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Street Cred: Letting your customers tell your story

So, already, you may be asking yourself, “How come no one has mentioned street cred to me before?” Or, “Do I need to join a hip hop band to get me some?” Or even, “What exactly is street cred anyway?”

Here’s an example. Let’s say you are looking for a new employee. You read over the resumes. You see a lot of people pumping up the volume with words like self-starter, results-oriented, motivated, reliable, and so on, ad nauseam.

Then, suddenly one candidate rises to the top. The resume includes some quotes from previous employers.

The difference is street cred. When someone else is vetting your claims, it makes them more believable.

The same holds true in showing the credibility of your brand. You can say, “We’re the best…your unique provider…your single source…” all day long, but it lacks the perception of objectivity and, thus, is less believable.

However, when your customers tell about their experience, it allows the reader or listener to put themselves in that person’s shoes, and virtually experience what it is like to do business with you. Your merits are more believable coming from someone who has been there.

Also, most people feel safer being a follower. If they see someone has blazed the experience trail and come out satisfied, they are more likely to jump in.

When you follow up with customers, use a short survey with leading questions (ones that won’t get a yes or no answer only) to elicit information about their experience doing business with you. It’s good quality control as well as an opportunity to get testimonial content. Include a checkbox at the end to confirm you have their permission to share their comments (with or without their name) via your promotional material.

Let customers who have put your company to the test, tell your story. Testimonials are one of the most powerful ways to get your business the street cred it deserves.

First Impression ChecklistFor a quick revelation of what may be missing from your brand experience, before you even engage your prospective client, download my free First Impression Checklist. It’ll give you some tips you can employ right away and provides a glimpse of the value a thorough brand evaluation can provide.


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Next Issue:

Only Dead Fish Go with the Flow: Differentiate or die

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