Penny for your thoughts? 3 ways to ask for testimonials

Author: Philippa Lowe
Published: 17th March, 2020

Penny for your thoughts? 3 ways to ask for testimonials

It’s no secret that testimonials and reviews are powerful marketing tools. Everyone always feels better about making a purchase when they’ve been assured by a friend that the product is a great one. The nature of word-of-mouth marketing is changing, with influencers and social media firmly established, there’s a lot more noise to sift through but that’s not always such a bad thing. 

Testimonials and reviews work simply because people want to know they’re making the right decision. Reading or hearing about someone else making the same decision — and not regretting it — instills confidence and trust, even if the customer has never had an interaction with the brand before. 

Encourage social media/Google reviews 

A quick Google or clicking a link to a Facebook page is often one of the first places a new customer will look for information on your business. Make sure, in addition to opening hours or your business address, they also have access to reviews to help them to decide that your business is better than the others they might go on to Google after you. 

Start by asking your clients and customers to review on social media and do it regularly. You will find that, after a while, customers will take it upon themselves to write reviews without being prompted. Create the culture and it will start to come into its own. Make sure these reviews are happening regularly, as 44% of people say that a review must be written within 1 month to be relevant, so keep things fresh! 

When you have a great collection of reviews, contact a few of those reviewing customers and ask them if you can use their words as a testimonial on your website/other marketing materials. Never use their words without asking, despite the public nature of the platforms. 

Create a survey 

Interviewing for testimonials is time-consuming. We believe it’s completely worth it (more on this later), but we know that in the midst of a busy day, it can slip to the bottom of the list. Jump onto SurveyMonkey or Google Forms and create a short questionnaire to pick the brains of your clients. You can then include the link in an email to your clients, giving them the opportunity to share their thoughts. 

Always use open questions e.g. “What do you think of Brand Name’s customer service?” Rather than, “Did you enjoy the customer service of Brand Name?” The second example is both a leading question (you are encouraging them to think favourably of you by using the phrase ‘did you enjoy’) and a closed one, lending itself to a yes or no answer. 

Remember to also leave plenty of space on each question for your customers to elaborate. The more words the better. 

The downside to a survey approach is that the information you get may not be detailed. Surveys aren’t conversational and they’re quite impersonal — not to mention your clients may not be particularly willing to write long sentences full of explanations. As a result, when you stitch the answers together, you may get a ‘cookie-cutter’ testimonial. For reviews and testimonials to be effective they should tell a story and be unique so a survey, whilst time-efficient and convenient in a pinch, has its limitations. 

Email a request 

The best way to get any testimonial is to just … ask. Email a request to your clients when you’re finishing up working with them or, if you’re doing ongoing work with them, ask after you’ve worked with them for a month or two — there’s no hard and fast rule for this, you should know when they’re in the best position to give you a useful, powerful testimonial.

Send through a few questions, or simply ask them to write a paragraph on what they’ve thought about working with you. You can even use your email to set up a time to talk with them on the phone to get more natural quotes from them. Make sure you run the final testimonial past them if you do it this way, they won’t be happy if you misconstrue their words or put their name to something that they’re not totally happy with. 

With 92% of people saying that they read testimonials when considering a purchase, you cannot afford to be worried about the awkwardness of asking for a testimonial and you certainly can’t afford to put it off because you don’t have the time. 

If you’re not sure how to get the best testimonials from your clients, Incredible Communications can help. Email us at http://www.incrediblecommunications.com.au/#contact or call 0434 086 072.