With customers becoming increasingly aware and discerning about the products and services they purchase, gathering legitimate testimonials from satisfied customers has become one of the most effective tools for building trust and credibility in any business. Asking for a testimonial can be a tricky process – you don’t want to appear too “pushy” or “salesy,” but you also don’t want to miss out on valuable feedback from customers.
How to ask for a testimonial? In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss who to ask for a testimonial, how to craft the perfect request, best practices for testimonial requests via email, SMS, and video call, and the most effective marketing strategies for showcasing testimonials once you have them.
The importance of testimonials
The power of client testimonials is indisputable. Studies have shown that potential customers are more likely to purchase a product or service if they can observe the experiences of other purchasers. This phenomenon is known as “social proof” — meaning that people want to see evidence that other customers are happy with the products and services they are considering.
In addition to helping build credibility and trust among potential customers, testimonials can also play a major role in increasing conversion rates and improving SEO. By featuring customer experiences on your website and social media channels, you can increase engagement and trust among website visitors and search engine users. When done correctly, this has been shown to result in higher conversion rates as well as improved ranking on SERPs.
Choosing when to ask for a testimonial
Best timing to ask for a testimonial
Reaching customers when they are most satisfied with your products and services is essential for obtaining useful and positive customer references. Consider asking customers for testimonials when:
- They have completed their purchase or received a service
- They have had time to experience the product or service
- They are talking about your brand on social media
- They cite their positive experience in an email, social media comment, survey, or questionnaire
- They have left a positive review on a third-party online review site
- You are sending out follow-up emails after a transaction
You should be consistent in asking customers for testimonials. Make it part of your customer service process, and use every opportunity to capture feedback from customers – turning success stories and positive feedback into testimonials.
Who to ask for a testimonial
As mentioned, you should target customers who have had outstandingly positive experiences with your products or services. Examples of such customers can be those who have been your loyal clients for a long time, those whose businesses enjoy a strong reputation in the industry, and those who have achieved remarkable success with the help of your products or services.
To expand your appeal and showcase the usefulness of your products/services to a larger group, gather feedback from customers who come from different backgrounds. This means reaching out to people across various industries, age groups, countries and other demographic groups.
You’ll also want to highlight customers with different use cases, if applicable to your product or service. This will help you reach a broader audience by featuring a diverse mix of customers in your testimonials. Gathering feedback from both new and long-time customers will also give you a more complete understanding of the customer experience.
Your customer service team (customer success team) will know the best customers to ask, and the right timing to ask them, based on the stellar customer feedback they receive. Your CRM will also indicate which customers are the healthiest and most satisfied; these are great customers to ask for a testimonial.
How to ask for a testimonial: Crafting the perfect request
How to ask for a testimonial, and successfully collect it? Besides an outstandingly positive customer experience, the success of your testimonial request largely depends on how you write it. It should be polite, concise, and appealing enough to invite the recipient to write the testimonial.
Here are a few tips for crafting the perfect request:
Personalize the message
Personalization is essential, as sending out generic, overly formal requests will likely result in fewer responses and lower-quality testimonials. Taking some time to personalize your request can go a long way in getting favorable responses from customers. For instance, you can mention the customer by name, mention something specific about their business, talk about how they’ve used your product/service, or thank them for their loyalty.
Make it easy
Don’t make the customer think too much about what they need to write in their testimonial. Provide them with a few prompts (open-ended questions) or even a testimonial template that they can use as a starting point for their feedback. You can also include a sample testimonial from another customer to give them an idea of what you’re looking for.
Keep the tone professional yet friendly
Make sure your request is written in a friendly yet professional manner. You don’t want to sound too robotic. Use a conversational tone, but avoid using overly informal language that might make the customer feel uncomfortable. Keep a professional demeanor.
Ask the right questions
It’s important to have a concrete plan when you ask for testimonials, so the testimonial you get back will best highlight the results your product or service produced for a given customer. Asking specific, strategic testimonial questions, like the ones directly below will help you collect the most powerful testimonials.
- What was your biggest challenge before you started using [product/service]?
- How did [product/service] help you overcome this challenge?
- What results did you see after using [product/service]?
- What features were most helpful in achieving your goals?
- What would you tell someone who’s unsure about whether to purchase [product/service]?
Think about giving incentives
Showing how testimonials are beneficial for both parties can increase the likelihood of a customer giving one. Consider offering incentives, such as gift cards or money off their next purchase in exchange for the testimonial. Incentives don’t have to be monetary, either: you could give them backlinks or promotional material for their business.
Offer a choice of medium
Offering the customer a choice in how their testimonial is collected is another way to increase your success rate. This makes the customer feel powerful as they’re the one making the decision.
Give them the option of leaving a text-based, audio or video testimonial. After all, you can always convert an audio or video testimonial to text later, if you’d like that for your site. Even providing the option of a Twitter-length testimonial for those who may not have time to give a longer one can help get the customer on board.
Use different channels
Similar to advertising, asking for testimonials should be done across a variety of communication channels. To ensure that you are asking for testimonials effectively, it is important to understand the best ways to approach customers and use each available communication channel for maximum impact. Email, SMS, social media, and even in-person interactions are all powerful ways to gather testimonials – as long as you are mindful of best practices.
Each channel offers unique advantages, and different approaches should be taken to ensure success in each respective medium. Below, we’ll go over how to ask for a testimonial via email, texting, social media, and in person.
How to ask for a testimonial via email (templates)
Email is one of the most commonly used methods for asking for testimonials due to its affordability, accessibility, and convenience. As previously mentioned, your email should be concise and to the point while also being professional and friendly.
Aside from introducing yourself and providing background information, your email should also include a brief explanation as to why you are asking for the testimonial, what it would mean for your business, any possible benefits the customer may receive for providing the testimonial, and a touch of personalization to make the customer feel appreciated. If you do not receive a response after the first contact, consider sending a follow-up email within the next few weeks to inquire again.
Here are some examples of testimonial request letters that you could email:
Thank you so much for being a loyal [company name] client. We appreciate your support, and we’re glad that you continue to find us helpful for [use case].
I wanted to ask a quick favor: would you mind sharing a testimonial with us? Testimonials speak volumes, because they help [people/businesses] who are on the fence about buying see the benefits of our [product/service] firsthand. So, we’d be extremely grateful if you could help us out.
You can share your testimonial with us by replying to this email. We’d also like to offer [mention any rewards] for writing the testimonial, as a token of our appreciation.
Here are some examples of previous testimonials: [attach or link to some finished testimonials]
Thanks in advance,
Email request template 5: Simple request
Email request template 6: Simple request + other options
How to ask for a testimonial via SMS
Another popular channel for requesting testimonials is SMS (text messages). While it can be a fast and convenient way to reach customers, there are some challenges associated with this method.
- SMS messages have to be brief and concise since customers only have so much time to read them. So, make sure your message is clear and to the point.
- Customers may have privacy concerns when it comes to providing testimonials via SMS, so get their consent first before sending any messages.
- Since it’s tough to type out a detailed testimonial via text message, be sure to link to a testimonial form or leave your email.
Although it may be acceptable to send a follow-up message if you haven’t received a response after the initial request, be mindful of the frequency you are sending messages and ensure that your customers are not being spammed with requests.
How to ask for a testimonial via social media
Social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook offer unique opportunities for businesses to request testimonials from customers. When asking for a testimonial through social media, it is important to keep in mind the character limits and etiquette that come with each platform.
Twitter, for instance, could be better for a brief and straightforward direct message asking for a testimonial, while Instagram or Facebook may be better suited to commenting on a customer’s post about your product or service. You can also ask