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Getting The Best Customer Testimonials

In one of his most famous books, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Mr. Carnegie shared two principles that left an impact on me.


How do these principles apply to capturing and showcasing customer testimonials? Read on:

The insight notebook.

You never know when a casual chat will yield your favourite customer quote of all time.  Get yourself a sweet notebook, one that you are proud to carry with you everywhere.  When you talk to people, formally or informally, have that pen and paper handy.  I’m saying cowboy-quick-draw handy.  As Van Wilder would have said, “write that down”.

Picture this, picture that.

Taking pictures of customers using your product and services is great; video is even better.  Our phones and tablets have made it easier than ever to snap on-the-go photos and video everywhere.  Be mindful 2 things. 1) Back lighting; it will make the difference between an beautiful photo and a blurred out smoky one.  2) Beware the pocket smudge: the lens of your phone camera needs a good wipe down before you start taking great photos.

Guest showcasing.

Taking your own photos is awesome; reaching the next level starts when your customers are doing it too! We have two examples: Kevin Magee, serial blogger and sales guru, used Meal in a Jar as inspiration for “the un-jarring.  He unpacked his dinner like the newest tech gadget and showcased each step on the blog.  Thank you Kevin! (Check it out here.) Another of our customers is building a sketch-a-day blog.  Zucchini Bolognese became delicious art a few nights ago.  Thank you Joan! (Click here to see it.)

Bend the laws of incremental exchange.

Conventional wisdom would tell you to slowly reciprocate favours of incremental value over an extended period of time.  Time to throw that out the window.  When a customer LOVES your product, ask them crazy favours!  Be part of our promotional video, paint a picture of your experience, help us test new recipes.  People love sharing enthusiasm.  Capture it in the heat of the moment.

Tiny ask.

Guy Kawasaki presented in Waterloo a few months ago about enchantment (highly recommended).  One concept he passed along was “the tiny ask”.  Everything you offer, whether it be some advice, a free sample, an “inside scoop” or some time, can be followed with a “tiny ask”.  Shout outs on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, a one-liner testimonial, a photo with your product; these are all tiny asks that are easy to make and easy to fulfill.

Reduce, reuse and recycle.

Reduce: When capturing a testimonial, don’t hesitate to keep the phrases you wish to share.  2 or 3 sentences are all you need to capture an example and a feeling to associate to that example. Reuse: Testimonials don’t need to hide away on your website.  Pull them out once in a while on Twitter, Facebook, promotional material, and more.  There are unlimited uses for great quotes! Recycle: Ask a customer to update their testimonial after a few months.  Maybe they have new insights and experiences to share.

If I could leave you with nothing else, I ask that you take a moment to reflect and draw your own conclusions from these two quotes:

“You must arouse enthusiasm in others, those who do not walk a lonely road.”

“Everyone wants to talk about themselves.”


carson-kolbergCarson Kolberg

Co-founder of Meal In A Jar

Twitter: @koolberg