Testimonials: Overused some places, but not everywhere

I was recently involved in highlighting Franklin Electric’s commitment to SERVICE as part of the video portion of Franklin Electric’s annual report. The production crew did some filming at a Franklin Tech session and even visited a job site. In each case, they captured some excellent, unrehearsed comments from water systems contractors about Franklin Electric and our products.

What struck me once again was the power of testimonials. A credible testimonial from a real person is much more powerful than anything a piece of product literature can say. As a potential customer, we tend to relate far better to another customer than a product. The other power of testimonials is that people talk of benefits and what the product or provider has done for them, instead of talking about features. Testimonials make us think to ourselves, “If it works for him, maybe it will work for me. I may be missing out here.”

Of course, testimonials have completely taken over some genres of television. Manage to pay attention to any infomercial for more than 30 seconds, and you’ll quickly realize how heavily these genres rely on customer testimonials. If anything, they probably overuse testimonials in their efforts to get you to “JUST PICK UP THAT PHONE! PLEASE HAVE YOUR CHARGE CARD READY.”

 As overused as testimonials are elsewhere, perhaps as an industry we don’t use them enough. Peruse the websites of water systems contractors, and you hardly ever see a testimonial from a real homeowner talking about their private water system and what it means to them. Awhile back, we interviewed a slew of homeowners about their private water systems. I was amazed at the number who literally said “We love our private water system and would never give it up.” We also receive dozens of unsolicited comments on our website and Hotline from homeowners that comment about how much they like their variable-speed, constant pressure water systems. Many say they would never go back to a conventional system. Nevertheless, you hardly ever see a testimonial in our industry from a homeowner about constant pressure or even simply the advantages of having your own water system.

 You may be missing an opportunity here. Next time you think about advertising your services and products as a water systems contractor, think about all of your satisfied customers. Could you use them in a testimonial? Perhaps on your website or even on your Facebook page? If not there, just as a reference for your future customers? Perhaps simply ask them to tell their neighbors? After all, we all know that “word-of-mouth” is the best kind of advertising. Whether it’s more formal in a testimonial, or just two neighbors talking, take advantage of this opportunity.

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