You’ve been working with a client for months, and you’ve finally closed a deal with them. After dedicating your time and energy to making sure they have the best experience possible, you ask them to leave you a nice review so that prospects may be more willing to work with you.
To you, the process went swimmingly, and your client was thoroughly satisfied with the end result. But when you check out your Facebook page, you see a scathing review of your services—outlining how unprofessional and unorganized you are. It hurts, and you’re not sure how to undo the damage that’s been done to your reputation.
Customer testimonials are tricky business. In many cases, they can be an excellent addition to your marketing strategy. They can give prospects concrete examples of how you’ve helped others in the past and prove the value in your services. But they are a double-edged sword.
If you’re unsure how to make the most of your testimonials and want to prevent them from giving negative attention to your business, heed these tips.
Record customer feedback yourself.
Asking customers if they would be willing to provide you with a testimonial is a great first step in gauging how they’ve felt about your services. Typically, if a customer is pleased, they will be willing to give you a statement, either written or verbal. Your customers have the freedom to post whatever they want about you and your business online, but by asking them for their feedback first, you can at least deter them from posting anything negative.
Give clients a survey.
Sometimes a client has a lot of positive information to share, but they aren’t sure how to go about it. By giving them a survey of pre-written questions, you can guide them in the right direction and make sure the points you want to highlight about your services are mentioned in their testimonial. You can ask questions such as: “on a scale of 1–10, how would you rate my customer service?” or “what was the best part of your experience working with me?” That way, clients don’t have to conjure up the right words themselves.
Stop a negative review in its tracks.
When you already know a client has been unhappy with your services (warranted or not) it’s easy enough to take the loss and move on to the next customer. The problem with that is by chalking the experience up to a customer’s particularly difficult personality, you aren’t accounting for the review they will leave with their friends and family. People are just as likely to communicate their bad experiences as their good ones, perhaps even more so. But if you show the client your willingness to amend the situation, you can hopefully prevent a scornful review and maintain the referrals and connections you might get from them.
Testimonials can be highly beneficial for your business—bringing you more customers and highlighting your strengths—that is, if you know how to use them.