My friend Shelley Ryan of Killer Webinars fame (that's her over there) created a great response to an excellent customer service experience she had the other day at Chico's. You can see her good work here. Of course, Chico's is no doubt thrilled to have something so creative and well-done out in the social universe. It's a heart-felt endorsement that will likely get a few new customers in the door.

And if all they did was let this nifty little presentation live on in the ether, that'd be OK. But there are additional ways to reap benefits from testimonials like this. Not every delighted customer will be as talented as Shelley and create a full-on rich media endorsement. But whether you get a nice email or a lovely video, you can leverage that into more good for you. Here's how:

  • Use on your own site to show visitors your commitment to customers and service.*
  • Distribute to employees, board members and other stakeholders.
  • Include in training modules endorsements that highlight specific behaviors (and not just above-and-beyond stuff) that you'd like your employees to develop.
  • Employ in case studies and white papers as evidence or examples.
  • Use in advertising or promotional campaigns, including contests for best experience story, etc.*
  • Reward employees who made these exceptional experiences happen.
  • Put the endorser on your list of sources for reporters and analysts who want to talk to customers.*

What are some other ways you leverage the value of a good referral, testimonial or endorsement?

* You should get permission from the customer undertaking these activities.