In Praise of Praise – Kudos to You

applauseAs businesspeople, we want to be acknowledged for the work we do, for the value we provide. Can you image doing your work year after year and rarely being told “Great Job!  We need a lot more people like you!”? We all want to be recognized for how we go about our business but also that we have worth as individuals. It’s just a part of how we’re hard-wired as human beings.

Well, the same thing holds true in having your company being praised by clients and customers. We all know how good it feels to be called out as a team or as a member of the team for making someone feel good about their association with your organization or department. Aside from personally feeling good about it, and depending on who is giving the “atta boy/girl”, people start walking around with a bounce in their step and overall team morale starts to increase. I know because last week our own firm received a couple of unanticipated and very flattering “great job” kudos from some clients that made us feel pretty darn good. Which got me to thinking, how might we want to let others know that our clients think we’re the “cat’s meow?”  Because, probably like you, while we know it would be a good thing to do, we’re either sometimes to modest or we just don’t put the time into thinking how we could showcase these wonderful endorsements for the betterment of the firm.

In today’s world, the majority of prospective customers, both B2B and B2C, spend time researching online or through social media before they buy. They depend more than ever on word-of-mouth references from people who have used those brands or products – whether those references are in the form of anonymous reviews or client testimonials.  (Think Angie’s List, Buzzillions or Yelp.) In fact, according to a the marketing group, ODM, about 90% of consumers trust the word of people they know and 70% of consumers trust the word of people they don’t know. Just look at how we shop online. We find what we’re looking for and one of the first things we do is check the customer rating number on the product. The second thing we typically do is read the actual customer reviews to see why someone gave that product 1 star and why others gave the same product 5. The point is, it wouldn’t hurt, regardless how large or small your organization, to make sure that people come across testimonials about your business to help establish trust and prove your credibility.

Ok, so if you’re running low on client testimonials, how do you get more? Well, here are a few thought starters:

  1. Search through some emails in which the client praised your organization for something you did and then ask them if you can use it.
  2. Look around on some social media outlets. Use a social search tool such as Social Mention to find positive mentions of your brand.
  3. Use LinkedIn. Connect with clients and once you have a strong relationship, send them a request for a recommendation. Once you get it, then ask them if you could use it in your marketing materials. But remember, reciprocation is good business.
  4. Send out a customer survey and with some questions and leave room for personal feedback. (I had a client who did this and it fetched some great testimonial comments.)

Now, what to do with the client testimonials that you receive? Again, just some thoughts to get your marketing juices flowing:

  1. Post them on your website but instead of just inserting them on a testimonial page (and there’s nothing wrong with doing that), how about if you were to have a testimonial on your main page by creating a sidebar that rotates. No reason to bury good news…right?
  2. Insert them into social media posts. Use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to get out the word.
  3. Use them as part of e-newsletters or blogs that you send out. You can write up a case study (be careful of the length) while including the client testimonial as part of the story.
  4. Include them as part of presentation decks, sales support materials, B2B and B2C ads, online/digital videos, landing pages, and on and on.

If you have done your job well and earned satisfied customers, don’t let it end there.  Let them speak up for you. Their words are worth their weight in gold. I know it. You know it. And your competitors know it. Oh, and before I forget “You’re doing a great job. We could use a lot more people like you.”

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