Recommendation and word of mouth is one of the most easiest as well as free ways to grow your business. A growing diary and steady steam of work is derived from repeat business and recommendations given by customers of your business.
How to get active recommendations
I get asked quite often from electricians how they can obtain active recommendations for the work they do. Now we all know that in the UK, people are more likely to tell you what you are doing wrong over what you are doing right so getting recommendations via word of mouth is quite rare.
In my last blog post, I discussed how to get referral business, so this is really an extension to that, only your recommendations will come from as many of your clients as possible. These recommendations are known as testimonials.
How do I obtain testimonials?
The key to successful testimonials is quantity. Future customers of your business will be more inclined to pick up the phone if you have pages (or at least 2 or 3!) of testimonials that they can have access to.
Too few and it can appear as though they're made up (and some unscrupulous businesses have been known to do this.)
As an electrician in Kent I ensure that I get feedback from all of my clients when I finish the job. Now obtaining feedback whilst standing in front of your client can result in less than honest feedback. Let's face it, no one is going to give negative comments whilst you are there waiting for the feedback form, so I always attach a pre-paid envelope. This way I am getting honest feedback which is useful to my business and my customer feels able to give feedback that reflects their experience.
What should you do with testimonials
As many people as possible need to see your testimonials so keeping them hidden away in a file at home is probably not the best of ideas and it's limiting the number of people who can see them. The best use of testimonials is on line, specifically on your website.
Set up a testimonials section on your website and allow your customers to view feedback on your business at their own leisure. You can also talk about your amazing testimonials via other forms of promotion too.
Never change your testimonial to what you think your customers would want to read, if you are not comfortable with it, it shouldn't go onto your website.
Never use a testimonial without your customers permission. Make sure your customer knows what the feedback they give is going to be used for.
Never make up testimonials, it's just not good business practice.
Effective feedback will help your business to grow and of course all it costs is a little time and printing and postage costs.
If you are not yet using testimonials, you are missing out on an easy to implement marketing trick for your business. Used in conjunction with other marketing tips, your business will soon become the success you want it to be.