23rd March, 2018

6 tips for getting testimonials

Customer testimonials are one of the most powerful forms of promotion you can have, but getting those testimonials can be awkward.

It can be a bit awkward to get people to firstly agree to sing your praises, and then get that praise down on paper – but think about the mighty marketing you’re missing out on if you let the fear of an awkward conversation stop you.

So, how do you go about attracting praise from customers you can use in your marketing?

1. Provide great service

This is the most obvious way to get praise, but also the best way.

Go out of your way to assist a customer with whatever shopping challenge they’re having.  Do it all with a smile and genuinely be of service.  If you delight a customer they’re more likely to voluntarily provide testimonials as they want to pay you back for your great service.

Often though, to actually capture those words either on a review or a social media post you do need to ask directly for it.

READ: How to create a customer service culture

2. Ask (nicely)

Again, and obvious step, but how you ask is all-important.

People tend to respond better if they’re asked to provide a testimonial personally, rather than on an auto-form sent out after the purchase has been completed.

Don’t ask for a testimonial from every customer – just the ones who appear to be over the moon with your service and have thanked you for your service.

You can just gently say something along the lines of “thank you so much for those kind words, would you be able to write that in a review for us?”

Or something like “we are always looking for social proof that we are the real deal, it would be super helpful if you could share your positive feedback on one of our social pages”.

3. Make it easy

You will get more testimonials if you make it easy for your customers to leave a review or testimonial.

Always email or sms a link to where they can do this directly rather than saying ‘leave us a comment on our Facebook page’ or something similar.

Another idea is to leave a box in store where they can easily fill out their comments right there and then that way you can immediately thank them for it.

Drafting up a testimonial on their behalf based on what they have said and then getting their approval often works well too.

4. Thank those that give you testimonials

Behavioural psychologists will tell you that if you reward certain behaviour you will encourage more of it.

So consider ways that you could reward people who give you testimonials.

If the testimonial appears online you could like the post and thank the customer publicly for taking the time to say positive things.

Another idea is to give a little surprise gift to your customer next time they are shopping with you as a thank you (although it’s super-important not to literally bribe your customers to give you a testimonial).

Testimonials are most effective when they are given of their own free will without expectation of a reward.

5. Conduct customer satisfaction surveys 

Conducting an independent customer satisfaction survey can be a great way to generate testimonials.

I’m constantly surprised at what people freely say about businesses when they are being interviewed.  Usually much of what is revealed in interviews is highly valuable.

It always works best when the interviewer is independent to the business owner.

Even if the interview is confidential you can still ask permission to use their words as a testimonial. Nine times out of 10 they’ll provide it!

Speaking to customers in person gets the best results, but you may still elicit testimonials in an online survey.

6. Generate strong relationships with your customers

The longer your business has been serving a customer and the stronger the relationship formed, the more likely that customer is to provide testimonials when asked.

So always focus on building these relationships with customers.

There is no doubt that testimonials are marketing gold.  However, they occur because you’re doing a good job.

So in your pursuit of getting that testimonial gold always remember to keep your focus on your service so that it is worthy of praise and… that praise will come.