Sharing customer testimonials is one of the most powerful ways to market your business. They help you connect with customers, earn their trust, build customer loyalty, and even explain the benefits of your products and services.
Maria Bustillos, marketing coordinator at HostPapa, explains that “testimonials are specifically designed to show the good side of what you’re selling by saying positive things about your product or service.” She writes, “You need to put high quality, elaborate testimonials on your website in order to attract the kind of ‘high value’ customers you desire.”
But testimonials aren’t always easy to get. Although consumers are often quick to leave reviews on third-party websites, not many will voluntarily submit testimonials directly to you. You’ll likely have to ask for them. While the thought of asking your customers for testimonials may make you uncomfortable, it doesn’t have to be an awkward interaction for you or them.
Here’s how to ask for testimonials from your customers without sounding overly pushy or unprofessional.
Solicit testimonials immediately after an interaction
The best time to ask for testimonials from your customers is immediately after you’ve finished doing business with them. There are a few simple ways to do this.
If you already send out customer satisfaction surveys, include a request for a testimonial and space to provide it. Don’t require your customers to give you one, but do give them the opportunity to leave positive feedback about their experience.
If you don’t have a survey system in place, send out an email requesting a testimonial. You can send this email directly to individual customers, or you can include it in a newsletter you send to multiple customers at one time. With either method, to increase the likelihood of a response, include a link to a survey.
You can create surveys using a template, like Jotform’s testimonial form template, which makes it easy for the customer to provide a testimonial.
You can also easily send either the survey or an email immediately at the completion of a transaction when your business is top of mind with the happy customer.
When collecting testimonials, it’s critical to clearly explain how you’ll use the testimonial and to secure a customer’s explicit consent to publish their testimonial under those conditions.
“Including a name, picture, or video with the testimonial makes it more trustworthy, but you must get your customer’s permission first,” writes Sam Stemler at video testimonial software platform Boast. “This is not only a legal requirement, but it will also make your customers more comfortable.”
You can streamline the permission process with Jotform’s template, which allows you to include both the testimonial and consent terms on the same form. Of course, you can always send a separate form for each if you prefer.
Incentivize customers to provide testimonials
When deciding how to ask for testimonials, consider your request from the customer’s perspective. They may hesitate to provide a testimonial because they don’t know what to say or they don’t have the time to write something. You may need to give them a little motivation to overcome those roadblocks.
Consider offering them an incentive to write a testimonial. That incentive could be putting their name in a sweepstakes to win a nice prize or giving them a gift card to a coffee shop. If your customer is a business you’ve purchased something from previously, you might offer to give them a testimonial in return.
Help customers write testimonials
Your customers might look to you for guidance on what to say in their testimonials. One way to help them is by asking them questions that help them craft their message. Alex Brinkman, owner of web design agency Green Tree Media, suggests asking these three questions:
- What issue were you facing before you bought/joined [our product/service]?
- What results do you get/have you gotten from [our product/service]?
- What made you hesitate from buying [our product/service] sooner?
By asking these questions, you’re helping customers write reviews that address misgivings others may have about your company and showcase how you created a satisfied customer in spite of those hesitations, Brinkman notes.
You can also share examples of testimonials with customers to help them write their own. If you don’t have any testimonials about your company to share, find some well-written examples about other businesses.
Customer testimonials can have a big impact on your business. The easier you make it for your customers to write them, the more likely they’ll be to sing your praises.