A testimonial is a powerful marketing tool that can be used to increase conversions rates. In this blog post, we will discuss tips on how to obtain client testimonials and what you should do with them once they are obtained.
We’ve all browsed a website or brochure and seen glowing testimonials about the company. You might be thinking to yourself, “Hey, I want some of that testimonial love. Where’s mine?” The trick is – you have to ask. Unless you built your client a magic carpet or a bridge of rainbows, chances are he or she could be perfectly thrilled with your work yet never think to offer you a few words of praise.
The first tip on obtaining client testimonials is to be persistent. Send a follow-up email if you don’t get the response that you want, and also take into account how long it has been since they were contacted. If more than two weeks have passed without any feedback from them, send another email or phone call out. It’s important to stay in contact with clients so that they are aware of your work for them and will return when there is need.
Another key point about obtaining client testimonials is making sure that they are honest reviews of your services rather than just something generic like “You’re great!”. Be specific: what did we do well? What could we improve? This allows companies to know exactly what their clients expect and how they measure up.
If you want to take things a step further (maybe because of your business model), offer incentives for clients who provide testimonials. This can help motivate them and create a win-win situation, in which you might get an additional sale in exchange for a small custom discount.
When trying out new ideas, make sure that they are being done in moderation so as not to overwhelm either the client or yourself with too much work at once.
Here are a few simple ways to collect testimonials from every client:
1. Make Asking for a Testimonial a Natural Part of Your Client Follow Up Process – What do you do after you complete work for a client? You send the invoice. There’s no reason you can’t send a testimonial request along with that invoice. That’s the perfect time to ask for feedback because the project and your stellar performance is still fresh in the client’s mind.
When you’re following up with clients, it’s natural to want feedback after spending your time and money on someone else so make it easy for the client to provide this feedback by asking about their experience.
If they’ve had an awesome experience then don’t be afraid to ask if they would be willing to provide that feedback as a testimonial. In fact, the praise may even include more reasons why they like doing business with you.
Sometimes all that is needed is a gentle reminder as well — take advantage of every opportunity possible to collect positive reviews from satisfied customers!
2. Ask for Feedback – Did I say feedback? Yes, indeed. Perhaps the client loved working with you, but had a problem with one small aspect of the project. If he was impressed overall, he may never think to mention that nagging concern. But if you ask for feedback along with your testimonial, you can learn about a problem you may never have noticed and nip it in the bud before the next client comes along and does see the need to mention your weakness.
Although the goal of a testimonial is to give people who are looking at your site and considering hiring you an idea of how that interaction may work, note that asking for feedback also gives you a way to smooth out the rough areas in your business by addressing problem areas from people who are probably at that step in the customer journey that disappointments and misunderstandings can be addressed.
3. Ask Questions – One great way to ask for feedback is to include questions in your testimonial request. Instead of simply asking the client to write up a few words, send them two or three general questions about your performance, such as “Why did you hire Company X?” “How did Company X help you achieve your goal?” and “What could Company X improve?” These questions are simple, but they motivate the client to think more specifically about your services and to subsequently write up a more detailed testimonial. In fact, you may want to provide some content like an example as a client testimonial template.
This ensures that the client writes up a really positive review with lots of detail rather than just writing few words about their experience.
4. Get Permission – You may choose to edit a testimonial to keep it focused or make it fit in with your other testimonials. Or, if you asked your client specific questions, you may want to turn their answers into a paragraph. You may even want to use several compliments that the client has sent you via email, over time. If that’s the case, ask the client for permission before posting their testimonial in an altered form.
This helps create better relationships because it shows that you have respect for the customer’s opinion and are interested in maintaining open dialogue with them going forward.
5. Offer Incentives That Will Make It Worth Their Efforts — Businesses often think that the best way to get people to follow them on social media is to offer discounts or promotions on their products. While this is true to a certain extent, the real way to get people to follow you is to offer incentives that will make it worth their efforts.
I think this is something companies often forget is a strategy. Incentives are one of those strategies that work consistently. Incentives have gotten a bad reputation in recent years, with many businesses mistaking them for warm approaches to sales and money-making. I don’t see it the same way.
Incentives aren’t cold sales tactics. Incentives work by offering automatic rewards that people need to take action on in order to get the rewards. Individually, no incentive is worth a darn. Collectively, they’re worth a whole lot.
Incentives are your new best friend for obtaining client testimonials and attracting social media followers because you offer them an opportunity to get something in return for their efforts without asking anything up front or making any commitments. You may have noticed that many companies ask customers who enter contests or sweepstakes to provide contact information before entering the contest (some place it at the bottom of entry forms so people won’t notice). In fact, this is one way advertising agencies use incentives as well by offering discounts on future products and services if someone visits certain web pages right now, without expecting anything from anyone but encouraging early sign-ups with offers and deals.
As a marketer, however, the fact that incentives work so well means you’re better off putting some effort into it than not.
It should also go without saying that a good review doesn’t need incentives or any sort of coercion—but it is a way to reward customers who went the extra mile. The fact is that if you do your job well enough, getting reviews will become second-nature. Client testimonials examples: “You did such and such like this,” “You helped me out so much when I needed it”, “thank you!”, etc. The key is just good communication.
Client testimonials are proof that you are what you claim to be. Cultivate them from each happy client, and new clients are sure to follow.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (https://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here: https://www.ereleases.com/7cheaptactics.html