A customer testimonial is one of the most useful marketing and sales tools you could hope to have, but many people don’t know how to ask for a testimonial.
This article will show you just how easy asking a customer for a testimonial can be.
What’s So Great About Customer Testimonials Anyway?
Simply put, customer testimonials work.
Testimonials work for the same reason word-of-mouth and referrals work: social proof.
You could have the best salespeople in the world working for you, but nothing they say will ever hold a candle to what your real live customers have to say about you.
The numbers don’t lie. Customer testimonials get results.
Asking for a Customer Testimonial
Asking a customer for a testimonial doesn’t have to be awkward or uncomfortable for either party.
If you provided a valuable product or service to the customer, they should be more than happy to help you out with a few kind words.
Still, how you ask your clients is going to have a big impact on your response rate, and the overall quality of the testimonials that you acquire.
Here are some quick tips that will make asking for testimonials easy as pie.
1. Ask at the Right Time
The best time to ask for a customer testimonial is when the success of your solution is fresh in their minds.
This may be right after you’ve delivered on a project, or some time later, after your customer has had a chance to fully assess the value you’ve added.
The perfect time to ask will vary from business to business, or even client to client, and finding that sweet spot may take time.
However, if you’re regularly checking in with your accounts (and of course you should be), gauging their moment of peak satisfaction should come naturally.
2. Make it Easy for Them
The last thing you want to do is make your customers feel like they’re working for you, so make providing a testimonial as easy as possible.
If working with written testimonials (rather than video testimonials), offering to write the testimonial for them will dramatically improve your response rate.
Others have recommended to include a draft of the testimonial along with your initial request, but we’ve found some clients consider this a bit presumptuous, and that if we get it in their own words, it will sound more natural, anyway.
Still, some customers will just never get around to it.
So, float the offer out there, and if they never get to it, follow up asking for their approval on the one you wrote for them.
3. Make Your Customer the Focus
When your prospective customers are looking for customer testimonials, their not interested in you!
Well… they are, but only in how it relates to them.
Marketing best practices dictate that you focus solely on the customer, and this applies to testimonials as much as any other marketing asset or discipline.
So, when you portray your customer as the hero of the story, not only will your customer testimonials be far more impactful, but your customers will also be far more eager to tell their story.
(BONUS) 4. Get Your Testimonial, Interview-Style
Rather than leaving your customer to their own devices to provide you with a testimonial, or assuming you know everything about their experience with your solution, performing a testimonial interview will result in a far more interesting testimonial.
By asking the right questions, you can get to the real heart of their story – something that your prospects can really connect with, on a deeper emotional level.
If you’re going to conduct a testimonial interview, why not kick it up another notch, and make a video testimonial out of it?