Testimonials can be one of the best marketing tools you’ve got for building your business – when they’re done right. They can share your story and let people see the value of what you do from a peer’s perspective, with the power to turn someone into a raving fan or fully invested customer / client. But getting terrific testimonials involves a little more work than just saying, “Hey, would you mind giving me a testimonial?” Even clients and customers who love you might now know what to write, or how to write, copy that highlights your best qualities. They want to help, but aren’t sure what to do. This is where most businesses and entrepreneurs miss the mark.
You do have control over the quality of your testimonials. You just have to know the right way to ask for them.
At its core, a good testimonial should contains two things: A problem and how your business solved it. A great testimonial weaves in details, creating a story that lets readers think: “Hey, I’m just like this person. That’s exactly what I’m going through. If they got results this great, I can too!”
When you’ve got a satisfied client or customer, you should ask for a testimonial. And they are usually happy to provide one. The misstep to avoid, however, is just asking, “Can you give me a testimonial?” What you get will be just sort of OK, such as:
- This company was great, I would highly recommend them!
- I really liked working with this company, they helped me so much.
While these sound nice, there is nothing in them that will let readers connect with the problem and the solution, and see themselves as potential future clients.
The secret in getting great testimonials is asking focused, open-ended questions that build a story. Here are a few ideas you can use to get started, pick and choose the best ones that work for you. The idea is to give them direction in their writing, so that they are able to share a few details that will highlight your value.
For product-based businesses
- What problem did you have that caused you to purchase this product?
- What was your experience using this product?
- What did you love most about the product?
- Was there any surprising benefits about the product?
- Why would you recommend our product to someone else?
For service-based businesses
- What were you struggling with that brought you to us?
- What was the best part of working with us?
- What was the result of our work together?
- Were there any surprising results from our work together?
- Why would you recommend our services to someone else?
You don’t need to ask people every single one of these questions, as you might overwhelm them. You’re asking them to do you a favor, so it’s best to make gathering their testimonials as easy as possible. But in the end, most people appreciate having a little direction as they write their glowing referral for you. After all, if they really loved working with you, they’ll want to tell the world. And you’ll both have benefitted in the end.