Maybe you aren’t ready to start on a website or another larger project for your business, but there is one key item to continue to gather and store in a word document or google doc for when that day comes around client/customer testimonials! These are gold to your business, and to your confidence, let’s be honest.
Testimonials can be used on your website, but can also be created graphically and shared on your social media platforms. Further down the road, you can use them on sales and landing pages, and on product packaging.
Most people have trouble asking for a testimonial because it can be such a vague request, or maybe you’ve received a testimonial before, but it was weak, even though you know your client was happy and loved working with you. How frustrating that can be. But just like all the other areas that our customers need to be informed, they need guidance on giving a productive and effective testimonial on your business and services. Here’s how:
Consider the Timing
Take a look at your customer process and determine the best timing to ask for a testimonial. If you have a business that provides an ongoing service to your customers, be sure the first iteration of your services is complete before asking, but don’t wait too long either.
If a customer recently reached a milestone or goal by using your product/service, this is the perfect time to ask for a testimonial. They are excited, these are your star customers, put these folks at the top of your list to reach out to.
Make It Easy for your Customers
Testimonials can be gathered in person or via email or call. If you’d like, you could consider an incentive offer with a testimonial if you find yourself having a more difficult time getting simple testimonials, or if you want to step up your game and get some video testimonials. The video testimonials will often require more work for your customers, so offering an incentive makes it more worthwhile. Most people will respond to an incentive offer regardless of the value of the incentive.
Ask the Best Questions
Not just the right questions, but the best questions. You could have a list of 30 “right” questions, but no one wants to answer that many questions. This shouldn’t be work for your customers, it should be a concise response to the ideas and feelings they already had about their experience. Always be sure you are avoiding yes/no questions, this is a testimonial, not a survey. Focus on questions that highlight the benefits that people get from using your service or product. Here are a few questions to get you started:
“Hey Jennie, I’ve loved our work relationship over the last 3 years, what have you enjoyed about [our product/service] most?”
“What results have you gotten from [product/service]? “
“Tell me about your problem or obstacle before you found [our product/service]?”
“What is life like now that you’ve experienced [our product/service]?”
Subject: Thanks for letting [COMPANY] serve you
I am reaching out to thank you for being a continual [COMPANY] customer. With your permission, I would like to use your experience as a testimonial to share with future clients and customers of [COMPANY].
To help you begin reflecting on our work, I’ve included a few questions, but feel free to include any other wins or successes you’ve noticed since using [PRODUCT/SERVICE].
Write the Testimonial Down
Sometimes a praise on your services comes with no invitation, don’t pass it by! You might not have the time, or brainpower at that moment to continue the conversation to get a bit more info from them, and that’s okay. But please, write it down, and their name, date and if you have multiple services jot down what services they used. With that info, you can use the testimonial on a specific sales page down the road.
Testimonials can gather in other corners of the internet as well, like Facebook, Yelp, and Google. Be sure to go to those resources every so often and take screenshots and keep high-value testimonials all compiled in one location.
Reword and Proof It
When we initially ask or provoke feedback in a testimonial format, more often than not it’s not as concise as it could be. Whenever you receive a testimonial take what they said and play around with the wording. Be sure to check any grammar errors and typos, and if it was a long testimonial, trim it down to 2-4 sentences.
As always, be sure to thank them and continue to serve them well. Just because you got the testimonial from them doesn’t mean they aren’t a valued client for your business.
Get A Photo
Add even more value to your testimonial comments by asking your client if they have a headshot that you could share with their comments. This enforces the validity of their words and the work you did for an actual person/company.
Like anything in business, you get better at it as you do it. You’ll learn from your customers and ideal clients how they like to be treated. The best thing you can do to start getting client testimonials is to start now. If someone doesn’t want to provide a testimonial it may be a good opportunity to ask follow-up questions and improve other areas of your business and services. Always be listening to your customers and let your business follow in wisdom.