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How to ask for a Testimonial

Do your customers love you?

People have become accustomed to leaving a “review” for a product they buy online, and most online storefronts have this functionality built in. “Testimonials” are a bit different because these are usually in the service industry and you typically have to ask (hound) someone for it. Most business owners don’t bother but it’s so important! I too am guilty of that, mainly because I’ve been incredibly lucky to get my clients by referral. But it isn’t always this way, and having a solid foundation of customer testimonials is just smart business.

Example: two (or more like seven) companies do the same thing and are about the same price. One has ten positive reviews and the other doesn’t have any. Who would you pick?

Things to consider when asking for a testimonial:


Was your client pleased with your services? Did you have a good working relationship? If you answered either of those with “no” or “hmmm...”, you might not want to ask for a testimonial (unless you’re prepared for some brutal honesty).


Is your client in a seasonal crunch? Holidays? Time your request to when your client can deliver, and then check in after a week if you’ve received no response.


And finally, how you ask your clients can be different depending on the relationship you have. If you have a close relationship with your client, you may not want to sound overly formal or stiff, and could even send them a text asking them for a quote. Most would be happy to do it. On the other hand, if you had a project with a client you don’t know too well, make a concerted effort to address them properly and request their time.


“What should I say?”


Most people don’t know what to write in a testimonial, which is why I tend to include prompts when I ask. This helps your client to provide the valuable information your next client needs to make a decision. Here are some prompts you can use:

  • Were you pleased with the outcome of your project?

  • Did you enjoy the process of working together?

  • What was your favorite part about your project or us working together?

  • Would you recommend others to work with me on similar projects?

  • And for my edification, what, if anything, do you wish would have happened differently?

I like to ask the last question because it’s always good to know if you did something to bug your client so much that they overcome social anxiety to actually tell you! And the question is couched in a way that makes it less threatening. So hopefully if I did do something really annoying (it happens, folks!), they can use this opportunity to let me know. It’s scary to think about but it’s definitely good information to have and then improve with future clients!


How to ask for a testimonial:


If you’re not natural at this, it can be awkward. But use these tips and make it a habit!


Email/text: Send either a specific email asking them for a quote or an automated email sent out after a session has been completed.


Website: Include a contact form on your website where clients can leave a quote. Position it so it’s not buried under a bunch of pages and make sure to tell them about it!


Thank you note: If you are providing personalized thank you notes for your clients, this is a nice time to write a request or include a testimonial card.


Testimonial Card: A small pre-printed business or post card with your logo and a formal request for testimonials. Give them instructions on how to leave a quote and don’t forget to add links to your social channels, if you feel confident doing so—if your client had a less-than stellar experience, you just gave them motivation to share directly to your audience—so choose wisely.


And remember, buying from people we know and trust is a LOT easier than buying from someone we don’t.


Bottom line: get your testimonials!

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