We've all heard it time and time again: “Collect testimonials from your satisfied clients!” And yet, so often as business owners, we ignore this sage advice, or the ‘tyranny of the urgent’ takes over and we don’t make the time to gather these important words of satisfaction. Just like anything else in our businesses, remembering to do things is made much easier if it is part of our process. Collecting testimonials should be part of our customer satisfaction process, and repeated with every client. Here is an easy process for collecting testimonials.
Show your appreciation for your clients from the beginning – Create an onboarding process to celebrate your new clients. Help them to feel special, appreciated, and excited to work with you. Surprise them with a gift letting them know you are grateful for their business, and include gratitude for them all the way along.
Strike while the iron is hot – ask for a testimonial when you’ve begun to deliver quality work/results. If you are selling a product, ask them for a testimonial upon receiving it. If you are a service provider, request the testimonial once you have begun to deliver quality service and/or results. Don’t wait until the end of your delivery process to ask for testimonials and referrals.
Make it easy for them – oftentimes, people resist writing testimonials because it seems like a large task, or they don’t know exactly what you want them to say. This tends to result in weak testimonials, such as “Meghann is awesome, I loved coaching with Meghann.” Although those are nice words, there is no “meat on those bones” for future prospects to sink their teeth into.
Give them some questions to answer that will help them in writing the testimonial, and then ask them for permission to use all/parts of their answers. Here are some questions you can ask to help gather a benefit-oriented testimonial:
What were the biggest problems you feel you hired me to help you solve?
What have I helped you with specifically to make your life/business better?
What results have you seen thus far?
Would you recommend me to your friends, and if so, why?
Ask any other questions you feel will support you in gaining future ideal clients.
Ask for visual enhancementsvideo/audio/photo – It will always increase the value of the testimonial to have it on video/audio. If you can’t get either of these, then ask for a photo so that you can include it with your testimonial. Yes, testimonials have been accompanied by photos for decades, and there’s a reason for that, as trust comes easier when someone can identify words with a ‘real’ person.
Repurpose the testimonials you gather. Once they send you their testimonials and you have edited them to make them short, sweet and to the point, put them on your website. Then, ask the people who wrote them for you to also post them to your LinkedIn profile as Recommendations and Facebook page as a Review. Use the best testimonials on sales pages, flyers, in email marketing campaigns, and on social media.
Rinse and Repeat.
What do you think? What have testimonials done to help you in business?