We want to know that we’re making a good decision and we look to others for that validation.
Think about it… When you want to try a new restaurant what do you do? You search for reviews online or you ask your friends about their experiences. That’s social proof… and it’s powerful.
So how do you make it work for you and your marketing so that you’re attracting new clients online? Easy! You get testimonials from your happy customers. How? That’s easy, too, with these 5 tips:
1) Timing is everything.
The best time to ask a customer for a testimonial is when they’re happy with your services. As soon as a customer indicates they’re happy with you and your service, ask! If they mention how wonderful you are, take notes. Write down what they said, using their phrasing when possible. Then email what you wrote to them and ask them if they’re ok with you sharing it with others on your website, etc. This way, you’ve made it easy for them to say yes to a testimonial, with almost no effort on their part, while still using their thoughts and opinions.
Don’t wait to ask for a testimonial. When your work with a client is winding down, ask! If you wait, they may forget how awesome working with you was or they simply may fill their time with other things. Strike while the iron’s hot!
2) Do the work for the customer.
The problem with asking for a testimonial isn’t that it’s hard to get people to say nice things about you, right? It’s that people aren’t comfortable writing testimonials, so they put it off.
Make it easy for your customers. In addition to writing down what you yourself heard, you can also design your customer experience so that getting testimonials is easier – for you and your customer. For example, halfway through your work with your client, send a request for feedback. Use a simple satisfaction range – like 1-10, smiley faces, red-yellow-green, etc. – and take note of those who are very happy with your service. Contact those people for a more detailed testimonial a few weeks later. You can even offer a free upgrade incentive if they write or record a video testimonial. (Side note – Video is one of the hottest things online today – so use it to your advantage!)
3) Use all feedback to create excellent testimonials.
Every interaction you and your team have with your customer is an opportunity to delight them. Plan your customer service accordingly. Over-deliver and your customer will always be happy with your service and will want to share their experiences with others.
If, however, your customer indicates unhappiness at any point, you have another opportunity! Impress this customer and you’ll have a future brand ambassador on your hands. In fact, studies show that you’ll get a MORE devoted fan after messing up, and fixing the situation professionally, than if the problem had never occurred!
After you’ve resolved their complaints, send an email asking for feedback a couple weeks later. Your team going above and beyond for them will be fresh on the customer’s mind and they’ll be impressed.
As standard procedure, when your work with a client is coming to an end, send 3 simple questions to them:
- What challenges did you face before making this purchase?
- How would you explain this service and its results to somebody who’s struggling with the same issues you were having before?
- Would you recommend this service? If so, why?
They’ll provide you with great insight, like unstated objections and areas of your business that are particularly impressive. You can almost always count on a testimonial coming out of this information.
4) Follow up, to a point.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with sending an email asking for a testimonial. If, however, you don’t hear back, remember that it might be intimidating for the customer to write it. Follow up by offering to draft copy that they can edit.
If you still hear nothing, move on. It may simply be a bad time for them and you don’t want to leave a bad taste in the mouth of an otherwise happy customer.
5) Use testimonials as a selling tool.
This is important – Just because you receive feedback doesn’t mean it’s a testimonial that will help you sell. Read testimonials you receive from the perspective of a new prospect. Does it address their objections? Does it correctly convey your brand and your product or service? Does it address the benefits and results your service provides?
Remember – you don’t have to use every testimonial for the same use. Some will be better on your home page. Some will work better in product-specific emails. Look at the testimonials as a whole and then ask specific questions to help you get other testimonials that fit your needs. For example, if you often get an objection to group calls because your clients think they prefer one-on-one coaching, when you seek feedback specifically ask customers about how beneficial the group dynamic was.
It’s ok to edit testimonials, too. If you’re receiving testimonials that are pages long, that’s great – but nobody’s going to read chapters of it. As long as you don’t change the intended meaning, there’s nothing wrong with shortening feedback to be more punchy and eye-catching for prospective clients.
Social proof is based on the idea that customer feedback is more trustworthy than marketing from the business itself. Follow these 5 tips to get testimonials that do the heavy lifting for you and attract people to your brand!
Want to learn more about crafting compelling marketing language for digital advertising? I talked about this in more detail in the training, “Attract Clients Online: How to get ideal coaching or consulting clients no matter where you live!” To learn more, you can purchase the replay for just $7 here or click the button below.