Client testimonials – how to harness their strength

testimonials

Client testimonials can be worth their weight in gold – but if you’re not using them effectively online you could be limiting your business prospects, says one of Australia’s top brokers.

Kay Jackson, Director of multi-award winning brokerage Simplex Insurance Solutions, makes strong use of client testimonials on her company website and in awards applications. She says that in terms of boosting the Simplex brand, seeking and using testimonials makes business sense.

“Because insurance is such a mistrusted occupation, the more that other people sing your praises, the more successful you’re going to be,” she says. “People increasingly trust what they read online. Savvy business people will check out what is being said about your company. If you’re not promoting positive messages and there are negative messages out there, that could be terrible for your reputation.”

Jackson first started obtaining testimonials after surveying their clients following claims, in order to measure the business’s claims outcomes. It was only when they noticed a surge of positive feedback received in an open comments section that they realised the marketing potential in them.

The clients were happy to have their comments used, and now Simplex has a strong bank of endorsements on its site. Simplex also tops the standings on the Get Informed website, which features Trip Advisor-style, unprompted feedback from broker customers.

Get Informed provides training to help brokers overcome the fear of asking for testimonials, and service founder Kate Fairley says the strength of client recommendations should not be undervalued.

“Brokers find asking for testimonials confronting, but it’s essential to their success as a service provider of a product their client may never receive a benefit from,” says Fairley.

“Testimonials based on positive claim experiences are the most powerful method of establishing trust with prospects, but also with existing clients who may be tempted by the price-focused advertisements of direct insurance companies.”

Testimonials can also play their part in awards successes – as testified by 2014 NIBA Broker of the Year winner John Mutton of InterRISK.

“Once you’ve been nominated, you have to go to clients to get references to support your nomination,” he explained. “This is pretty confronting because you’re asking people to write about you and you don’t know what they’re going to say.

“But the support I had was fantastic. It’s brought me closer to a couple of my clients – it’s been a great experience.”

NIBA’s 2015 broker awards are now open for nomination. If you know a broker worthy of recognition for their technical skills and customer service, nominate them for the Broker of the Year or Young Professional Broker of the Year Award. It takes only five minutes to nominate via an online form.