Customer testimonials are crucial to the success of your business. When satisfied clients share positive feedback, their words can be the best tool to boost sales and encourage client conversions.
Research has found that consumer trust in companies is eroding. Simply put, they don’t put the same value on traditional marketing and advertising as they used to. Instead, they prefer to make decisions based on personal recommendations and online reviews.
So, what does that mean for your company? Essentially, testimonials need to be a foundational aspect of your marketing strategy – and, to do that, you need to learn how to ask for one. This comprehensive guide will teach you how to do just that, and we’ve even included some email templates to help you get started.
Timing is Everything
Before you dive right in and start calling or emailing all your clients to ask for reviews, consider the importance of timing. If you want to maximize your success, you must ask for a testimonial at the appropriate time.
The best time to ask for feedback is right after your customer has success with your products or services. This is when they are most satisfied with your brand, as they are pleased with the results and the relationship they have with your business. In other words, not only will they be more willing to provide a testimonial, but they will also be more likely to give positive feedback.
For example, if your company just helped a client exceed their monthly goals, that is the ideal moment to ask for a testimonial. Think about it – your brand delivered results above expectations, so they should be more than happy to share their successes with other potential customers!
Take some time to determine when that ideal moment is for your company. It will vary based on the products and services you provide – and even by type of customer – but identifying this opportunity will allow you to ask for feedback at the best time.
Other great opportunities to ask for testimonials include the end of the year or other relevant reporting periods. There’s a good chance that your clients are taking this time to review what went well throughout the year, and if your brand helped them reach your goals, they will likely be willing to share a positive review.
Consider Various Ways to Make the Request
One of the primary goals of this article is to help you understand how to ask for a testimonial. Unfortunately, there is not just one right answer – rather, you should be flexible and consider several different ways you can ask your clients for reviews.
Most companies have diverse client bases, and no two customers are the same. As such, you should tailor your strategy so that it will resonate with each individual. For customers that do not interact with your sales teams or customer service staff, automated emails will suffice. However, other clients that engage with your brand regularly will likely prefer a personal phone call or invitation.
Let’s dive into the ways you can request a testimonial:
When it comes to asking for reviews, companies tend to lean towards sending emails. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that it’s free, convenient, and not limited by distance or time zones. It is also easy to send requests to multiple customers at once, so it maximizes the effort of the marketing team.
So, what should your email request look like? Start by creating a template (check out our sample below!) so that you have consistency and avoid unnecessary errors. Keep them short and simple, but make sure that the subject line is exciting enough to catch the customer’s attention.
Once they have responded that they’d be happy to provide a testimonial, you can ask them for a text testimonial or a video testimonial.
Review your Social Channels
If you review your social media pages, you’ll be surprised at the organic feedback that customers are already sharing. They offer positive quotes on your posts or leave a review on your business page, so start by finding out what these customers have to say.
When you find a compelling testimonial, reach out to the individual and ask for permission to share the words they’ve already written. This doesn’t require any extra effort from the client, and it’s already out there for your prospective clients to see.
Conduct an Interview
You can also obtain testimonials by interviewing your clients about your products, services, and overall experience with your brand. For example, ask them these types of questions:
- Can you share more about your experience with our brand so far?
- What made you decide to buy our product?
- What was the most beneficial aspect of our product?
- Why would you recommend other users in your situation work with our brand?
- Can you share a picture of you using the product?
These open-ended interview questions will help you build a testimonial and guide the client through the story-telling process.
Send a Text Message
You can also request a testimonial via text message. SMS requests are less intrusive than a phone call or in-person visit but will likely get more visibility than an email message. They’re less likely to be marked as spam or ignored, so it’s a good option for clients that you know are already inundated with emails.
Make sure you have clear permission to send the client text messages before you do, though!
Write it For Them
Sometimes, the best way to get a testimonial from a client is to write it for them. Customers may not know what to say or worry about whether they are giving enough details – by co-writing the review with them, you can help alleviate their nerves and ensure that they share a compelling story.
Another benefit to this option is that you can address any negative feedback you receive right at that time. Help them solve those issues before you continue, and then you can incorporate that problem-solving process in the testimonial.
Personalize the Request
We’re going to give you some templates that you can use to ask for testimonials from your top clients -but consider taking the time to personalize the request first. Remember that you’ve already built a relationship with these individuals, so you don’t want them to feel like they’re receiving just another generic request.
Customizing your message so that it applies to the context of your relationship is key! Not only will it encourage them to open the email, but it will also give them a reason to say yes to sharing a testimonial.
Make it Easy for Clients to Say Yes
It’s no secret that you only have a moment to capture your client’s attention. It’s hard enough to get them to purchase your product, so how are you supposed to get them to make time for a testimonial?
Although there’s no secret formula, it helps if you make it easy for them to say yes. Give clients a reason to want to share feedback with you, whether it’s through a gift, coupon code, backlink, or something else that will appeal to them. If you can convince customers that sharing a testimonial will benefit both of you, there’s a better chance that they will agree to move forward.
You can also make it easy for them to agree by giving them a few different ways to provide the testimonial. Each client may have a different personal preference, so allow them to give feedback in a way that is most comfortable for them – whether that is in writing or through a video.
