You know that your current, happy customers are the greatest gold mine for your marketing efforts. Yet, you struggle to tap into it. But, why?! Well, it can be hard to ask for help! We get it – you don’t want to pester them and maybe you’re even a little nervous they might decline to comment. But we’re here to cast your doubts aside. Asking for customer testimonials doesn’t have to be intimidating!
Now presenting: the ODEA-ites’ best tips for collecting customer testimonials.
Let Them Sing Your Praises
Happy customers typically want to sing your praises. They might even beat you to the punch! You may just find a kind email in your inbox raving about how amazing your team is. Well, guess what? You’ve got yourself a testimonial! All you have to do is reply with a thank you and a simple request to use their comments. And if their email isn’t meaty enough for your needs, ask if you can hop on the phone this week to chat more about it. By catching them at the right moment – when they’re already basking in your glow – you’ll not only have a better chance of getting the testimonial, but you’ll get a really great one!
Throw Them a Bone
If the thing holding you back from collecting testimonials is fear of asking for too much, think about what you can do to make the process easier. Tailor your request to each specific customer – if you know that Jenny really loves to chat on the phone, offer to give her a call for 5 minutes. And if Randall is more of an email guy, send him two or three simple prompts he can type up a reply to. No matter how you collect the responses, be prepared to guide your customer if they aren’t really sure what to say. You certainly don’t want to put words in their mouths, but remind them of comments they may have made to you in passing or ask about how they felt when the project was complete. A little coaxing may be all it takes.
Keep It Simple, Silly
The platform for your testimonials may vary – you might be putting them on your website, in a proposal or pitch deck, or using them as part of a social media campaign. Regardless of how they will live out in the world, keep it simple! You do NOT need a 1,000-word essay from your customers about how brilliant your product is. Remember that attention spans are short, so if you get a long-winded reply from your customer, you’ll want to edit it down into an easily digestible sound bite. Your readers will thank you!
Once you have your customer testimonial complete, consider ways you can back up the claims. Do you have data that can support how much you improved your customer’s production efficiencies? If so, find a way to incorporate that into the final piece. While your future customers will love to hear positive comments about you, they’ll also want the evidence of ROI!
Sometimes you might need a little more than a quote or short paragraph from your customer. If you’re writing a full case study, for example, keep the above tips in mind but go a few steps further:
- Identify opportunities early – If you can tell that a particular customer relationship is going well from the get-go, plant the seed early that you’d like to feature them in a case study. This way, they’ll be prepared for your request, and might even start thinking about what they could say as they continue to work with you.
- Ensure their comfort – Case studies often have a lot of detail about the company you’re highlighting. Don’t blow your shot at capturing a great story because your customer gets uncomfortable with what’s being shared. Work together to ensure nothing confidential is being disclosed and they don’t feel negatively about the finished product.
- Pay it forward – Your customer may have gone above and beyond to contribute to your case study or testimonial. How can you return the favor? It could be as simple as picking up their coffee tab, sharing their latest LinkedIn post, or referring their business to someone in your network. Find a way to keep building on that great relationship!
Next time you see an opportunity to collect a customer testimonial or case study – don’t hesitate to make it happen! The worst that can happen is that your customer says they just don’t have the time. And that’s okay, there are other fish in the sea – but, you’ll never know until you ask.
What tips do you have for collecting testimonials? We’d love to hear them at [email protected].