You know what’s more powerful than saying your product or service is the best on the market? Someone else saying it for you.
It’s easier to trust someone’s recommendation who doesn’t have a vested interest or isn’t being paid to recommend an offering.
The average consumer reads around 10 online reviews before making a confident purchase decision. Ultimately, you need to be proactive in collecting testimonials from your past customers and clients in order to acquire new ones.
If a company has hundreds—or even thousands—of customers who rave about their product or service, it signals to other potential customers that the product or service is worth testing out for themselves.
While you can highlight these testimonials on social media and in your marketing emails, they’re also beneficial when strategically placed on your website.
If you want to increase your testimonials while strengthening your online presence, let’s talk about why you should care about customer reviews and how to ask for them.
Benefits of gathering client testimonials and customer reviews
While some clients and customers will take the initiative to write testimonials for your company, others may need a little nudge.
Too many service providers end their projects without asking for a testimonial. The same is true for eCommerce sellers who forget to ask customers for a review after someone completes their order.
Testimonials are a crucial part of your sales strategy, so let’s talk about why they’re important and how you can use them.
Increases brand trust
Methods of social proof—like customer reviews, certifications, press features, case studies, endorsements, and more—are meant to build trust with potential customers.
By adding testimonials into your website content, you’ll be able to not only tell visitors that your products are right for them but show them being a great fit for other customers.
These testimonials often are shared in a written format, but you can also include video testimonials to strengthen your website even more. You can even add both like I did with Henry Chen’s kind words.
To increase brand trust with your testimonials, I recommend including…
- The name of the customer (last name and company names are optional)
- A photo of the person who is giving the testimonial
- A shortened version of their testimonial for easy skimming
You’ll want to put quotation marks around what the person said so it’s differentiated from the rest of your website content. You could also show a photo or graphic that illustrates how your product or service has helped each customer. The sky’s the limit!
Identifies your brand advocates
70% of companies say it is more cost-effective to retain a customer than it is to acquire a new one, and the easiest customers to retain are your brand advocates.
Brand advocates are those who are already actively sharing how great your brand is or how much they love your offerings. They are willing to recommend your products and services to their inner circle of friends, family, and followers.
Testimonials from brand advocates are more powerful because they’re willing to put their reputation behind your brand and gush about your products. You’re able to tap into how they already feel about your brand and continue nurturing this connection.
It’s also usually easier to get testimonials from brand advocates because they may have already written a public online review or shared their feedback with you. If you’re hoping to add more testimonials to your website, they’re the first people to ask.
Reveals your voice of customer
Your voice of customer differs from your brand voice in that it describes how your customers are talking about your brand. Brand voice focuses more on how you want your brand to sound and communicate with your customers.
What better way to understand your voice of customer than to gather testimonials from your customers? That way, you’ll be able to see which words and phrases they use to talk about your brand experience. This is invaluable information!
Let’s see this in action as I walk you through an example from my own website. You’ll notice in Kiamarie’s testimonial, she ends by saying, “Best decision I’ve made to date!”
One of the reasons why I knew this portion of her testimonial would be important to include is because this similar phrase shows up in other Google reviews for my business. For example, look at these reviews from Emily and Serena.
Both of them said working with me was “the best decision” or “the best investment” they’ve made, which relates to how Kiamarie was talking about my services. This phrase is now a part of my voice of customer archive.
While this is a simple example, you can also go through your reviews and see which words are frequently showing up.
Do customers describe your product as sophisticated and elegant, or simple and minimalist? Do they say working with you made their life easier, simpler, or optimized?
The more you can use words from your voice of customer in your own content, the better!
Advice on asking clients and customers for testimonials
Now that you know how valuable testimonials are in selling your products and services, let’s walk through the process of making the ask. If you aren’t sure where to begin, use these step-by-step guidelines to get a headstart.
Get the timing right
Ideally, you’ll ask for a testimonial when a customer sees success with your product. This means you must give the customer enough time to experience and enjoy what they purchased.
As a service provider, this could look like waiting until the client’s launch day to collect a testimonial. However, you may also want to gather their feedback after finishing the project when they still remember every detail about the collaboration.
If you’re selling a digital or eCommerce product, you might want to wait a couple of weeks after its delivery to check in and see if they’ll give you quick feedback. For those who do, you could follow up and ask these customers to write or film a testimonial.
Ask on their platform of choice
Unsurprisingly, most entrepreneurs follow up with the customers and clients over email. It’s an accessible and easy-to-use platform that ensures your message always lands in the person’s inbox.
This will reduce the amount of time you spend manually following up with customers but it may not feel quite as special as a personally written email. You can decide which outreach strategy best fits your business!
I’ve talked a lot about email here, but you can also reach out to customers on social media. The next time someone tags you in their Instagram Story or creates a Reel showing off your product, simply ask them for their feedback in a DM.
For best results, include a link where they can fill out a quick form with their thoughts and possibly a testimonial. It might help to give customers an incentive to fill out the form in the form of an exclusive discount, coupon, or bonus item. Get creative with this!
Use a script
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to asking for testimonials. Using a script will allow you to keep the ask brief while streamlining your communication. It will also stop you from second guessing what you’ve written down.
There are a few key elements your script should have, including…
- A welcome or hello message from your brand
- A declaration of gratitude for trying or buying your product
- A simple ask to get a testimonial from them
- A clear, actionable step you want them to take next
Seriously, that’s all you need!
If you sell digital products or run an eCommerce shop, here’s a testimonial script you can use for your next email or DM on social media.
Hi [name here], thanks so much for trying out our [product name here]! If you’re loving it so far, we’d love to hear more of your feedback! Here’s a quick 2-minute form to fill out: [link here]. To say thanks, you’ll receive a [discount or freebie] at the end. [Sign-off]
Here’s another testimonial script for service providers who have finalized their work and are ready to wrap up their project with a client.
Hi [name here], I’m so glad we had a chance to work together! Based on our collaboration, I’d love to gather your honest feedback in this quick 5-minute form: [link here]. To say thanks, I’d love to give you [freebie or bonus] simply for filling out this form. [Sign-off]
You can customize these scripts to fit your needs, but they’ll give you a great place to start.
Final words in gathering testimonials
Whatever you do, make sure it’s easy for a customer or client to give you a testimonial. You don’t want to make them jump through hoops to give you feedback.
You’ll also want to ask for their written permission to use their testimonial in marketing materials such as your website, social media, emails, and more. This will ensure you’re legally using the person’s likeness to authentically promote your business.
Above all else, have fun with it! It’s not about how many testimonials you can gather but rather the quality of each review. Select the best ones to go on your website and see how it affects your conversion rates—hopefully for the better!