How to Ask for Testimonials: Approaching Customers in the Right Way

  Tips & