How To Request A Testimonial For Your Services the best isn't enough, often people don't know where to start when they write a testimonial.
Testimonials make your marketing materials seem believable to potential customers. When a real person in a real community states that he was happy with your service and your product, customers may feel a connection to the customer and be more apt to trust your business. Asking for testimonials requires tact, discretion and follow-up, but testimonials can boost your business over time and are worth the time and effort.
When you receive a letter, verbal statement or email with praise from a customer, the moment of receipt is the time to ask for a testimonial. You might also file these testimonials away and regularly follow up on each of them. If you wait too long after you get the testimonial, you risk the customer not wanting to offer the testimonial for use in your marketing materials. Customers are generally in a good mood and are more willing to comply with requests when they give their testimonials. You might also have evaluations or surveys ready to send to your customers after they purchase a product or attend one of your company's events.
Write letters to clients that asks specific questions about their experiences with your company and product. The more specific their testimonials, the more believable they are. Generic testimonials do not offer as much credibility as detailed ones. For example, you might ask, “Would you recommend buying this product to someone? Tell us why.” Another question to include is, “What would have prevented you from purchasing this product?” Others are, “What result did you get from buying this product?”; “What do you like the best about the product?”; and “What are three benefits of this product?” Send a thank you letter to the customer after you receive a testimonial. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope with any testimonial request you send through the mail. You might also ask customers to sign a short statement giving you permission to use their testimonials for marketing purposes.
Include a request in your letter to use her comments in your marketing materials. It is important that a customer knows that you will include the information. Ask her what name and an address or city you can include in the materials as well. A complete name, credentials and an address add to the testimonials’ credibility.
You can also offer to write a testimonial for a pleased customer if he does not wish to do it himself. Show him the final version of what you wrote. Capture as much of his original statement as possible. Avoid changing the wording or otherwise editing a customer's testimonial to preserve its authenticity.
Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.
Think of a testimonial as a customer reference for you. You have to ask your clients to write a glowing review about you and your business.
According to the B2B Content Marketing Report’s 2013 Survey, customer testimonials were found to be more effective than any other type of content marketing.
Another study from Nielsen found that the testimonials are the second most trusted form of information about a brand or product, with the most effective being recommendations from people known personally.
Should we look at yet another study that shows why testimonials are awesome?
Search Engine Land found that approximately 72 percent of surveyed consumers indicated that they trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. 52 percent said that positive online reviews will increase the likelihood that they’ll patronize a local business.
All of these studies point to one fact: Testimonials about your brand are one of the best tools to enhance the online reputation of your business. So, I’ve sold you on the power of testimonials? Great. Now let’s talk about how to get them.
If you’re anything like me, begging for reviews often leaves a sour taste in your mouth. Fortunately, that’s not the only way to get reviews. I’m about to break down how you can encourage people to leave testimonials without feeling icky and weird about it.
The end of a project or milestone is a great time to ask for a testimonial. Setting up an exit-interview or survey is an easy, non-icky way to get your testimonial.
Your clients and customers are most excited about your work immediately after you’ve sent it to them. Make use of this time by asking for an interview or to take a quick survey.
Neither you nor your client will feel weird about this. It’s somewhat common for exit surveys to be solicited at this point in the customer cycle.
Improve the effectiveness of this method by setting up easy ways for clients to send in their feedback:
People may say nice things and provide feedback through email or even social media. Reach out and get permission to use those nice words as a testimonial on your website. If you sell a product on Amazon, you can even use Amazon reviews on your website.
The key to this method is to make sure that you receive permission from the person who wrote the comment that you’d like to use. Using someone’s words without their consent is just bad business. It’s even worse if you use their name without their knowledge.
As freelancers, we often find ourselves in client meetings discussing past and future projects. This is a great time to take a moment and grab a quick testimonial video of your client sharing what they love about working with you.
Don’t make it the entire point of the meeting. Instead, after a client has praised you for being amazing (which they will, cause you are), ask if they wouldn’t mind repeating that on camera.
Explain that it’s for a video testimonial that you’d like to put on your site or YouTube. If they agree, recreate the moment of them talking about how amazing you are.
For bonus points, transcribe the video and use excerpts for major landing pages.
Online businesses thrive on positive testimonials and reviews. This applies everywhere, from manufacturers of diapers to your favorite local Greek restaurant.
Have you had a good experience with a business or product? Have they used your product or service? Suggest that you swap testimonials.
Don’t make it weird by saying that you’ll only leave a review if they do. Highlight that you’ve already left a review and encourage them to do the same. You can even write the review for them and ask that they post it.
Remember to only solicit other companies that have also used your services. Getting people that haven’t actually used your service to say nice things is super icky and ethically wrong.
As Lorrie Thomas Ross, author and marketer, puts it, “Asking for a testimonial is only awkward when the requesting party makes it awkward.”
