Recently, we posted a promise to share some tips on teasing out great testimonials (alongside a lovely one of our own) from your undoubtedly lovely but very busy clients. Well, here we are. Making good.
First though, let’s take another look at the value of social proof (reviews, testimonials or – as we tend to say – ‘props’).
This is not the first or last time you’ll hear us say this. The power of the story is huge in modern marketing. The digital ether is so packed with stuff jostling for attention, it takes something special to stand out and engage an audience. That something is a narrative: detail-rich, complex, believable, relatable.
Props are no different. They lend a perspective other than that of the seller to the prospective buyer – automatically boosting credibility (which is why ‘don’t just take our word for it’ became a well-worn phrase).
But more than that, props help your audience visualise your service or product in their own lives. How your wares will help them overcome a struggle, meet a specific need, improve their life. Even better – is their fear about buying what you’re selling justified or not? (Let’s hope not!)
Beautifully on-brand and tempting product descriptions are all well and good, but today’s savvy consumers need to know they can trust they’re true.
Real people telling real stories about their experience with you ticks that box.
How to Ask for Testimonials
There are two things to nail here:
- Getting the timing right
- Making it easy
Strike while that iron is hot, folks. You’re asking someone for the gift of their valuable time, and they’re more likely to give it when your product/service is fresh in their mind and when they’ve got a particularly strong feeling about it (clue: we want that feeling to be a good one).
On the timeline of your relationship with your client, these are the points at which to consider nipping in with a props request:
- you’ve just delivered them the solution to a problem
- they’ve achieved improvement/success through your offering
- they let you know they’re happy with your product/service
- they get in touch to thank you
- you deliver your offering as expected and on time
- at the end of the project/when the transaction is complete
Making it Easy
Your client’s feeling good about your transaction. They’re happy to share their good feelings but.. hmm. Constructing an email or blurb or something.. that feels like a lot of work. And where do they send it? Just have a little look here on your website for a feedback section, no.. not there. Ah, forget it.
And just like that, you’ve blown it. Your client might like you/your business, but they’re highly unlikely to care enough to go to a lot of effort.
You must make it irresistibly easy for them. Provide them with prompts and questions. Make it so that they can just hit reply, either in-email or in a feedback form (that requires no more than one click to get to – try Typeform for this). If you want top-props points and are looking for a case study or video review, offer a Google Hangouts chat, or come to them to record them if they’d prefer.
If they’ve contacted you to say they’re happy during or after the transaction and there’s enough detail in what they’ve already said to put together a convincing testimonial, simply ask politely to quote them.
What to Ask
Here are some core questions you can use to prompt your client. We tend to preamble them like this:
We really enjoyed working with you on X and are so pleased (you were happy/your sales increased/we solved your problem).
Would you mind if we told others about your experience with us?
If they give us the go-ahead, we say:
Here are some questions we think about when planning testimonials ourselves. Don’t feel you have to answer these in full – there’s a template below to jot notes into.
– What was the problem you needed to solve/thing you needed help with?
– Why did you choose us?
– Was there anything that nearly prevented you buying our service/product?
– How did we solve your problem?
– How was our solution unique?
– What did you particularly like about our approach or delivery?
– How would you summarise the experience as a whole?
– Would you recommend us to others? If so, who?
(pop any relevant thoughts in to the sentences below. We’ll piece them together and send the result to you to OK before we use it):
We approached X because ….
X helped us by ….
Before buying, we were worried about …
We did/did not still have that concern after buying, because …
The result was ….
One thing I liked was their ….
I found the experience ….
I would recommend to people who need …
If you don’t hear back, follow-up politely once and then move on. A nagged client isn’t going to be in the most positive frame of mind when reviewing your offering!
What to Share
Detail is king. Person name, business name, date and any relevant business accolades help give the quote more credence and personality.
Share excerpts that are specific (e.g. what exact problem they overcame thanks to you, how much you increased their profits/happiness/etc) rather than vague-isms (e.g. ‘good product/service/would recommend’). Sharing what fears/objections your client had about your offering, and how that fear/objection was relieved is great reading for prospective clients.
In the scale of props, quotes are nice, testimonials are better, case studies are even more persuasive (because detail!) and video reviews take the biscuit.
How do you feel about asking for testimonials? Are you tops at getting props? Let us know your feedback tips and tricks in the comments or over on social. You can see some of our latest props on our homepage.