It's no surprise that marketers love client testimonials. They are used as vehicles of social proof, quick trust builders, and influencers of purchase decisions. And not only are testimonials valuable to marketers, but to potential buyers as well. In fact, a study conducted by BrightLocal found that 79% of consumers increasingly trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. In the same survey, they also found that 85% of consumers say that they read online reviews for local businesses. These figures are consistent with responses gathered in other surveys, such as one sponsored by ZenDesk where 90% Of Customers Say Buying Decisions Are Influenced By Online Reviews.
Most of the testimonials B2B marketers receive are one liners and simple Thank You messages in an email format. These are great as youll be able to extract a sentence or two, but isn't it even better to get a detailed testimonial from clients on their official company letterhead?
So, how do you get a detailed client testimonial?
Short answer, just ask for one.
But here's a longer answer, with some steps to take to get a formal client testimonial on an official company letterhead.
When is it appropriate to ask for a testimonial?
If you have a great working relationship with your client, and they're happy with your products and services theres nothing that stops them from sharing their positive experience. They'd be happy to recommend you any time. So, ask yourself:
- Do I already have a quick thank you note from my client?
- Is the project complete? Product Delivered? Service Performed?
If you said yes, now is the ideal time to approach your client for a formal testimonial. Want a better and quicker response rate?
- Did you deliver Results promised?
- Did you get paid?
- Is your client happy?
It is even easier to ask and receive an official testimonial when you already got a pat on the back or a thank you email mentioned earlier. Just respond with:
Thank you for your kind words. Would you mind writing up a testimonial about the work we've done and results achieved for your business?
You can expand from there. In your request, you should not forget to explain how you plan to use their testimonial.
What makes a good client testimonial?
A good testimonial consists of a specific problem a client faced and how your products or services helped them overcome their challenges. A good testimonial:
- Is specific
- identifies client's needs and/or pain points
- Answers why they needed to fix things
- Mentions why they chose you
- Explains what service solution you provided
- What results you achieved, and/or
- How your services or products eliminated your clients pain points
A good testimonial will also contain a comment or two about your (or company's) professionalism, work ethic and anything unique that made you (or the company) a pleasure to work with.
Of course, that's the ideal testimonial and you will not always get all those points covered. But if a client comes back and asks What should I put in a testimonial? You can simply send them the above list or whatever you deem to be a valuable piece of information for your business or industry.
What if a client does not have the time to write a full testimonial?
Always aim to get a testimonial written by the client first. But sometimes a client will request that you draft a version of a testimonial for them to edit and endorse. If you deem a huge value in having an endorsement from a specific client go ahead and collaborate on a testimonial draft.
Make sure your draft version contains all factual key information. Ask your client to edit and contribute their own unique perspective. Whatever the edits are, accept them. Don't even attempt to edit as it will lose its authenticity and you'll risk client approval.
To make it even easier for your client, draft up 2-3 different versions. In most cases the client will merge portions from each draft, edit and add their own two cents.
Another option to consider is to record a client testimonial in audio format. Transcribe the audio at a later date and send it off for client approval and sign off.
Both methods listed above will save your client a tremendous amount of time and earn you valuable endorsements. But make sure your client is willing to collaborate, approve and permit you to use their testimonials.
Testimonials are incredibly valuable pieces of content in any marketers toolbox. They demonstrate organizations capabilities, expertise and client satisfaction. Testimonials are a seal of approval and very often are the last marketing piece that convinces a prospect to buy. The best way to get testimonials without asking is to delight your customers enough that they'll want to surprise you with unsolicited endorsement.