Let's brainstorm some innovative ways to share them. Huge online retailers have raised sharing customer comments to a high art, with reviews, tagging, customer lists, and so on. Your small business can't generate the huge user base, but you can make up for that by actively sharing the customer testimonials you collect.
On your website, match up testimonials with the products or services they relate to. Have a physical store? Post testimonials right with the product displays.
Have an office instead? Post them in your office, public areas, or even on the front door.
Do you have any paper materials? Product flyers? Brochures? Business cards? Newspaper ads? Include testimonials that support your message.
Does your website include a blog? Definitely post testimonials along with your other stories. Also show of your subscriber count from FeedBurner. Each subscriber is like a mini-endorsement. If you have a subscriber count that you think is high, then share it.
Last week, reader Sheryl Schuff commented that Twitter is a great place to hear testimonials for your business. It's also a great place to turn around and share those testimonials with others along with your regular communication.
A side benefit to all this work with testimonials is how they make you feel. Nothing compares with the feeling that you are making a difference for people, and testimonials remind you of that.
Becky McCray is a small-town entrepreneur, the co-owner of a liquor store and cattle ranch. She writes about small business and rural issues at Small Biz Survival, based on her own successes and failures. As a consultant, she helps small businesses and small-town governments to get things funded and get things done. Becky is also a noted speaker on small-business issues. She blogs at Small Biz Survival.