Remember, it’s your clients’ opinions of your work that could drive that enquiry through to a conversion.
Have you ever heard the saying ‘strike while the iron is hot’? It couldn’t be truer in this case.
A happy customer is most likely to give you a testimonial hot on the heels of receiving excellent service. A testimonial gives your service credibility and acts to reassure potential new clients that you’re as good as you say you are! But you need to grab them while you can – the longer you leave it to ask them, the less likely they are to prioritise it.
In the age of the internet, it’s never been more important to make sure you have an excellent catalogue of testimonials. One of the first things customers look for is your reviews, and that information is so easily accessible. Before we all had websites and social media, it was a lot harder to find reviews and testimonials; we’d have to rely on word of mouth alone. Now, that information is available in just a few clicks. Online reviews are also important for your Google Rankings. It’s just one more reason why you should be collecting them.
Anyone can market their business and make their services look like good quality, but it’s those testimonials by previous customers that really sell how good your services actually are. Any time a customer is being sold to, they are naturally sceptical. As consumers, we’re all more willing to believe in what’s being advertised if we can identify with the source of the information. Testimonials can provide the perfect way to bridge that gap.
So here’s the question: how do we get those testimonials?
Answer: If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
Chances are, your customers won’t give you a testimonial off their own back. However, if they’re happy with the service you’ve provided (which of course, they will be!) they’ll be more than happy to give you a review if you ask them to. You could even offer an incentive if you can – perhaps a free gift or discount in exchange for a review.
Here are some ways to collect your testimonials.
Take a survey at the end of a project
The end of a project is a great time to ask for a testimonial. The client will be thrilled with the work, and will have all of the information they need to give a full account of the work. They may even have some positive data or results to share. Once the client has agreed to give you a testimonial, send over a survey for the client to complete. It’s probably one of the easiest methods, both for you and the customer: you can get all of the information you need, and the client can complete it in their own time and doesn’t have to worry about what to write about.
Look out for what people are already saying
Review sites like TripAdvisor and TrustPilot are growing in popularity every day. Keep an eye on any of these websites that are relevant to your business – your clients may write you a positive review without you even asking! If you find one, reach out to them and thank them, especially if the review mentions areas in which you could improve. Prospective clients will welcome your proactivity and your desire to improve your service.
The same applies to social media; keep an eye on the review section of your Facebook business page, look out for notifications that you’ve been tagged in a post by your customer, and follow your customers so you can watch out for any comments about your service. Just make sure you get permission before using these reviews.
Make it easy
When collecting reviews think about your client base and the experience of leaving a review. Have you opted for collecting reviews purely online? Is it easy to leave a review? Remember that not everyone is capable with technology and the thought of leaving a review could scare him or her into not leaving one.
Consider creating a simple step-by-step guide explaining how to leave a review or using offline methods to supplement your efforts. Leaving a review on Google, for example, can be quite difficult, so make it easy for your customers by supplying a short link to where they can leave a review.
Compliment the client
Asking for a testimonial doesn’t have to be awkward. A great way to remove awkwardness (and make your client give you a better testimonial!) is to open with a compliment.
Something like: “I’ve really enjoyed working with you and I’d love to get your opinion – would you mind giving me some feedback about our service?”
If they answer with some feedback, make sure you thank them and again, always get their permission to post their words on your website. You could even offer to link back to their website, helping to get their business some exposure in return!
Once you’ve gathered a good catalogue of testimonials, use it! Post them all over your website, social media pages, printed materials, absolutely everywhere you can. Over time, you’ll notice how these testimonials impact your business. Remember, it’s your clients’ opinions of your work that could drive that enquiry through to a conversion.