Customer testimonials are one of the most effective tools a business can use to bring in new customers.
In fact, the results of one survey showed that 89 percent of respondents considered customer testimonials to be the most effective content marketing tool a business could use.
About 86 percent of consumers also believe that testimonials are at least “moderately important” when it comes to deciding whether or not to purchase a particular product.
Are you displaying customer testimonials on your website? Do you have any customer testimonials to display?
If you’re not utilizing testimonials, now is the time to start.
Read on to learn more about the importance of testimonials for your business. You’ll also learn some helpful tips on how to ask for a testimonial for your business.
Benefits of Customer Testimonials
There are lots of reasons to utilize customer testimonials, including the following:
- They affirm your business’s credibility and trustworthiness
- They provide you with information to overcome objections from skeptical customers
- They help build your business’s brand and encourage customer loyalty
- They involve natural language that can be more appealing to future customers
- They provide you with great learning opportunities
- They provide you with a way to show appreciation for your staff
- They can be used to promote your business on social media
- They’re great for SEO
This last point is especially noteworthy.
You can use customer testimonials as inspiration for blog posts and other website content. This is especially helpful if you’ve just started your blog and need help coming up with blog post ideas.
Remember, too, that positive reviews on third-party websites can help bring new people to your business’s website.
How to Ask for a Testimonial
Clearly, there are lots of reasons to seek testimonials from current and past customers. But, how do you actually ask for these testimonials (and ensure that the people you’re asking actually follow through with them)?
It can be awkward putting yourself out there and asking people to review your business. If you’re unsure of where to begin, consider implementing a few of the fifteen strategies listed below to get some great testimonials for your business.
1. Ask Right Away
One of the most effective ways to get a testimonial from a customer is to ask for it right after you’ve finished working with them.
Whether you’ve just sold them a product, provided them with a service, or finished a project for them, they’re most likely to want to give you feedback as soon as that task has been accomplished.
Make it easy by providing them with a feedback form or redirecting them to an online survey once their purchase is completed.
2. Offer a Free Sample
If you’re just starting to get your business off the ground, you might want to consider offering products or services for free in exchange for an honest testimonial.
Reach out to friends, family members, or other professionals within your community and ask if they would be willing to review your products or services.
Many people are open to doing this when they know they’re going to be receiving something for free in return.
3. Send an Email Survey
If you’ve been in business for a while, don’t be afraid to send out an email survey to the people on your mailing list.
There are lots of email templates that make it easy for you to put together a quick survey that customers can fill out and send back to you right away.
4. Offer an Incentive
Whether you’re asking for testimonials via email or in-person, one of the best ways to ensure people actually follow through and provide you with a testimonial is to offer them some kind of reward in exchange for their review.
Maybe you can give away a sample size of a specific product or provide them with access to a free ebook.
At the end of the day, most people don’t even care what the incentive is. The fact that it’s free is enough for them!
5. Ask After Making an Improvement
If you’ve recently made changes to a specific product or the way you provide a service, you’re in a great place to ask for updated testimonials and reviews.
Reach out to the customers who left negative reviews and ask them what they think of the changes you’ve made. If they’re satisfied with those changes, ask them to leave a new review.
6. Change Your Questioning Style
If you’re having a hard time getting people to respond to your requests for testimonials, you might need to change up the way you ask for them.
Sometimes, you’re not getting responses because you’re asking the wrong questions. The following are some fool-proof questions to include in your surveys:
- What was the biggest obstacle you encountered during your purchase?
- How would you explain our product or service to a friend?
- Would you recommend this product or service?
This type of questioning can also provide you with additional information you can use to improve your business moving forward.
7. Send Emails
Sometimes, you just need to ask for a testimonial directly.
Instead of an email blast that includes a survey, consider just sending an email to each customer from whom you’re hoping to get a testimonial. Ask politely for them to respond with a review that you can post on your website.
8. Send a Testimonial Form in the Mail
If you have a customer’s physical address, you can also send them a testimonial form in the mail. Be sure to send a pre-paid return envelope, too, so they can’t use their lack of a stamp as an excuse.
9. Ask for Videos After Meeting a Customer
When you’ve met with a customer in-person, consider asking them for a quick video testimonial.
Video testimonials can be shared on YouTube as well as social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, and they’re very effective when it comes to reaching a wider audience.
You can also transcribe the video and use snippets from the customer’s review on your blog and website.
10. Offer a Testimonial Swap
If you know other people in your area who have a similar business or who are just getting started, consider offering a testimonial swap. You’ll provide an honest review of their business if they’ll provide an honest review of yours.
In addition to providing you with the testimonials you’re looking for, this is a great way to connect with other people in your community and learn more about their business practices.
11. Post Requests on Social Media
Don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials on social media, too. Your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter followers are likely eager to help you out. You just have to ask.
It’s also helpful to provide them with a link to a survey or direct them to the website where they can leave their testimonials. Remember, make it as easy as possible for them to follow through.
12. Host a Giveaway
Many people are willing to leave a testimonial or fill out a survey if there’s a chance they might be rewarded for their efforts.
If you aren’t able to give out a free product to everyone who leaves a testimonial, tell them that they’ll be entered into a drawing to potentially win a free product or service.
You’ll likely still receive lots of reviews from people who are enticed by the possibility that they could win.
13. Use Twitter Archives
Twitter is a great place for business reviews. When someone posts something positive about your business, take a screenshot of it.
You can also scroll through Twitter’s archives to find old comments about your business. Take screenshots of these and share them on other social media profiles or on your website.
14. Use Comments from Past Exchanges
It’s also helpful to pay attention to the positive comments people make about your business when you’re communicating with them via email.
Of course, you’ll have to ask the person who sent you the email if they mind you using their comment as a testimonial.
Some people might be hesitant about this. But, most of the time, people are happy to oblige, especially since they’ve already made the comment and don’t have to do any additional work.
15. Use Blog Comments
You can also use past blog comments in the same way.
Reach out to the person who left it (you should have access to their email address after they left their comment) and ask if you can use their positive comment (or even just a portion of it) as a testimonial.
Final Thoughts on Customer Testimonials
If you’ve been unsure of how to ask for a testimonial, these strategies can help you overcome your insecurities and get the testimonials your business needs to thrive.
There are many different ways you can go about collecting testimonials from your customers, from hosting contests to offering discounts.
It may take some time — and some trial and error — to find the method that works best for your specific customer base. But, once you’ve found an effective approach, you’ll start reaping all the benefits that customer testimonials can provide.