Ask for testimonials from customers

How many times have you checked a Yelp review or asked for a recommendation on Facebook about a particular restaurant or shop? Or checked reviews on an accountant or computer repair place where you were going to trust your laptop to get serviced?

Short on time and budget-sensitive, we are increasingly looking for third-party testimonials to help guide us in our decision-making. Right or wrong, these testimonials can sway our decision to try a place or not, based on our friends’ and even strangers’ experiences. Don’t believe me? Think about services like Angie’s List.

Which is all the more reason we should arm ourselves with positive testimonials from customers and clients and share them with others interested in our work. This is easier said than done for two reasons only:

1)    we have never thought about doing it before and

2)    some of us are afraid to make the ask.

The first is easy enough to overcome. If you are confident in your work and believe your customer is pleased with your work or performance, more often than not, the customer will be happy to provide you with a positive testimonial to use. If the customer is not happy, it is your job to find out why and correct that…but that’s another story.

The second is harder for some because, similar to asking for a raise, it makes them uncomfortable. There is no need to feel squeamish so get over it and get down to business. Word of mouth marketing is powerful and securing testimonials is among the best and inexpensive marketing strategies available to us.

How to Get Over Your Fear of Asking for a Testimonial

  • Remember that most people like to help other people (if there is no negative cost to them).
  • Remind yourself that the worst that can happen is that the customer says no. There are several reasons someone may not want to provide a testimonial aside from not being pleased with your work. It could be company policy or she is just not comfortable providing testimonials to anyone for fear it may imply endorsement. Regardless, thank the person for being able to service them and move on. There are plenty of others you can ask.
  • Make asking for a testimonial part of your routine. In the service industry especially, there’s a last meeting with the client and that is usually the perfect time to ask for a testimonial. But there is always a good time – you just need to figure it out in your situation. If you’re a retailer, ask the customer to comment on your Facebook page or Yelp page. Same applies if you’re a hair dresser or auto mechanic.

How to Ask for a Testimonial

A colleague asked me to script her on asking for a testimonial so I’ve prepared a few that may work for you:

  • “I’m really glad that you’re pleased with my work. Would you mind sharing your thoughts on our Yelp {or Facebook} page so others may learn about our services?”
  • “Thank you for allowing us to be of service today. We’re delighted you’ve enjoyed working with us. As you know, we’re trying to get our name out to more people. Would you be willing to provide us with a testimonial that we can use on our website or marketing materials?”
  • “I really enjoy working with you and hope you feel the same. Would you be willing to provide me with a testimonial that I can share with others who are interested in working with me and include it on my website?”

Keep the ask short and direct. Thank the person working with you first and then wait for a response.

Don’t expect anyone to write a testimonial for you on the spot. Rather, leave them a business card or ask them to email it to you. If you don’t hear from them in a week or so, follow up once to see if they are still able to provide you with a testimonial. More often than not we get busy and forget about it so a friendly reminder is usually welcome. After that, you may need to be patient.

The More You Ask The Easier It Gets and Stronger Business You’ll Have

Testimonials work for many businesses and most of us did not get into business because we’re wallflowers. The more testimonials you ask for, the easier it becomes to ask and the more testimonials you’ll receive. It’s a great way to build your business with very little effort.

Have you ever asked for a testimonial? And did securing a testimonial lead to more business? Share your thoughts and advise! We’d love to hear them.

*****

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