With even a handful of eloquent, praising testimonials, your business will have a much better chance of capturing new customers – and building initial trust. Whether your a new business or an established brand with loyal customers, it shouldn’t be hard to collect the testimonials you need to accomplish this.
Why Testimonials Are So Important
Let’s start with a briefer on why testimonials are so important for companies:
Social proof. Testimonials serve as a way to achieve social proof. In other words, you can use testimonials as a tool of persuasion, convincing someone new that your brand is worth working with. Social proof is powerful because it’s authentic and seen as sincere.
Customer dependence. The majority of modern consumers rely on testimonials and reviews to make purchasing decisions. Before they’re willing to part with their hard-earned money, they want some kind of reliable evidence that their purchase will be worth it. Testimonials fit the bill – and they’re so common that they’ve become expected.
Conversion utility. Testimonials are especially powerful because, when featured and built on your website, they almost always increase your conversion rate. Including them at the bottom of an important landing page or in line with a call to action (CTA) on one of your core pages can drastically increase your conversion ratio.
For these reasons, testimonials are a reliable way to get more customers. But how can you get testimonials to help your business’s growth?
Provide Excellent Service to Your Customers
Your most important strategy is to provide excellent service to your customers. If you exceed expectations, your customers will likely go out of their way to give you praise – and help you find more customers in the future.
Once you’ve worked with several customers and you’ve started to establish a digital footprint for your brand, you might get some testimonials naturally. But it’s more likely that you’ll have to ask for them.
The best way to do this is by being direct, especially if you already have an established relationship with the client in question. Write an email or have a conversation over a phone call with three important elements:
The recap. Make sure you briefly recap the nature of your relationship. How did you work together? What were the results?
The positive reminder. Make sure to frame the situation in a positive light. Remind them about how much money you were able to save them, or how much they complimented your product.
The ask. Finally, be succinct and direct when asking for a testimonial. Something like, “We’re hoping to grow our customer base in the next several months, and to do that, we need testimonials from our previous clients. Would you be willing to provide one? Thanks in advance,” works perfectly.
There’s a small chance you’ll receive negative feedback or no feedback at all. If this is the case, handle the situation gracefully.
Get Active on Social Media
Next, get active on social media. Your brand should be working to attract new followers and engage your existing audience with ongoing content posts, discussion threads, and general responsiveness. Once you reach critical mass, you’ll be able to reach out to your followers in a way that helps you attract more testimonials.
For example, you can ask a broad question like, “what do you think of our product or service? Let us know in the comments below!” At least some of your customers will respond with praise or compliments. If and when they do, ask them for permission to use these statements as testimonials on your website.
Take things a step further by setting up automatic alerts, so you’re notified every time your brand is mentioned on social media. Some of these comments and responses will inevitably be negative, but some will be positive – and they could be valuable opportunities to cultivate testimonials.
Respond to Reviews
Online reviews and testimonials are two sides of the same coin, so it’s important to pay attention to both in the early days of your business’s development. Pay attention to new reviews that emerge for your business (and automate this if possible) and respond to them.
When you receive negative reviews, reach out to see if there’s anything you can do to make the situation better. Sometimes, a simple apology and an offer to make things right is all it takes to turn a scorned customer into a grateful one.
When you see positive reviews, consider reaching out and asking if the writer is willing to provide you with a testimonial. Depending on how the review is structured and phrased, you might even be able to use the review as a testimonial directly.
Work for Video Testimonials
At this point, you should have at least one or two strong written testimonials that you can use in your marketing materials (as well as your website). Periodically adding new written testimonials to your rotation can help you improve over time.
However, written testimonials aren’t quite as impactful as video testimonials. Once you build a strong relationship with at least one client, consider asking them to work with you on a video testimonial. The best course of action here is to offer to film the testimonial yourself – that way, the client doesn’t feel the pressure to put together a polished, professional video on their own.
There are many strategies that can increase your likelihood of receiving testimonials from loyal customers and a few strategies that can get you testimonials directly – no matter how many or how few customers you have. Once those testimonials are in place and working on your business’s behalf, you’ll be in a position to multiply your customer base.