Marketing / Business relationships

Four steps to getting customer testimonials

Getting Impressive customer testimonials on your website or marketing collateral is a very powerful way to win new business. But how do you get them?

21 July 2005 by

If you’ve ever tried to get a client to write a testimonial for you, you’ll know how difficult this can be – even if they’re your number one fan. The problem is, most people hate writing, and a non-urgent task like this will always go to the bottom of the list.

The trick to getting customer testimonials is to make it so simple for them that all they have to do is say ‘yes’.

So how can you do this? Write the testimonials yourself. But, before you start writing this off as deceptive advertising, let me explain.

I’m not talking about the canned, carefully scripted ‘testimonials’ you see on cheesy sites signed off by some bloke known only as Bill from Oxford. I’m talking about sincere quotes signed off by your real clients with their full names.

Here is a simple method to get client testimonials that definitely works – assuming of course, you do have a few genuinely happy clients! If so, this method should get you half a dozen solid testimonials over the next few weeks.

"Here is a simple method to get client testimonials that definitely works – assuming of course, you do have a few genuinely happy clients!"

Step 1

Flick through some of your past emails and see if you can find a few with something nice to say. Usually at the very least there’ll be a few comments like “Thanks, this is exactly what I wanted!”, “I appreciate you doing this so quickly for me”, or even just “Looks good!” Then, if you’re lucky, you might find a few with a bit more detail. If there are no emails, recall any positive verbal feedback you have received.

Step 2

Based on these comments and what you’ve provided for these clients, start jotting down a few quotes that paraphrase or summarise their thoughts. If necessary, expand the content to explain what you delivered. For example, if their email simply says “Thanks so much! A great job as usual.” You could make this into a very useful quote without changing the sentiment just by saying “Thanks so much for organising and managing our huge product launch event. A great job as usual!”

Want more articles like this? Check out the business relationships section.

Step 3

Try to make sure you select a range of comments that cover some of the main attributes you’d like to get across such as reliability, creativity or great value.

Step 4

Then put together an email something like this:

SUBJECT: A favour?

Hi Jo,

Thanks for all the work we did earlier this year. Just a quick note to ask you a favour. I’m looking to update my website shortly and am hoping to include some testimonials from my clients. I was wondering if you’d mind me including one from your business – it would just be a short quote with a link back to your website.

I know these can be a hassle to write, so I have taken the liberty of drafting something up for you below based on some of your kind comments. I want you to be 100% comfortable with the quote, so please feel free to add or delete any part of it as you see fit. And, if you’d prefer not to have a quote that’s totally fine too.

Possible quote for review:
“Thanks for all your great design work advice for our website launch (especially given such tight timeframes!). It’s been really well received and I look forward to working with you again.” Jo Sample, Marketing Manager, Sample Works

Thanks for considering this, Jo. Hope all is well with you and your business and speak soon.

Cheers,

Peter

I’ve used this approach myself with a number of clients, and I’ve always found that as long as your quote is something your client will be comfortable with (i.e. you’re not trying to gild the lily), then they are genuinely pleased to help.

Particularly if all they need to do is to say ‘yes’ or make a few little edits. Good luck!

Peter Crocker

is a director of Flying Solo responsible for marketing and advertising. As a business copywriter he partners with digital agencies and corporate clients on websites and digital content. He’s the co-author of Flying Solo Revisited – How to go it alone in business.

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