10 Tips For Getting Better (and More) Testimonials
The benefits of including testimonials in your marketing mix are many, but you need to make sure you approach your testimonials correctly. They are much more than just quotes praising your past services. To find out why you need them--and how to get them--read on.
Why You Should Have Testimonials
Testimonials are an invaluable addition to your marketing, for reasons that essentially boil down to delivering a record of trustworthiness to those who need to see it: your prospects.
By sharing what your other clients have said about your services, you are providing social proof that you have experience handling the needs that your prospects will have, as well as success in providing these clients the solutions they needed. In a way, you are making the case to your prospects that you are their best option, using witness testimony to support your claims. By doing so, you are setting yourself up as a more viable, and therefore more likely, option for them to select.
Of course, you’ll need to collect these testimonials. Here are our 10 steps to getting the best testimonials you can from your clients.
- Earn It
The first thing you have to do in order to get a good testimonial is to provide a service that warrants one. After all, if someone were to provide you with a substandard or even average service, would you be inclined to provide them with a glowing review? Of course not, and your clients will feel the same way towards you. You want to keep them happy. Make sure that you are providing the kind of service you want your clients to describe in their testimony.
- Form a Professionally Personal Relationship
Naturally, it is important to act like a professional in a business environment, but that doesn’t mean you have to be an unfeeling, impersonal monolith. There are plenty of benefits to fostering a more personal relationship with your clients, not the least of which being their increased readiness to provide a personal, positive testimonial on your behalf.
This is one of the best ways to gain a testimonial, as it clears the air of most any confusion. How else will your clients know to give a testimonial unless you ask them for one? One of the best times to request a testimonial is while you are wrapping up your services for them, or a short time after. This lets them gain an impression of your service quality as a whole, and allows them to reflect on the outcome of your service for a more honest account. Putting a postscript in your emails to your clients and other mentions in your everyday correspondence is a good way to break the ice.
- Listen Up
Sometimes, a client may give an excellent testimonial that would have a prospect requesting more information in a second--but it comes out as an offhand comment. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to use their kind words to your advantage. All you have to do is make sure that you can quote them, and include what they said with your testimonial content.
- Provide a Focal Point
As you request a testimonial from a client, you can also guide them by asking your question in a way that shapes their answer. For example, instead of asking “How did your business benefit from our services?” you could ask, “How did [specific aspect of service] benefit your business?” This allows you to potentially cover all of your bases by collecting testimonials that describe the benefits of all aspects of your service.
- Identify What Questions Prospects May Have
Since the testimonial is intended to impress and educate your prospects, it never hurts to try and address the concerns that your prospective clients may have in your testimonials. By first figuring out why a prospect investigates your services, you can then seek out testimonials that provide proof of your success in mitigating that issue.
- Identify Why Prospects May Not Reach Out at All
On a related note, your testimonials can be shaped to address those concerns that prevent prospects from taking the first steps and contacting you in the first place. By having your testifying clients discuss why they finally turned to you, and how glad they are that they did, you can allay the concerns that these non-starter prospects are held up by.
- Provide a “Cheat Sheet” of Topics
If your client needs extra help with providing a testimonial, you can always give them a simple outline to follow. This will allow them to organize their thoughts and help them say everything they want to say in a cohesive, comprehensive manner. You may consider asking them: - What problem or need had they encountered?
- How did your services help them?
- What was the process used to solve their problem or fulfill their need?
- How was their overall experience?
- Would they recommend you to others?
- Break into Different Formats
Remember, there’s nothing that says that your testimonials need to be written quotes on your website. If your client is comfortable with the idea, produce a video testimonial to share on your website. There are many benefits to using video content, and putting a face to the words can add a level of credibility that simple text just can’t.
- Feel Free to Edit
Once you have your testimonial, there’s nothing to say that you can’t edit it to be even more focused on the positive aspects. In fact, if there’s extra information or typos, you should remove them, as leaving them in would make you appear unprofessional and reflect poorly on the provider. If you’re concerned that you’re editing too much, you can always run your changes by the person who provided it to have them approve the changes you’ve made.
Testimonial content can be some of the most influential social proof that you can get, plus they can help keep you motivated to continue providing that level of service. Reach out to our team for more help in collecting and managing your testimonials.