A great way to remove any awkwardness that may be lingering is to open with a compliment. Not only will this make them more likely to provide you with a testimonial, but it also expresses your gratitude.
An example of this would be something like,“Your opinion means the world to me—would you mind sharing your thoughts about the work I did for you?”
If they respond with feedback, make sure to send an email back thanking them and getting their permission to display the feedback on your website. You can even offer to link their name back to their website.
Each of the above techniques will help you receive so many testimonials that you don’t even know what to do with them. You’ll start using them on sales pages, contact pages, blog posts, videos and social media marketing campaigns.
Over time, you’ll notice how having these testimonials impacts your business. Conversions will increase, and the time from initial meeting to closing sale will decrease.
Don’t miss out on the benefits provided by testimonials because you’re afraid of being awkward or icky. Use the above methods and have a new and improve ick-free testimonial asking experience.
This is an archived post from the FreshBooks Blog and was originally published in October 2015.
Freelance Contributor Chelsei Henderson is a content marketing consultant helping freelancers and entrepreneurs build successful companies in the digital world.
In today’s socially plugged-in business environment, a little positive word-of-mouth can go a long way. Even if it’s just on your website, some favorable testimonials can give your business a welcome sheen of success and positive results. They provide social proof, letting your potential clients know that you have a history of providing what you promise in your marketing materials, sales copy, and conversations. It shows that they can trust you and justifies their purchases.
Although most of us understand the importance of testimonials, I still meet many clients who are uncomfortable asking for them. They feel that testimonials should just happen naturally—that happy customers and clients should want to provide a positive review without being prompted. While this does happen sometimes, the fact is that most clients need a little nudge.
To ensure that you get results, you might want to give your clients that nudge at specific times, such as when:
At that moment, ask if they would be willing to share their story with your potential clients. If they agree to do so, inform them that you’ll send an email with a testimonial request.
Another option is to provide them with a survey at the end of a project, or when your transaction is complete. Not everyone will fill out the survey, but those who are particularly happy with the result (or particularly unhappy) are very likely to do so.
For a testimonial to inspire potential clients to work with you, it needs to say much more than “great work!” A perfect testimonial should describe the reason why the client chose to work with you, and it should outline the results. The more real and specific the details, the better. It should outline why your work was great, and it needs to be in compliance with the new FTC guidelines, which I’ll explain a little later.
Of course, most of your clients will be busy people who don’t have much time set aside for tasks like this. That’s why it’s your job to make it easier for them. One way to do this is to provide them with a few sample questions in your testimonial request email. Here are a few that you might want to put to use:
If your questions can encourage your client to open up and provide honest feedback, the testimonial will be convincing.
Your letters of request should be appropriately warm and professional, so that the client is reminded of why it was good to work with you. If you’re unsure of how to get started, here are some samples:
Working with clients like you makes my business a great joy. Thank you for agreeing to provide a testimonial. Your story will help inform our potential clients why it’s good to work with us and how they can benefit.
To help you get started, I’ve included a few questions, but please feel free to write whatever you like.
[Include two to four questions, using the above list as a guide.]
Thank you for your time and kind support. We value your business and look forward to working with you again in the future. Please let me know if there is anything further I can do for you.
[Your preferred closing],
Thank you for taking the time to express your kind comments to me. Your praise brightened my day, and clients like you make everything I do worthwhile.
With your permission, I would like to share your thoughts with potential clients. Your words will help them to understand how they can benefit from working with us, and why they should do so. Do I have your permission?
Thank you again for your business, and please let me know if there’s anything further I can do for you.
[Your preferred closing],
I hope all is well. Because I value you as a client, I would appreciate your feedback. With your permission, I would like to use your comments as a testimonial to help convince future clients that they can benefit from working with me.
To help you get started, I’ve included a few questions, but please feel free to write whatever you would like.
[Include 2-4 questions, using the above list as a guide.]
Thank you for your time, and thanks again for your business. Please let me know if there’s anything further I can do for you.
[Your preferred closing],
Whenever a client provides a testimonial, don’t forget to send them a kind thank-you note. A personal handwritten note is best for this situation, and a thank-you gift may even be a good idea in some circumstances. The goal is to make your clients feel that they’ve done a good thing, while also keeping your business in their minds so that they’ll provide referrals and work with you again in the future.
Before I go any further, a quick disclaimer: I’m not an attorney; this article is my personal opinion. For a detailed explanation about the FTC’s rules governing endorsements and testimonials, please contact an attorney. Now, here are my thoughts.
Recently in America, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) changed its rules for endorsements and testimonials. Before, you were permitted to put the best testimonials on your website or in your marketing copy or brochures, but you had to include a little note saying that the results may vary or that the described results are not typical. This way, you showed that some clients achieved success, but you indicated that success was not guaranteed.
