Customer testimonials are an invaluable asset to any business, and can be utilized in a variety of ways to attract new customers in search of a solution you provide. A recent study found that adding testimonials to your site can increase your sales by 34%, proving the value these can have on your bottom line. In this series, we’ll help you get stared with collecting and positioning customer testimonials to drive new business.

If you missed Part One, check it out now

Once you’ve selected the appropriate type of testimonial, the next step is the ask. Although this can be daunting, remember that 70% of customers both look for, and how to attract more customersspend time reading through testimonials and reviews of a business prior to making a purchase, so it’s vital to use testimonials to ease their doubts and win them over. By following these steps, you can respectfully ask for and start collecting testimonials that will allow you to better market your business.

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Respect their time

Your customers are busy people, so it doesn’t matter how much you may have over-delivered, or how many goals you surpassed, they don’t owe you a testimonial. Always approach the ask by underscoring how much you value their time, and give them an out if they don’t have the bandwidth at the moment. Otherwise you can come off as sounding presumptuous, which will make for a lackluster testimonial, or discourage many from agreeing to provide one altogether. It also keeps the door open to a future testimonial, if they really are too swamped or stressed to help out at that moment. By starting things off on the right foot, you’re ensuring you don’t mar an otherwise stellar experience, and reinforce how much your respect them and value their business.

Which brings us to our next point…

Make it as easy for them as possible

This is the key to getting positive responses, and the additional prep on your end should be a small commitment. You can do this by providing them with a bulleted list of points you’d like them to highlight, complete with a list of their own goals that you’ve helped them achieve/surpass, where applicable. Or, you can go with a more subtle approach and ask them a series of questions to guide the testimonial. However, it’s important for either tactic that you don’t hand them some pre-written statement to sign off on. That can upset them, or make them think you don’t respect them to do it in their own words and on their own terms. It’s often best to play it safe, and in the initial ask either frame it to say “As a refresher, here are some of the goals that we’ve been able to meet”, or simply offer, “I’d be happy to provide some suggestions or example quotes, if you’d like.” in case they’re short on time or ideas.

Create quick video testimonials–or, encourage them to!

Video testimonials are one of the more compelling mediums for audience consumption. It’s also easier to track how many people have seen them, which can be tricky for other types of testimonials that are text-based on your website. Although video  seems like a labor-intensive route, it doesn’t have to be. There’s no need to hire a production crew, or worry about editing (you’re not going to win any awards there), as long as you can get a quick clip of an actual customer singing your business’s praises.

At the end of a session, check-in, or wrap-up meeting try asking your client if they have an extra 3 minutes to participate. Ideally, you’ve just discussed some of the results you’ve delivered and they’re at peak satisfaction with these still fresh in their mind. Be careful not to intimidate them with fancy cameras either, as a smartphone can even do the trick. Remind them that this doesn’t need to be long, just a sentence or two. Similarly, if you’re a retailer, you could ask that they post a video review of your product and their overall experience shopping at your store on YouTube, so that  you can embed the video on your site, or link to it across social pages and in correspondence with potential customers.

Use a feedback survey

Feedback surveys are great tools that serve a variety of purposes. Once you get into the habit of sending these to the clients you’ve worked with, you’ll be armed with lots of (hopefully) positive responses to choose from. Be sure to reach out to the customer to ask their permission to use some quotes for a testimonial, or place a checkbox that indicates permission right on the survey. This is also invaluable for uncovering ways to improve customers’ experience. As a reminder, Signpost automatically sends out both feedback and testimonial requests to all your customers, and allows you to publish those of your choosing on your own branded testimonials page.

Always say “Thank You”

A friendly reminder to write a sincere note of thanks. You can even include a free gift or offer a discount if you’re feeling particularly gracious.