A few of the questions I get asked quite a lot are “How do I get testimonials that actually work”? or “How do I get more testimonials?” or “Why won’t my customers write testimonials for me?”
The answers are usually quite straightforward and normally have something do with the following:
- not proactively asking for testimonials
- not making it easy for your customers to give testimonials
- not asking for testimonials at the right time
In fact, the majority of business owners are failing to get testimonials simply because they haven’t built it into part of their sales cycle…and they’re missing a BIG trick!
What I’ve covered in this article is
- Why you need to be proactively asking for testimonials
- How to get awesome customer testimonials that you can be proud of
- How to use your awesome testimonials in your marketing
The benefits of asking for testimonials
The benefits of getting testimonials are huge and therefore cannot be ignored. Here are a few reasons why you absolutely have to be proactively asking for testimonials
One – Testimonials as a keeping customers strategy
- Your customer can tell the world – As soon as someone has bought from you or used your service, and they’ve really enjoyed it, they are typically looking to tell someone about their experience. Writing a testimonial gives them the opportunity to do this.
- Testimonials create engaged and loyal customers – When your customer writes a testimonial for you they are effectively selling your product or service back to themselves, thus pulling them in further.
- Turn your customers in to raving fans – Your customer feels like they are helping you out, and of course they are. They aren’t going to put their name and reputation at stake for just any old thing, so when they write a testimonial they become a bigger supporter of what you do.
Two – Testimonials as a getting customer strategy
By having strong testimonials built into the fabric of your marketing you can offer proof that you can do what you say you can do. Testimonials probably won’t be the single thing that drives customers into your business, but it will certainly help the process along.
Three – Testimonials as a business research tool
By actively collecting testimonials you have the opportunity to learn about what your customers really think about your business. This can help you to change and improve certain aspects of your business.
How to get awesome customer testimonials that you can be proud of
You’ve probably guessed already that I don’t adopt the ‘normal’ method of getting testimonials. Unless you want something like “Excellent customer service, I would highly recommend this to my friends” or something as equally as bland, you really have to follow the advice below so you can get testimonials like this:
Here’s a good example of what I’m talking about:
“When I first met Chris Marr at a Cupar networking event, I was toying with the idea of getting some help to market my business.
I had used a marketing company in the past, but with little success, so I have to admit before I heard Chris make his one minute introduction, I was slightly sceptical about how effective marketing consultants were.
However, when Chris started to talk about Learning Everyday, I was immediately struck by his creativity and enthusiasm. His material was innovative and quirky and it appealed to me. I felt that the person who wrote that material could help me market my business in a way I felt comfortable and happy with.
This impression was confirmed at the introductory meeting, and I left fired up with the possibilities of how to make my business more visible and successful. The final proposal confirmed that I had chosen the right person to help me. It recorded clearly and concisely everything that we had discussed, and it set out a straightforward strategy.
Chris has since done everything he said he would do in the proposal.
I have now completed two half day workshops with Chris, and these have inspired and motivated me to think about promoting my business in a completely new way. Chris has a gift for facilitating – he never pushes or imposes his own view, but helps you to think things through and come to the right conclusion about what is the correct thing for you and your business.
Each of these workshops cost quite a substantial amount of money for a one-person business. However, this has been the best investment I have made since I founded Bright Writing in 2004. Chris has also added value by weekly phone calls to follow up what we discussed in the workshops, and these have kept me on my toes and made me do what I said I was going to!
I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Chris to other people, and have done so already. Chris will help you to see how you can move your business forward. I will definitely use him again in the future.”
Can you see the difference??
Click here to see this testimonial on my website
One – Ask for testimonials
The first point of failure for most business is that they don’t have asking for testimonials as part of their sales process. This has a significant impact on the number and quality of testimonials your receive.
Make sue you are proactively asking for testimonials from your customers.
Two – Get the timing right
The best time to ask your customer for a testimonial is when they are ‘high’ off the purchase, while they still feel positive about the experience they just had. This is normally immediately after they have purchased or within a couple of days.
Three – Make it really easy
You have to make it simple for your customer. Tell them exactly what you’d like them to do and why. Which leads onto asking the right questions.
Four – Ask the right questions & focus on what’s important
Getting an awesome testimonial is all in the questions that you ask. By giving your customer guidelines through posing questions you can create a ‘structure’ for your testimonial. This also helps your customer to be very specific about what they are writing.
For example, if you have a USP, or typical industry objections or frustrations that you somehow overcome in your business, you’ll want your customer to highlight these important selling points in their testimonial.
So make sue you ask them about it and how it helped to deliver the result. Your USP or selling point will be far more powerful coming from a real customer than from you.
Point three and four can work together like this:
“I know that it can be difficult staring at a blank piece of paper so here are some questions to help you along…”, or something to that effect.
- Did you feel anxious or skeptical before buying from us? How did we overcome this?
- What were your main reasons for buying from us?
- Did we do what we said we were going to do?
- Do you feel value was delivered with regards to the investment you made?
- Would you recommend us to others?
- If there was one thing we could do to improve what we do, what would you suggest?
Remember to ask direct questions about your USP and anything else you feel is relevant.
Five – Offer an incentive
You don’t always have to do this, because in most cases if people have enjoyed the experience they will write something for you just to help you out. However, you may want to offer some sort of incentive to get people moving and a little more interested (not a bribe!).
How to use your awesome testimonials in your marketing
There are many great ways to put your testimonials to good use, here are a few examples:
One – Make them real
Make sure, where possible, you include a name, photo, date, location and job title/business name and a link to the customers’ website. This will make your testimonials more real, genuine and authentic.
Two – Your website
Your testimonials shouldn’t be relegated to one single page on your website. Make sure your testimonials are built into the fabric of your website; on every page and next to any call to actions.
Three – Other promotional materials
Make sure you have testimonials on your brochures, flyers, your business cards and your emails! I think you’re getting the picture now…you want them everywhere where your prospective customers are looking.
Four – Use them in your proposals
If you are in the type of business where you write proposals for your customers, include a few relevant testimonials for the prospective customer to read.
Five – Video testimonials
You can take your testimonials to the next level by capturing them on video. As you probably know, video is a fantastic way to convey a message to your audience and has huge impact with regards to your marketing.
I’m sure you agree that testimonials have huge benefits for getting customers and are very effective as part of your keeping customers strategy. By proactively asking for testimonials you are building engagement with your customers and growing a loyal customer base that love what you do.
You can use your testimonials in your marketing as proof that you can do what you say you can do and it creates a genuine and authentic feel when executed properly.
- How do you get your testimonials at the moment?
- What is working for you?
- Are they awesome enough?
- How do you use your testimonials?
- What could you change or improve?