Customer Success Managers (CSMs) field requests from every angle every single day. From upsell inquiries from sales to feature testing requests from product to the all-consuming customer requests, it is a lot to deal with. But one department tends to trickle through the noise with surprising clarity: marketing.
Customer marketing is key
Your current customers are one of the best marketing channels available, regardless of your industry or product vertical. It makes sense, then, that marketing would be so keen to gather customer stories and feedback about the value they’re experiencing with your product.
Above all, the customer testimonial stands above the rest. A testimonial can range anywhere from a quick one-sentence review (perfect for placement on a website!) to an extended case study or video. During new sales conversations, many prospective accounts will ask to see some customer testimonials or even talk to customers themselves as references. The most agile customer marketing strategies have a robust catalogue of testimonials on hand with a steady pipeline of customers in reserve to talk to down the road.
There are a few different channels to collect customer testimonials, including:
- A written case study, with direct quotes from the customer that can be used on different marketing materials, such as a website or in a social post.
- A video testimonial, which is also a great way to put a face to the consumer and build a human presence for your references.
- A webinar, wherein your customer can walk through their specific use case, share results they’ve seen, and answer questions from prospective customers in real-time.
Ways to gather customer testimonials
- Always be listening! Customer testimonials don’t always need to be large-scale, planned affairs. In many cases, a customer will drop a quick tidbit or side remark in a check-in call or during a product review, and it’s your team’s responsibility to pick it up and run with it. Make sure you jot potential testimonials down as soon as you hear them, then follow-up with the client to see if there is any additional story.
- Ask customers to collaborate on a marketing initiative. For the above testimonial examples, especially a video or webinar, you need to get your customers on board with working in collaboration with marketing. Work with your marketing team to come up with a straightforward, repeatable process to ask customers to collaborate on testimonial initiatives to proactively build your testimonial pipeline.
- Make it worth their while. Asking a customer to make a formal testimonial is no small task, especially if it is going to take time and effort on their side. Make it worth their while by saying thank you in a unique and special way. Send a thank you gift, market their success, and turn the testimonial into a marketing initiative for their team, not just your organization.
Want to learn more? Check out these other resources from ClientSuccess on building a strong customer testimonial program in your organization, including: