What we can create with this Blueprint …
This blueprint gives you a suggested flow for testimonials and case studies.
Testimonials can be powerful, because as humans we like getting evidence from multiple sources as to whether something is good or not. (It’s known in the trade as social proof.)
The problem is that clients aren’t always good at expressing the message you want. If you just ask someone for a testimonial, 9 times out of 10 you’ll get a variation on the theme of “it was very nice, and the people were nice, and I had a nice time.”
Another downfall of testimonials is when you ask for them too soon.
People buy products and services to achieve some sort of transformation – and the prospective customer reading the testimonial is usually less concerned with whether or not the person enjoyed the experience. They are more interested to know if what you provide will get them where they want to go.
So the two keys to testimonials are:
- ask for them when the customer has made some progress
- offer to write the testimonials for them and have them agree to it
People rarely have an issue with you writing the testimonial. As long as you aren’t misrepresenting their experience, they will usually appreciate you saving them the effort.
This allows you to write testimonials that highlight different aspects of your service, and the transformation they will help your prospects achieve. If you are clever, you can also write different testimonials in different modalities (visual, audio etc) to resonate with different target markets.
This will also allow you to construct the testimonial in a modular way so it can fit different lengths and uses.
TIP: If you do write them, try to match the language a bit to your client. If all of the testimonials have the same tone and register, they will lose impact.
We can open with a title that sums up what your product has allowed this person to be, do or have .
This should be short and succinct – short enough to used as an email subject line. (Because that’s one of the uses for it.)
Have a think about what people would want to be able to say about themselves if what you do works.
What is the “after” of your prospective customer’s desired transformation. What would they want to be able to say about themselves if what you provide does its job well?
I achieved <XXXX RESULT> in <XXXX TIMESCALE>, without <XXXX UNWANTED CONSEQUENCE>, and without needing to have <XXXX EXPERIENCE/SKILL>. This has allowed me to get <DESIRED TRANSFORMATION>.
This is a blueprint – a layout for what’s important. You’ll want to mix it up a bit. Do so.
A case study based on customer experience could in many ways be considered to be the longer form version of the testimonial.
It shares a lot of the same DNA, and the questions below – which are worth asking for a case study – can also be used when gather information to write testimonials.
- What made you decide at the outset that XYZ was right for you?
- How did you feel when you were starting out?
- What else have you tried, and why didn’t it work for you? (For instance did you try ( KEY ALTERNATIVES TO XYZ)?)
- What has XYZ allowed you to do? What experiences has it allowed you to have?
- What would your life be like if you hadn’t seized this opportunity?
- If you had a friend who was considering XYZ, but wasn’t sure if it was right for them, what would you say to them?
- What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in your life since implementing XYZ?
- What are the people like who trained you on XYZ?
- What are the people like who support you on XYZ?
- What are your hopes for the future, and what role does XYZ play in making those hopes a reality?
- What’s your best experience/success with this? Alternatively, what’s your most unusual experience in terms of where you made it happen?
- Why do you think XYZ is different and better to other ways of (GETTING DESIRED OUTCOME)?
- What’s your favourite feature of XYZ?