In the past, I’ve talked quite a bit about how important testimonials are for building your credibility and establishing you as an expert in your industry. But today I want to talk about the other benefit of testimonials (and complaints for that matter) and why you should closely study them before you write a single word of sales copy.
Let’s suppose you run a commercial cleaning business (let’s call it Super Shiny Cleaning Company)and a satisfied customer leaves you a testimonial that says: Super Shiny Cleaning Company is the only cleaning company we’ve ever dealt with that didn’t miss spots and that charged a fair rate. They always do the job right the first time, and they work faster than any cleaning company I’ve ever seen!
Now, if you were the owner of Super Shiny Cleaning Company, your first reaction would be one of joy and pride. You’ll probably slap the testimonial up on your website and forget all about it. And you’d be missing out on a big chance to tighten up your marketing message and to better connect with your target audience.
See, you need to take a closer look at the testimonial to realize its true value. When the client says you’re “the only cleaning company we’ve ever dealt with that didn’t miss spots and that charged a fair rate”, he’s helping you identify your unique selling points and the benefits your target audience is interested in hearing about. You can then focus your sales copy around these benefits.
That’s why you need to spend a little extra time looking at your testimonials and complaints as well as the testimonials and complaints of your competition. These provide invaluable market research at absolutely no cost to you. Read over as many of these testimonials and complaints as you can find in your industry and make notes of recurring themes. For instance, if you notice a lot of complaints about cleaning companies who charge too much and rip off their clients, you could focus your copy on the affordability of your services and an ironclad money back guarantee if customers aren’t satisfied.
At the end of the day, it all comes back to answering the only question consumers care about: What’s in it for me? The more attractive an answer you can provide to this question, the greater the response will be from your target audience. Never stop learning about your customers. Always be on the prowl for new benefits they care about when buying your products and services.