A written testimonial can consist of just a few words praising your products or include several paragraphs describing the customer experience. These types of reviews are very effective for marketing purposes, as you can share them directly on your website, in your print marketing, and even on social media.
Video interviews are perhaps the most engaging way to share reviews with your audience. Not only do they humanize your brand, but they also make it easier for your prospective customers to relate to the individuals sharing the feedback.
If your client is willing to participate in an interview, you can set up a formal film crew to capture their experiences and positive words. Alternatively, you can give your customers the option to record their testimonials on a Zoom meeting.
Social media platforms are the perfect place to share both written and video testimonials. For instance, you can ask clients to share their thoughts in only 240 characters so they can be shared on Twitter or provide a quote that can be overlayed on an image on Instagram.
Depending on your brand, you may even be able to ask your clients to describe their experience with your company and products using just an Emoji! Feel free to get creative if you want to engage your audience – give your top customers a chance to do an online takeover and share their testimonials directly on your social platforms.
Does your brand have a podcast or YouTube channel? Consider inviting your satisfied customers to speak on your show!
Some clients may not have the time available to do this live – but give them the choice to provide a short sound bite that you can play during your podcast.
Offer an Incentive
Did you know that you can also offer an incentive in exchange for a customer testimonial?
If someone recently bought one of your products or received a service, consider giving them a coupon or discount code on their next purchase if they share a review on your website. This strategy works well because it will increase the number of reviews you get and might even boost your sales and number of repeat purchases.
Another way to incentivize customer testimonials is to share the link to their website within the review. Backlinks are an ideal way to get reviews from your B2B clients, as this will also benefit their own marketing efforts.
If your clients are familiar with SEO strategies, they will realize that a backlink will drive traffic to their website and be more willing to provide a testimonial. You may be wondering – what about the clients that don’t necessarily monitor their SEO efforts? For these companies, you can tell them that it will improve their search engine rankings and boost their visibility.
When new clients see that you provide backlinks, you might even find that they reach out to you with feedback so that they can do the same!
Stick to Open-Ended Questions
So, you asked a client for a testimonial, and they said yes – now what?
Getting a client to agree to share a review is the first step, but the real challenge is ensuring what they say is meaningful and convincing. You can do this by asking open-ended questions that allow them to get to the heart of why they are so happy with your company.
One-word responses can seem scripted and do not offer enough detail, so avoid asking questions that will generate those types of answers. Instead, prompt the client to share a compelling story about your products and brand.
What was the challenge they were having that led them to your company? What made them choose to work with you? How did your products and services specifically help them overcome those initial challenges?
When shared correctly, these details will resonate with your prospective clients and encourage them to learn more about what your company has to offer. They may have similar pain points or goals and seeing a success story from a real customer will go a long way in building trust!
Reference your Testimonial Page
When you ask for a testimonial, be sure to direct the client to your reviews page. This will give them an idea of what you are looking for, as well as some inspiration for things they can share during their review.
You can choose from several different formats for your testimonial page, such as a grid or gallery that makes it easy for clients to browse reviews. The goal is to create a central location for all customer reviews, so both existing and prospective clients can reference it.
Likewise, each section of the page can highlight something unique about your brand. For instance, you can showcase various industries you work in, different products, and even which countries around the world you support.
The more stories you tell, the greater chance that a lead will see their situation reflected in a testimonial and decide to work with your company.
Ask for a Referral
Asking for a referral is another option to generate business from existing customers. Rather than asking them for a testimonial that you’ll post on your website, they might be open to introducing you to someone in their network.
Try using this strategy when you know the client is connected to others who could benefit from your products or services. Warm introductions are always better than a cold call, so getting the referral can improve your chances of onboarding a new customer.
Similarly, asking for an introduction can often feel more natural than requesting a video or written testimonial. Simply ask your client if they know of someone who was facing the same challenges that they were – and offer to reach out and help them.
If your client says yes, have them make the introduction so that you can add the new prospect to your pipeline. However, if they don’t know of anyone specifically that they can refer you to, shift the conversation, and ask them if they would be willing to share a testimonial instead.
Templates to Get You Started
Now that you know how to ask for a testimonial, it is time to get started. Use these sample templates and adjust them to your brand and client base – and get your testimonial strategy off the ground!
Automated emails are a quick and easy way to ask for reviews. You can collect feedback on a large scale without spending any extra money, so it works well if you have a lot of customers to reach out to. Similarly, you can use automated emails to contact lower-profile clients so that your sales team can focus on the most important ones.
Request with an Incentive
This template offers your customer an incentive in exchange for a testimonial. Although this might seem less personalized, the request is difficult to resist because they’re getting something they want.
Year-End Testimonial Request
As we mentioned, timing is key to getting clients to say yes. With this template, you can catch your audience at the end of the year as they summarize performance and may have more time available to complete it.
Casual Request After Achieving a Milestone
If your client just achieved a major milestone with your help, consider asking for a testimonial right away. This template is a bit more casual, but it can be very successful when used properly!
Request for a Quote
This template is personal and engaging, so you can use it to follow up on a recent meeting or conversation. It includes the prompts for them too, so they won’t have to do much work to complete the testimonial.
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