and how it’s perceived by people. I’ve found this to be true with all stories, but especially customer stories and testimonials.

Your Customer is the Hero

The end goal should be to elevate your customer’s story and make your customer the hero of the story.

I would invite you to fall in love with your customer’s story.

Make your customer the hero of the story. Make your product or service a character in that story. The best teams I’ve worked on, have gotten so excited by our customers that they’ve become the stars of our show…which became a win for us.

When your goal is to make your customers look great, there are so many positives. One of the biggest wins is that you are broadcasting to the world how much you love your customers. You are saying that your company places customers so high on that pedestal that you’re willing to feature them, front and center.

When you ask a customer for testimonial, you’re saying, I value your opinion. I care about the experience you’re having. I mean, what’s the most frustrating thing about the businesses we deal with every day? It’s that they don’t value us, that they don’t care about us. Do you think your cable company cares what you have to say about them? Do you think your phone company values your opinion? No. That’s why we hate those guys.

So, I think we get stuck when we think of customer testimonials. We view testimonials and customer stories as these things we have to create to move our business forward. It’s something for us and our business.

But these stories are not for us. They’re for our customers.

In the end, the hero of your customer story is your customer. You’re just the thing that gets them from point A to point B.

Have you created an amazing customer testimonial? What’s holding you back?