Tuesday October 4, 2016
Collecting testimonials are an important part of your business and a necessary part of establishing social proof. But how do you collect testimonials in the first place?
We have all received those testimonials that are directly about “you” as the person that served them right? For example: “Susie did a wonderful job and was very friendly.” While that testimonial is appreciated it doesn’t influence someone that is deciding whether or not to use your services to pick up the phone and book you right away.
When you are collecting testimonials you want them to produce clients right?! Yes! You want people to read the testimonials and resonate with their situation and show what they will receive by working with you. So here’s the deal, I have a formula for you to make MONEY MAKING testimonials. I have also then included some forums for where you can collect those testimonials. So here’s the secret sauce:
You want to ask your past clients the following questions:
- What was the problem you were experiencing that made you check out (your company)?
- What specific solution did you receive by working with (your company)?
- What words would you use to describe how it feels to work with (your company)?
With that formula you will produce the exact pain points with reflective expectations of what it is like to work with your company! And now my friend, you are perfectly setup to ask for a referral. See what we did there?
Okay now on the where/when do I ask for testimonials?
Use an online form. This is the simplest method of gathering testimonials. You’ll want to first set up a Testimonials page, and then have a sub-menu page entitled “Submit a Testimonial”. There are numerous plug-ins that can help make this seamless. Just make sure the testimonial submission page is easy and intuitive to find. Ask for their name, a comment, possibly a location, and, if your plugin has it, a star rating. If you can allow video or photo uploads on your site, definitely consider it.
Use a mobile app. There are several well-known and trusted testimonial apps out there. So make sure you do your research. If you wish, you can even have a custom built one for your organization. You’ll want it to be universally available in all mobile markets to prevent isolating your customers. The key here is to keep your app information easy to read on all screen sizes, while remaining simple to navigate.
Social media interaction. You’ll need an application that allows you to collect testimonials from your Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, or more. Look for apps that offer integrations on the platforms you prefer.
Email. Send out an email through your mailing list or send them through your business email provider. Remember, you only need 5-10 really great testimonials to create the social proof you need. Every testimonial after that will simply build on your reputation. Make sure you include a personalized greeting (so no mass newsletter-eque send outs), a comment about your previous interaction, a simple to follow call to action (with a link to wherever you want the testimonial), and a warm closing.
Ask. There is no single more important way of gathering a testimonial than asking your clients or customers directly. It shows how much you value them and their opinion of you and your business. This builds an emotional bond that can forge a lasting relationship.
Whatever you choose, make sure you focus on being personal and connecting with your clients and customers. You want to be polite, and most of all, thank them for their support. Try not to send blanket emails or generic phone calls to these people. You want them to know they matter to you. Make sure you mention your most recent interaction with them, ask them about an aspect of their life they’d mentioned previously, and that you appreciate their consideration of your request (but that they’re under no obligation to provide one). Let them know they are more than just a number and they’ll do their best to reward that connection.
One other thing, you only need a few sentences of their honest opinion. If you mention that in the correspondence, you’ll receive more willing participants than you would otherwise. So what are you waiting for? Go out there and get those testimonials!