The fact is that not every client is going to find success when working with you. Some clients, for whatever reason, get the ball rolling, and then fail to follow up with their side of the process. For instance, if you purchase my home study program, but then neglect all the fieldwork, it will be unsuccessful. Your part is just as important as my part. That’s why the old rules were beneficial to so many companies—the rules allowed you to put your best foot forward, even if your actual results were inconsistent.
With the new rules, you must do more than just provide a disclaimer. Now, all your testimonials must be authentic; this means that they must reflect the typical user. So, for example, if you offer a diet plan, your marketing materials can’t say, “This plan helped me lose 100 pounds in three months” if only one out of 100 customers achieves this result. Now, marketers are required to make more realistic statements such as, “When followed as directed, this diet plan can help you lose up to 100 pounds over three to six months.” Of course, you can only make this statement if this is the typical result.
This is easy enough for diet plans, but what if you offer web design services? It can be hard to determine, let alone demonstrate, the results of a “typical” user, because the typical user doesn’t exist. One person may use your service and achieve great success, while another may take a half-hearted approach and have lackluster results before giving up. Plus, your clients may have different levels of knowledge and experience, which will obviously affect the results.
This is what makes the new rules so challenging. Let’s say, for example, one of your web design clients achieves exceptional results with your new site design; they make $50,000 in their first month, and write you a testimonial. Unless a good number of your subsequent clients achieve similar results, you can’t use that client’s testimonial. Remember, the FTC can levy fines of up to $11,000 per incident, so these rules are not to be taken lightly. It’s worth noting that the new rules apply to any companies marketing to US consumers, not only to US companies.
These issues can become thorny, but there is a relatively simple solution: Contextualize. With that client who earned $50,000 in one month, for example, all you have to do is explain that client’s experience and knowledge, and outline the steps they took to achieve that level of success. Basically, you create a case study, and case studies are powerful tools for engendering trust.
To further elaborate on this example, you might explain that the client who earned $50,000 had a long history of business experience, and an established network of contacts that helped them close the sale. Then you might outline the hard work that they put into it (with the aid of your service, of course). This is a believable story that establishes your credibility and shows the value of what you offer, which will make potential clients more likely to buy.
There is another aspect of the new FTC guidelines that requires an increased level of transparency in your endorsements and testimonials. In short, your relationship to the person providing the testimonial must be completely out in the light of day. So, for instance, if you want to have your spouse or a friend provide a testimonial for you, you must make this relationship absolutely clear in the marketing material.
Ultimately, these rules are meant to discourage businesses from using testimonials of this kind. After all, if I were to have my husband write a testimonial for me, how credible would it be to you? You might read it, but it’s unlikely to sway your buying choice. Keep this in mind when putting together your testimonials.
Let's break down why we often get testimonial or reference letter requesting anxiety: There is a common feeling that these requests take a long.
Testimonial letters are helpful for building your business because you can show them to potential clients or include them in your print advertising to show people that working with you is a good idea. Although some clients will spontaneously write a testimonial letter for you, in most cases, you must ask for a letter.
Whenever a client goes out of his way to thank you with a phone message or email saying positive things about your business, follow up immediately by asking him to write a testimonial letter. In addition, each time you finish your work with a client who seems satisfied, request a testimonial letter. To help make the process of writing a testimonial easier, provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope so the only thing the client has to think about is writing the letter itself.
Don't just ask for a "testimonial letter." Instead, give a few specific areas that the client can write about in the letter. This helps him get started and can also encourage him to write about the areas that you want potential clients to know about. For example, you could recommend that he write about the speed of the service, the demeanor of the people he worked with at your business and how working with your business has benefited him. These guidelines help him write a testimonial that is relevant and will be usable in your marketing. Include a suggested word or paragraph count so the letter is not too short or long for your use. Also ask the client to sign the letter and include his job title and location. If he is not comfortable using his full name, allow him to use initials for his first name, last name or both.
When you receive the testimonial letter, read it over right away. If any portions are grammatically incorrect or are unclear, contact the client and propose changes that would make the letter more readable. Get his final approval before publishing the letter with those changes. In addition, if the client mentions something in the letter that you would like him to elaborate on, call him, thank him for the letter, and ask if he would be willing to add a few more sentences about a specific part of the letter. Most times, he will be happy to comply. Lastly, ensure that the client approves of your use of the testimonial letter for any business purpose.
The Federal Trade Commission offers a few guidelines on how to handle endorsements or testimonials. One of the main things to worry about is that you must reveal when material connections exist between you and the person writing the testimonial. This means that if you gave a person cash or another material gift for writing a testimonial, you must reveal this anywhere you use the testimonial. In addition, you cannot lead potential clients to believe that the results described in a testimonial are typical if, in fact, they are not. Lastly, it is illegal to fabricate a testimonial. You must get the letter from clients and cannot create it yourself.
Letter Asking for Testimonials. This is a sample Letter Asking for Testimonials. Write a letter to your headmaster asking for a testimonial.