Testimonials are one of the most effective ways of building trust with prospective clients, giving them the confidence to take that next step. Whether it be requesting a demo, filling out a form, completing an online order, or signing off on a proposal you’ve just delivered.
But what makes them so trustworthy is how hard they are to get. And them being so hard to get is why it’s important to know how to ask for them effectively.
After all, you only get one shot to ask, and you only get to ask when you’ve delivered an exceptional level of work.
The power of a testimonial
It will come as no surprise that people look for trust signals before buying from a company. Especially one they’ve never worked with or bought from before.
What might surprise you, however, is the value people put in testimonials as their ‘go-to’ trust signal.
An article by saleslion found an astounding 81% of online shoppers research their product online before purchasing. This highlights how critical testimonials are for businesses. Not only do they provide valuable feedback, they also help attract new customers and boost sales.
How to Successfully Request a Testimonial
Step 1: Ask for feedback from every customer
We’ve found businesses that make asking for feedback a standard step in their aftercare processes get the best results. Quite simply, by asking every customer about their experience, you create a culture of excellence as everyone knows they will be getting unfiltered feedback from the customer.
Whilst this might feel a little uncomfortable at first, it will help uncover the issues that are preventing you from getting positive feedback from every completed purchase or project.
Step 2: Address any issues
This might sound odd in an article about asking for testimonials but at the end of the day, if you don’t deliver an exceptional service there’s no way you’re going to get testimonials.
The good news is most issues come down to improving communication with customers. Most people are OK, provided you set expectations early. So, if a regular snagging point occurs, let customers know in advance what’s about to happen and why.
It’s the unknown that frustrates most people.
Step 3: Request the testimonial
Hopefully, you’ll now have positive feedback from a group of clients. These are the ones you can send a simple email to like the below
“Hi there. We recently asked for your feedback and you were kind enough to give us a glowing review. We’re over the moon you had such a good experience! We’re very proud of the work we’ve done for you and would like to celebrate it. Would you be willing for us to use the feedback you provided as a testimonial? Thank you so much for your time!”
Emails like this should always be personalised with the person’s name, details of the product or service you provided, and would ideally be sent by their main point of contact.
Whilst not everyone will accept, by asking every customer for feedback you should start getting a regular stream of positive responses.
Step 4: Make it easy to give a testimonial
Even for the best customer, providing a testimonial can be a task that slips to the back of the queue. And asking repeatedly for a testimonial they agreed to can sour a once positive relationship.
There are some quick steps you can take to make it easier for them
- Provide a list of questions to help them write the testimonial
- Give them the option of recording a video testimonial as an alternative
- Offer to write it based on the feedback they’ve already provided, and they just need to sign it off
Step 5: Thank them, no matter what!
Whatever the outcome, make sure you thank them. Remember, your relationship is far more important than any testimonial they could give, so protecting this should be your main priority. Being polite and respectful should be your go-to stance regardless of if they provide a testimonial or not.
Still not convinced on the power of testimonials?
If you’re still not sure if testimonials are worth the effort, here are some further advantages of implementing the above approach.
They’re great for SEO
Google loves fresh content, and testimonials are a great way to provide it.
Many SEO experts believe Google monitors how quickly someone goes back to the search results to click on the next result down. So, if you’re page convinces someone to enquire they’re less likely to visit another site.
Both these factors can increase your rankings in Google and the traffic you receive.
They’re free marketing
Testimonials are a great way to get free marketing for your business. They can be published on your social media profiles, uploaded to your site, and added to sales documents.
They can prevent negative reviews
Most people only post negative reviews because they feel they have no other avenue to express their frustration. By proactively asking for their feedback you give them this opportunity.
You also do so in private, allowing you to remedy the situation before things become more public.
This can even change a frustrated customer into a very happy one. The fact they’ve seen you’re willing to resolve issues when they happen can give them the confidence to buy form you again.
Start now, create a simple form of feedback questions and start emailing your customers today.