Have you ever bought anything online from a company that does not have testimonials or some sort of review? My guess is, probably not. Without testimonials or reviews, the company or website does not look credible. And without credibility, no company can expect to attract new customers and grow their business.
Many startups confuse customer success stories with customer quotes. Perhaps, that’s the reason why it is very common to find startups showcasing customer quotes on their websites. But the reality is that showing 1-2 sentences as a testimonial/quote does not cut the mustard anymore. Additionally, prospects may not be convinced customer quotes are legitimate. And even if the quotes are legit, it is not easy to determine if the quotes are authentic. Most importantly, only a few lines as customer quote provide very little insight into the reason why they use the solution.
With so many competing products and vendors, it is becoming increasingly difficult to the average consumer to start differentiating one product from another or one company from another. Sans any pure differentiation and a credible reason to go with the offered solution, consumers will end up choosing on price, which is exactly what any startup wants to avoid. So, why do startups continue to show only customer quotes?
Listen, I get it. It is hard enough to grow your business but to expect customers to provide a more detailed testimonial is even harder. But, if startups truly want sustainable growth for their businesses, it is critical that they look beyond simple quotes. Customer success stories are a great opportunity for startups to share their success with a client/prospect. Most importantly, it also demonstrates that startups like to celebrate the success of their clients. Especially since the startup played an important role to meet or exceed their client’s expectations.
Reason 1: Prospects want to know more about the problem a startup is solving.
Beyond the sound bite that startups provide on their homepage, prospects want to know what real world problem the customer had before they purchased and started using your solution. By providing a little bit more information, startups can make it easy for prospects to start relating to the problems and the testimonial. If you can describe the challenge or problem and the prospect can relate to it, then you have them hooked. They want to know more.
Reason 2: What real world benefits did the customer get from using your solution?
The only reason customers buy a solution is because they want to solve a problem and by using a solution they want to see benefits. Product feature set and descriptions can certainly help provide more background information to the product, but sharing real world benefits can really help the prospect better understand the solution a startup provides. The best way to share benefits is to quantify it. For example:
- Did revenue rise? Sharing growth percentage within a specific duration will provide context.
- Did the customer gain more customers as a result of your solution? Helping others to get more customers is the best way to highlight your startup’s value.
- Were there any cost savings? Sometimes cost savings is more important than revenue. However, like revenue, provide more specifics on cost savings.
Reason 3: Customer success stories can be the gifts that keep on giving.
If startups do this right, they can reuse the content in many ways. A single customer success story can provide startups enough material for blog posts, whitepapers, and sharing on social networks. Here’s an example:
At a company I used to work at, we recorded many customer testimonials. Once we finished collecting all the information, we decided to focus on one testimonial that stood out from the rest and created some more material from the transcript. We ended up creating more than 19 pieces of content:
- 1 customer email
- 1 white paper
- 1 infographic
- 1 case study
- 1 video testimonial
- 2 webinars
- 4 blog posts
- 5 external drip emails
- 3 testimonial quotes
Here are some success metrics from that customer testimonial:
- 1000+ whitepaper downloads
- 35% additional traffic on website due to blogs
- 300,000+ LinkedIn impressions
- 550,000+ social media interactions
- 600+ new contacts/leads
We all know that customer testimonials help bring in new customers. But beyond testimonial quotes, a well conceived customer testimonial or success story reinforces a startup’s credibility and showcases an authentic customer with real problems that were solved by the startup’s solution(s). It also doesn’t hurt that well thought out customer testimonials produce more than enough content that can be shared to really showcase the startup’s credibility and ability to solve real-world problems.