Testimonials are so important for a business. Many people either feel embarrassed like they’re asking for a compliment or even worse, frightened of the response.
Word of mouth referrals are as popular as they were 200 years ago, only they’ve gone digital. A recent survey found that 82 percent of customers read online reviews for local businesses. On average, they read 10 reviews before making a decision.
So, how so you get nice testimonials and raving reviews without feeling icky?
How to get testimonials from clients
Doing a great job is unfortunately not enough. It’s just not human nature to write a nice review for a business. Especially when it’s a good transaction.
A customer is 21 percent more likely to leave a negative review than a positive one. Good service is accepted as the norm. But people can feel hard done by or even angry about bad service.
So, unfortunately, you’re going to have to ask your customers for a review or testimonial.
How to ask for a testimonial successfully
Imagine you’re walking along and you bump into a customer you remember from a few months ago. You say hello, engage in a bit of banter, and then you bravely ask for a testimonial. The guy says ‘yeah, sure’.
Then, surprise, surprise, time passes and they never wrote that testimonial.
They probably had the best intentions, but when they got home they threw the idea in the ‘too hard’ basket, along with folding fitted sheets and juicing pomegranates.
Make writing your review easy for them
Did they know where to leave the review? What to write? Could they even remember your name?
1. Ask them in an email
Have the request in writing. That way, they have the device in their hand, they have your details and the icky factor is way smaller.
2. Time it right
Ask them for a review just after they’ve paid the bill. Your service is fresh in their mind and it’s when they’re most likely to follow through with writing the review.
3. Get it in writing or even better a video
I think this is obvious, but you need evidence of the testimonial. Video testimonials are all the rage at the moment. So, if they’re willing to get in front of a camera to say how fantastic your service is, go for it.
4. Tell them what to write
I don’t mean to tell them to write ‘Melissa was the best journalist in the whole world’. But, you could ask them some cleverly crafted questions in a survey gathering tool like Survey Monkey. You can even use the free version. Only have a few questions that they can easily respond to on their phone while sipping a cafe latte.
Free testimonial questions
1. Overall, how satisfied are you with _____________?
- Extremely satisfied
- Very satisfied
- Somewhat satisfied
- Not so satisfied
- Not satisfied at all
2. How well does my service meet your needs?
- Extremely well
- Very well
- Somewhat well
- Not so well
- Not at all well
3. Please complete this question. I booked _________ to _________because…
4. What I liked most about the service, was how she…
5. If I had to describe _____________ in three words, they would be –
6. If there’s one thing I could change about the experience, it would be …
Don’t have many more questions than this, or else they’ll give up. The last question may provide some good tips, constructive feedback or may elicit a raving rant. I’ll leave it up to you if you want to include it.
Survey Monkey then email you once the survey has been completed.
Last important step
Cut and paste their words into a nice testimonial, email it back to them and ask them to leave it on your LinkedIn, Facebook or Google My Business page. The important thing is to provide the link where you want them to paste it.
Then you can go crazy on your social media by creating pretty posts of your new testimonial. Yes, promote it, get the word out there.