Customer testimonials can be one of the most powerful tools for growing your business.
Think about it: when you’re looking to hire a contractor or make a major purchase (like a car), what do you do? If you’re like me, you go online and read reviews.
Don’t take my word for it. A 2018 survey by BrightLocal found that 70 percent of customers read four or more reviews before working with a local business.
That means your customers are almost definitely looking you up before they decide to buy.
How do you go about getting those valuable, glowing reviews that will make people more likely to work with you? Keep reading for four ways you can get amazing testimonials from your clients.
Lead with exceptional service.
This might seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating: you can’t get amazing testimonials when you provide amazing service. Treat every customer interaction like your business’s reputation depends on it—because, in many ways, it does.
Many businesses assume it’s enough to deliver what’s expected in the amount of time promised. This is a huge mistake. Your customers won’t remember service that’s just okay. They’ll only remember service that’s either bad or truly exceptional.
Create impact by doing something your client wasn’t expecting you to do. If you’re a real estate agent, become the neighborhood expert—be ready with recommendations (and even coupons or gift cards) for local restaurants, contractors, and merchants.
Going the extra mile is what gets people to go online and leave you a review. While your clients will appreciate promptness and efficiency in the moment, these things won’t motivate them to leave a glowing testimonial.
Don’t be afraid to ask!
A common mistake salespeople make is failing to actually ask for a testimonial. Yes, your service should be good enough that your customers are dying to leave a review. But the reality is that most people are busy, and they won’t think to log on to your website—or Facebook, Yelp, or Angie’s List—to talk about their experience.
You can encourage positive reviews by being proactive. Ask your clients leave a review, because it will help you connect with other customers like them. Get them invested in your success.
Another mistake people make is not asking for a testimonial at the right time. Real estate agents should ask right at closing. Get a picture of you with your clients. Give them a short form to complete, ask them to record a short video, or direct them right to your Facebook page. Considering you’ve just helped them find the home of their dreams—you have, right?— they’ll be more than happy to do this small favor for you.
Make it extremely easy.
When it comes time to leave a review, most people have writer’s block. It’s really hard for them to just write what they enjoyed about the experience.
Fortunately, you can make things much easier. Most people can answer questions better than just writing a statement.
- “How did you feel about this?”
- “Did I exceed your expectations here?”
- “Would you recommend me to a friend or family member?”
By asking these kinds of questions, you’re gently nudging customers in the direction of the testimonials you really want.
Build a relationship.
Think about the times you’ve felt compelled to leave a review. The odds are high that the service was either much better or much worse than you were expecting.
But another situation where you might leave a review is when you’ve been patronizing a business for a long time. You choose to do this is because you’re a fan of this business and want to see it succeed. Service-based sales professionals should be committed to creating these kinds of relationships with their customers.
Don’t let your business be completely transactional. Follow up regularly to see how things are going. Keep in touch and take interest in your clients’ lives beyond your business.
Use the F.O.R.D. Method to learn more about your customers, and then bond with them over the things that matter most to them. Send them items of value that aren’t related to your business. If you’re a ReminderMedia customer, you should send your magazine to every client you close a deal with.
By continuing to offer your clients value long after the sale, you’re taking the relationship to the next level. And when you’re able to turn your clients into friends, those people are way more likely to give you amazing testimonials.