Testimonials provide a brief glimpse into how well your business provides service and influences current and potential customers alike. Considered an important part of any review, testimonials attempt to qualify review ratings through description. Asking for a testimonial can often be tricky, however, effective testimonials can greatly promote your business. The magnitude of this is seen in the staggering statistic that 92% of individuals trust a recommendation from a peer! With such a large population relying on the 'hear-say' of others, there's no doubt that you'll want to be easily recognized as a business that has great credibility, offers a high quality service and looks for ways to boost customer experience. If you've previously had difficulty asking for testimonials, have received negative reviews, or are considering new ways to ask, then look no further - here are some tips that might prove useful.
- Just ask / Don't make it awkward! Does it feel a little uncomfortable to 'simply' ask your client for a testimonial? It shouldn't if you are continuing to provide them with the same (and improved service). Let your client know that they are valued to you – especially as their input allows you to share with others what they find great about your business, and helps to improve the services your business offers. As marketing expert Lorrie Thomas Ross states, "Asking for a testimonial is only awkward when the requesting party makes it awkward." Don't feel as if you have to respond with incentives or such like as you are asking for an opinion.
- Use what customers are already saying to help you to understand Have your customers ever complimented you on a particular service or product that you offer? Often times, clients will share with you, or employees, what they enjoy about your business, for example, "I love coming here, I’m always greeted with a smile", or "thank you so much for [insert service here]." Comments such as these can be used as testimonials with your customer's permission. Take these opportunities to dig a little deeper into why they like something in particular and how this can specifically be linked to your business.
- Make it easier for the client Is it easy for your client to leave a review? If you have a public screen in your waiting area, why not include a short clip in order to show clients how to complete a review? Having an aid can help to encourage customers to see how easy the process of leaving a review can be, and even show that a review can be a simple informal opinion. If you have a public computer in your office, consider offering it as a place to leave reviews. Remember not to hover over them; and remind them that they don't have to come up with something on the spot!
- Ensure that testimonials are short While your clients may be willing to give a long list of the things they admire about your business, your intention is for your potential customers to be able to read and understand in a short amount of time exactly what your business offers and how this takes place. Having a long testimonial means that there's a strong possibility that customers won't want to take the time to read how great your business is. A short testimonial from your clients can effectively showcase your business.
- Display, display, display! Are you displaying your testimonials anywhere? Again if you have a TV or public screen in your waiting room, why not use it? Your testimonials don't always have to be playing on that waiting area screen, but a brief glimpse will allow customers to see what others think of your service, may positively influence their experience. Even more so if it is the first time a client is trying a product or experiencing your services. Get creative! Are your social media pages effectively displaying your business? This is a great and easy way to grab the attention of your clients - use it to your advantage!
- Don't forget to say thank you! This almost goes without saying except that it shouldn't! Recognizing the effort that your customers make to help your business will allow your customers to feel appreciated. Let your customers know that feedback is important to you and that you want to keep providing great value and service.