Are you looking for tips to getting better testimonials for your small business website? If so, you’ve arrived at the right place!
We all are used to the fact that a business will often say or do anything to make a sale and get us to become a customer.
The question that all of your prospects have in their minds before buying from you is: “I know they will say all the right things before I give them my money. But what will happen after I actually give them my money?”
One of the best ways to answer this question is to show that you have a lot of happy customers. This will tell your prospects consciously and subconsciously that there are a lot of people who have spent money with you and are happy about it.
An added benefit of having your customers talk about you and endorse you is that your clients can say things about you that you can’t say yourself. If you tell someone that “this will be the best experience of your life,” a prospect will think that you are exaggerating and are desperate in your attempts to get a sale. If the prospect sees a number of comments from your past customers mentioning “the best experience ever”, the reaction to this same statement is going to be completely different.
This is where testimonials help. A testimonial is a statement about you, your business or the service you provide.
So how do you get better testimonials?
A lot of businesses do not collect testimonials proactively. They think that if they are doing a great job, their customers will be leaving testimonials automatically. Most often this happens because a business doesn’t know how to build and control the process of collecting testimonials.
There are several reasons why your customers won’t leave you testimonials even if they are happy with your product or service.
First, people today are too busy. Attention spans are short. This is why you want to proactively ask for testimonials and keep in touch with your customers.
Secondly, people usually talk or leave reviews about an experience of service when it’s either absolutely fantastic or absolutely terrible (but more than likely, when it’s terrible).
Do you remember last time you went to eat at one of the national established fast food franchises? Did you leave the place feeling like you wanted to rave and leave a testimonial about the food?
Most likely, you didn’t. When you go to such places, you expect the food to be hot and edible, service to be fast and consistent. If the place meets these standards, your expectations are met and you leave without another thought. If asked for a testimonial, you simply wouldn’t have anything to say.
You would only have an opinion if your expectations are greatly surpassed or if your experience is really bad.
Below you will find five tips on how to get the best testimonials that truly make you shine.
Tip #1: Provide superior service and exceed expectations
A lot of businesses don’t look at themselves from the customer’s perspective. They fail to see and analyse what it’s like to do business with them, be it in their physical location or on their small business website.
They also often don’t exceed the expectations because they don’t create any expectations in the first place.
The law of averages says that even the best company will have occurrences when their service is awful, and on occasion everyone will deliver great service even if it happens by accident and the service is usually awful.
This is why you want to set a goal for your business to deliver great service and surpass the expectations of your customer or client.
If you goal is to deliver good service, you will sometimes fail and your service will not be adequate.
If you decide to offer exceptional service, chances are that even on your worst days your service will be acceptable.
Tip #2: Talk to your customers
The best moment to ask for a testimonial is right after a customer had a successful interaction with your business and said “thank you,” be it in an email or in person. Right after that, you say back: “Can you please do me a little favour?” and ask for a testimonial.
We will discuss in detail what to ask for later in this article.
However, sometimes you can get a testimonial by just talking to your customers. Often you will get the most compelling responses simply by talking to your customers or prospects without directly requesting a testimonial.
One of the most important things to remember here is that when talking to your customers, you mostly want to ask questions and listen. Ask and let your customers do the talking.
If calling someone on the phone, you can ask: “I am calling to see if there was anything we can do to help.” That’s it. You don’t have to say anything else.If you do this often enough, you will find that some people will talk to you for 20 minutes. They will tell you about everything: why they went with your product or service, what they liked and what they didn’t like about it, how and why they chose it. Often you will also hear stories about personal and family life.
Conversations like these can give you information for a testimonial and also provide you with valuable insights into the lives of your customers. You can later use these insights in your copy, sales scripts,website and marketing.
After chatting to a customer and something comes out, you can always ask if you can share the story of the customer on your website to further build your business’s profile with social proof.
