Reviews and testimonials are crucial for any modern business. Learn how to politely ask for them from your customers.
Even with the surge in the digital culture over the last two decades, people still trust other people over brand messages they see online. A Forrester report showed that 70 percent of adults in the U.S. trust recommendations from friends or family, 46 percent trust online reviews from other consumers and only 9 percent trust messages from companies or brands.
It’s clear that you need to have a method in place to show your prospective customers the great work you’ve done — from the mouths of other customers.
When implementing a strategy to get testimonials, it can often feel like you’re annoying clients. Try following these six tips to politely and effectively ask your customers to say a few kind words about their experience with your products or services.
1. Don’t wait to ask
First of all, it’s important to note that you need to actually ask your clients for testimonials. While some happy customers may give you positive feedback on their own, it’s not something you can count on. Ask for a testimonial right after the client has received a product or service from you, so the experience is fresh on their minds.
Also make sure that they know what they say about their experience, verbatim, could appear on your website or other materials. It’s important the testimonial form they use also gives you express approval to publish their quotes.
2. Make it very easy to complete
Don’t make your clients jump through hoops just to give you a good review. This can frustrate them and impact what they have to say.
Send them a polite email asking for their feedback and explaining why you want it. Send a link to what other testimonials have looked like, if you have them, so that they can see how you might use their words. Simply have them reply to an email directly instead of having to enter their answer on another page.
3. Don’t make demands
Of course, always make it optional for a customer to leave you a review or provide you a testimonial. Never make it a mandatory part of the purchasing process, and don’t make them feel like they have to do it. Simply ask nicely, and you’ll be surprised how many happy customers will be willing to share some kind words about their experience with your business.
Remember that your brand reputation and their customer satisfaction aren’t done and set after they make a purchase or pay an invoice. It’s still a relationship you want to nurture for repeat business, so make sure you treat this aspect of the customer experience with the same friendliness and attention as when you were trying to get them to make the first purchase.
4. Make it personal
It will also make the process easier for your clients if you ask a couple of questions for them to answer that are related to their personal experiences. Instead of just saying, “Can you write a couple of sentences about your experience?” genuinely ask them about specific things they interacted with. This could look like, “How happy were you with the way X product turned out?” Or, “What was it like to work with X customer service representative?”
Because the customer may have had more than one interaction with your business, or purchased more than one item, make sure you’re specific about the purchase you’re asking them to review and exactly what you’d like to know. This makes the entire process easier and more straightforward, which will lead to more customers being willing to say a few words about you.
5. Offer an incentive
Another effective tactic when asking for a testimonial is to offer an incentive for completion. This could be a discount on their next order or even a gift card to another establishment in the area. If you do offer an incentive, make sure it’s clear that you’re not trying to bribe them to say good things about you. Make it more about a benefit for taking action, and make sure you don’t encourage them to say positive things only — they should feel like they can be honest about their experience.
6. Offer to do a testimonial in return
Another effective approach is to offer to do a testimonial yourself, especially if you’re working with another business or someone who is building their brand. This is another win-win scenario and helps you sound more encouraging and ethical when reaching out.
While getting testimonials from clients can seem daunting, just make sure that you’re always genuine and that you make the process simple for customers to complete. VendorSmart is a web-based resource for vendors that connects you to community managers and associations that are looking for service providers just like you. Contact us today to learn more about we can help you forge great customer relationships and build your business.