By Princess Jones
The best form of advertising is word of mouth. Your potential customers want to know what your past and current customers are saying about you. Reviews, recommendations, and testimonials are all excellent ways to give it to them. Whether you put them on your website or incorporate them into your ads, you can’t use testimonials if you don’t get them from your clients. Fortunately, customer testimonials are easy to get, if you know what you’re doing.
The biggest hurdle to getting business testimonials is just asking for them. That might seem like a simple thing but most businesses don’t ask their customers for testimonials. For some, it’s an oversight in the process–you’re so busy making sure your deliverables are on time or you’re wrangling staff that you don’t make time to reach out for testimonials.
For others, particularly solopreneurs and freelancers, it can be an internal insecurity that keeps us from making the ask. We think that if the customer wanted to give us feedback, they would do it. And maybe if we asked directly for it, we’ll get bad news.
But the truth is that most customers don’t give feedback unless they are completely elated or completely disappointed with a service or product. Even then, they’re much more likely to share with their social circles than with the company in question. If you want more testimonials, you’re gonna have to ask.
Build It Into the Process
Now that you know that the best way to get customer testimonials is for you to initiate the process, it’s time that you make it a part of your business process. If you can do that, you’ll guarantee that you’re asking for testimonials on a regular basis.
Where would it make sense to ask for a testimonial? In most cases, right after the transaction has taken place is a good time. If your business sells something that might take some time to try out — perhaps a service — waiting a month or so might be a better time to ask for a testimonial. If it’s an app or a piece of software, a good time to ask for a testimonial is when the user is actively using it.
Make It Easy for Them
The more obstacles you put in the way of your customers, the less likely they’ll provide testimonials for you. Make it easy for them.
Let’s say you own a little cafe that does quite a bit of business in tourist seasons. Testimonials and reviews help potential customers decide between you and the twenty other eateries in your area.
You decide that the best time to get that testimonial is after the customer has eaten but before they’ve left the cafe. Your process might include giving the customer a comment card to fill out with their check. You could also put QR codes on your bills that send the customers to your website to give you their thoughts. You could also send them to review sites like Yelp with the QR codes.
The result is that you’re actively asking them to give you feedback and you’ve set it up so that it happens at some point in the sale process every single time. You don’t have to remember to do it. You’re not relying on your employees to do it. It just happens. You’re also removing obstacles by presenting it to them at a time when you can encourage them to follow through.