Tip #3: Ask for feedback to craft better testimonials
You should always be on the lookout for great testimonials. Sometimes you will get them when you least expect them. You will be talking to someone and it may turn out that they absolutely love your product or service and can’t stop telling you about how great you are. If this is the case, listen carefully, make notes, and then use this to craft a testimonial yourself. Then ask if it is ok to use what you have put together as a testimonial on your small business website. Since it is basically what they have just said, then it should be fine, but you definitely need to get their approval first
Testimonials look more trustworthy when they mention a name, title, location, business name, website and photo, not just initials or a first name and a last name initial. This is why you also want to ask: ”Can I use your name and business information in the testimonial?”
Tip #4: Pick the best format that works for you and your small business website
The best format for your testimonials depends on your target audience. If your target audience is used to getting videos from you on your website, try to get a video testimonial. If you mostly share articles, a written testimonial would look great. This being said, video testimonials usually offer best possible credibility.
A few different options include:
- Written Testimonials – the most common and possibly easiest way to get a testimonial. You can ask specific questions to give your clients ideas about what to say. It can be as simple as via email or you can set up forms on your website to collect and post the information.
- Video Testimonials – you can video yourself asking your client some questions about their experience when dealing with your business, and post it on your small business website.
- Audio Testimonials – similarly to video testimonials audio testimonials can be placed on your small business website and give your testimonials a more human touch.
- Social Media – keep an eye on social media platforms for positive comments regarding your work. You can also request that clients leave public feedback on your social media pages. If you see something complimentary, grab a screen shot of it for future reference on your small business website.
- Citation & Review Websites – Depending on your industry and location, you can request that clients leave feedback on Yelp, your business page on Google or other business directory sites. These often rank highly in the search engines, and with a 5-star feedback rating from lots of happy customers, you can make your business stand out. Some review sites include:
- Google My Business pages
- True Local
- Yellow Pages
Tip #5: Ask better questions to get better testimonials
Don’t just ask if someone can give you a testimonial. We mentioned in the introduction that nowadays people are really busy and have very short attention spans. This is why if you just ask for a testimonial, you’ll often get a very short answer similar to “These guys are great!”
Obviously, you’d like to receive better testimonials than this. A good testimonial tells a story. It also touches on your prospect’s fears and doubts. Those who have already bought from you have made a decision to buy and acted on it. That’s not where your prospects are. Your prospects haven’t made this decision yet. This is why you want testimonials that touch on where your customers were before they gave you money.
When a testimonial highlights initial doubts it looks more believable and real. A description of doubts and concerns gives a testimonial depth and power and helps it become not just a bunch of words, but a story.
Sean D’Souza of http://www.copyblogger.com/ recommends asking the following six questions for getting better testimonials:
- What was the obstacle that would have prevented you from buying this product/service?
- What did you find as a result of buying this product/service?
- What specific feature did you like most about this product/service?
- What would be three other benefits about this product/service?
- Would you recommend this product/service? If so, why?
- Is there anything you’d like to add?
It is good to start off the testimonial with a lead-in question like #1, as it can instantly resonate with your potential clients as well. They will be super-interested in what other clients have also experienced as a result of purchasing your product or service, and you can quickly and easily have any objections answered here.
So why not try asking these 6 questions in your strategy for getting better testimonials, and see how the responses vary from what you get from your typical “Can you give me a testimonial?” canned question.
Bonus Tip #6: Customer of the month award
The best way to have your customers give testimonials to you, refer their friends and share links about you is to recognise your best customers. Why not try having a “Customer of The Month Award.” This will immediately make your visitors and prospects wonder: “I want to be a customer of the month, too. What do I have to do?”
You can have a separate page on your website that explains the criteria for the award. Giving feedback and better testimonials may be one of such criterions. Telling about these criteria will make people realise: “I see. Customers here give testimonials. That’s what I am supposed to do here too.”
This is something you want your prospects to know from the very beginning. Have them get used to the idea that in order to be considered a good customer they will have to talk to you and leave better testimonials than your other customers.
So which method will you choose to get better testimonials?
As you can see, there are various ways to getting the best testimonials for your small business website. Some will work better than others, but the point is that you need to have a strategic approach to get the best testimonials for your small business. Social proof is so important these days, and it will only get more important with time.
So why not try out some of these different methods to getting better testimonials, and see what works best for you.