Research requires evidence-based support in order to be considered legible, reputable, and valid. One of the most impactful ways that researchers derive this evidence is through testimonial interviews. These pieces of information, in conjunction with the research itself, are compelling factual demonstrations of the effect a scholar’s work had on an outside person.
Getting a unique testimonial from someone who is willing to verify that your work impacted them is a powerful tool to have in your evidence file. Because of this, it connects to your research in ways that give you a higher scholarly impact rating. But to be considered an accurate representation of the impact of your work without bias interfering, there are some things you as a researcher need to consider before requesting a testimonial interview from a participant.
What is a Testimonial Interview?
Testimonials are everywhere today, from billboards to star ratings for a product or service on the internet. But these are often taken for granted with the easy methods for reviewers to skew their testimonials in a particular direction and the implicit bias that makes people inherently distrustful of a stranger’s recommendation anymore.
Yet testimonials as evidence in research undergo detailed scrutiny before they are attached the finished work as a form of strengthening the researcher’s outcome. Testimonials are personal statements that reflect the qualities of a product or service or person as seen through the interactions of them with someone in need of what they offer.
When these statements are compiled, they can be organic and come from the user’s desire to tell others how something impacted them, or they can be elicited from strategic interviews that request unbiased responses to questions designed to determine details about a specific aspect of the research performed. Through testimonials, scholars get a personalized vision of how their work was relevant to the specific target demographic they were aiming for.
What Should Be Included in a Good Testimonial?
There are some basic components of any good testimonial, including the problem, the benefit, and the closing. These aspects should be broken down like this:
● The introduction: The testifier introduces themselves with their name, title, and a short biography to let the reader know a little about who they are to personalize the testimonial. This increases the validity of the testimonial. In here, the problem this person faced is explained. What were they doing prior to the work of the researcher? What was their situation, using facts that showcase the need for the problem to be solved?
● The attempt at a solution: Most people try to solve problems on their own before they head to something as intricate as a research experiment. What alternatives did the user attempt to perform before they became involved in the research? What obstacles did they run into along the way to a solution?
● The solution: Once the user attempted to use the solution provided by the research, how did it impact their problem? What aspects of the research were essential to the resolution? Personal notes about the interactions of anyone integral to the experience can be included here, as well as statistics that demonstrate quantitative evidence as to how the problem was solved. Add a summary of the experience and a clear recommendation if one is applicable.
These components are integral to a quality testimonial interview.
How to Approach Collecting Testimonials
Testimonials are a tricky piece of evidence. They must be approached and collected cautiously to ensure bias is completely removed from the process. When you are ready to collect testimonial interviews, keep these tips in mind:
● Create a question that you want to ask a reviewer. Make sure it includes everything that you want them to cover, especially specific aspects of the research you want them to focus on. The answers can be in writing, or they can be conversational if the person agrees to it. Through conversation, you can request clarification or explore their answers in greater detail.
● Plan ahead what you will tell the person in regard to the testimonial you are requesting. Let them know how it will be used, and verify that they have the authority to provide the statement officially and that they approve of the way you will use it.
● Only request testimonials from people you have interacted with consistently. Let the other person know about the confidentiality of their statement and consider what you know about them from the relationship you have built. They will trust you based on that interaction, and their testimony will reflect that.
When you’re ready to collect testimonials, make sure you do so timely, while the experience is still fresh in the reviewer’s mind.
Putting Your Testimonials to Work With Impactio
Once you have performed your research and collected your testimonials, you need to compile them into your final piece of work for submission. Experts around the world use Impactio for this because it’s a program designed specifically for academic scholars.
Impactio is an all-in-one platform that lets you easily insert your information into premade templates, create charts, graphs, and tables from your data, and turn your findings into professional PDF documents and web pages for a seamless transition to the publisher.
When you’re ready to show off your testimonials and make a greater impact, use Impactio to get the job done.