Small businesses can benefit greatly from soliciting testimonials from past clients and customers. Comments from satisfied customers can be included in marketing material such as in direct mailing campaigns, on your website and more. It is one thing to tell prospective clients how great your product or service is, how beneficial certain features are and more, but it is another thing entirely to have past clients talk about their experiences with your company and your products or services.
Information that comes from you may be seen as salesy and promotional, but information from past clients and customers can be viewed as realistic and helpful. As beneficial as testimonials can be for your business, you first have to get testimonials before you can put them to use. There are several great ways you can get testimonials, including:
1. Make It Easy to Leave Comments
Many customers who are happy with their experience working with your company are happy to write a few sentences down about their experience. However, they may not go out of their way to do so. One great way to get more testimonials is to make it easy for clients and customers to do so. Create a feedback page on your website. Then send an email to your clients asking them to click the link and share their experiences with others. Through this method, a client may receive the request for a testimonial while sitting in front of the computer, and the testimonial feedback page can be accessed by simply clicking a link.
2. Interview Specific Clients and Customers
With some types of businesses or with certain clients, it is more suitable to call a client and interview him or her for a testimonial. It is best to schedule a time for the testimonial interview rather than to call the client out of the blue. Prepare thoughtful questions specific to the client’s experience with your company. After the interview, write down the client’s experience in your own words based on client responses. You can then email the testimonial to the client for his or her approval.
3. Mail a Response Questionnaire
Another way to generate great testimonials is to mail a response questionnaire to clients. This questionnaire should ask open-ended questions and request the client’s permission to publish responses. It may be mailed individually, with an incentive offer like coupons for a free purchase, with an invoice or with other promotional material. Be sure to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope to encourage a greater response.
4. Thank Your Clients and Customers
Many businesses regularly thank clients and customers for their business, either through a phone call, an email or a written letter or postcard. In some businesses such as real estate and finance, a thank you gift basket or larger token of gratitude may be sent. While thanking your customers for their business, provide them with some method for leaving a testimonial such as mailing in a response postcard or visiting your website. Many will be touched by the gesture of thanking them and will be happy to leave a testimonial.
5. Edit Responses Carefully
Some testimonials may be better in quality than others. All positive testimonials can be used to your benefit, but those that tell a story about the customer’s experience are generally more beneficial. You may edit your clients’ testimonials. However, when making more than a minor revision, request permission. This can be done with a simple call in to the client, explaining that you would like to publish their testimonial and why a revision may be helpful.
There are many different ways you can request testimonials and feedback from satisfied clients and customers. Through these efforts, you can obtain great comments from happy clients that can be used to generate new business. In some cases, it can even encourage repeat business from those happy clients too.
*********************Drew C. works for a website with a car insurance comparison tool. You can find out what will be covered in your standard insurance policy. When he isn’t working, Drew loves to play soccer, read and spend time with his family.