Feedback from your customers can turn into a variety of forms of content that will feed the top of your funnel and bring you more great customers. At a minimum, you’ll get some effective testimonials but more importantly, if you dig deeper with your questions, you can get case studies and video interviews with those who have had especially good results using your product.
Avinash Kaushik calls this segment the “CARE” segment. These are the people/businesses who have done business with you at least twice. They want to talk about you and sing your praises.
Think about the busy restaurant phenomenon. When given a choice between two restaurants in an unfamiliar town, one where you can be seated immediately and eat right away or another next door that is packed and is a 30 minute wait, unless you’re in a hurry, you’ll lean towards the wait, right? Why is one place packed and the other empty? Obviously, the people in the restaurant know something you don’t. Their words speak louder than any marketing materials the restaurant might put out.
Your customers want to see you are a “packed restaurant” so let’s replicate this concept to create a powerful content procurement and development strategy.
Sending surveys is easy but asking the right questions is critical in order to cull out the detailed information you’re looking for.
Think about your desired outcome as you develop the questions. Typically, we hope to get sound bytes (testimonials), but we also want to find out who is having enormous success and get enough from them to determine if they are worth pursuing for a case study or video interview.
Here are some sample questions to get you started:
- What problem or challenge brought you to do business with ABC?
- How did you find ABC?
- How has ABC helped? Be as specific as possible with measurable results if you have it.
- Are you likely to refer ABC to others? (yes, no or do a scale from likely to unlikely)
- If yes, do you have anyone in mind who would benefit from what we do?
- Yes – I’ll introduce you.
- Yes – Here is there contact. you should get in touch.
- No – But I’ll think about it.
- Would you be interested in having your success story featured on our website/video page, case study database/media outreach campaign? (link to more details on your website)
The answer to #3 will give your team a good idea if this respondent is good case study material.
If you don’t have a budget to produce nice on-site video of your client speaking your raves, you could think about doing a Skype interview. This may or may not translate well, and a good looking case study works just as effectively. You’ll need to decide if you want case studies gated behind a submission form requiring email address and any other information, or not.
Link to more details on your site
Why wait for a survey to give your customers and clients the opportunity to share their story? Having a “submit your story” page outlines more details of what you plan to do with the material and what’s in it for them. We work with healthcare clients who’s clients won’t have permission to provide testimonials due to regulatory or privacy issues. But they love you and want to help you out. In that case, this is where you can answer questions and assuage fears and concerns about how this content will be used. For example, you might not have to use a business name, but can call out a business category and job title, keeping it generic and anonymous.
You can link to your survey on this page if you want, or create your own form to capture information. Our travel and hospitality clients ask for trip accounts and images. A wedding planner at a resort might ask for the bride’s perspective on her perfect wedding. If your customers are tech-savvy, they might submit their own video testimonials.
Further, by highlighting your best customers to your own high profile audience, you are gaining more goodwill with this lucrative audience segment. See how PitchEngine does it with their Agency Spotlight?
On providing incentives
We get asked a lot about giving something in return for taking their time – a discount, a chance to win, etc. I don’t like doing this. It feels like bribery, for one, but more importantly, your best customers are happy to do this for you. Sharing a great referral is incentive enough for them – think about how often you want to give someone restaurant recommendations when they are going on vacation to your favorite place. I can’t say enough about the neurosurgeon who performed back surgery on me nine years ago. I still send him referrals. Being a connector is motivation enough.
You have lots of options here. We happen to use SurveyMonkey because it integrates with Hubspot so we can easily access the customer base and see what customers have interacted with it and not, following up appropriately. Wistia is the video platform, also integrated with Hubspot so we can track analytics and conversions. We often gate video case studies behind an email request.
You might prefer YouTube for video especially if you have a branded channel or if you just want better organic search within the internet’s second biggest search engine.
Not using an automated marketing platform? Not a problem. You need a survey, email marketing service, and a page on your website. The guys over at Zapier did a good job of pulling together and comparing survey platforms here. It does not have to be complicated.
When the data starts coming in, your content team suddenly has a wealth of information from which to start creating blog posts, case studies, video and testimonials. Start by picking one example from each of your personas.
Now you have something your prospects can relate to. They want to know if you’ll be able to solve their problem. “See how we solved XYZs similar problem…”
Come on in to the restaurant – see how happy all these people are?[magicactionbox id=”3436″] [ssba]