Catching Accidental Testimonials



“It was so much easier than I thought it would be.”

“Wow, the finish on this is such high quality”

“I wish I’d bought one of these sooner.”

“The woman I spoke to on the phone was really friendly and it’s all sorted now.”

Do you ever hear yourself saying soundbites and snippets like this about services and brands you experience?

Companies usually want feedback from customers to help them improve their services and to acknowledge staff who are doing great work. You’ll see many ways different companies try to get this feedback, including adding web addresses on the bottom of receipts, customer comments cards, and buttons you can tap to indicate your level of satisfaction. Some run prize draws or offer gift vouchers as an incentive to get more people to take the time to share their opinions.

There are also transparency systems used by the likes of Uber, Google, Amazon and TripAdvisor. Public reviews are highly trusted and keep companies accountable and focused on delivering great experiences.

Publishing testimonials you receive from delighted customers is a great way to explain to others what to expect from you.

The thing is, when people write feedback, they tend to do it very rationally. The act of thinking about a recent experience and turning it into written feedback uses the slower, more deliberate cognitive part of our minds. In contrast, conversational soundbites are usually much more 'everyday' in their language, more spontaneously given without overthinking, and more emotional in their content.

Next time you hear someone casually describe their experience, or compliment a member of your team, with a short and throwaway comment, ask them if they mind if you write down what they just said, so you can share it as a soundbite testimonial with others. That’s right, I said YOU write it down, not them. Exactly how they said it and the shorter the better.

They may say no to you sharing what they said, or they may say yes but wish to stay anonymous, but I bet if you ask enough people you’ll quickly acquire a large bank of great soundbites you can share to inspire others. Furthermore, the very act of paying attention to the casual things customers say will be a valuable exercise in itself.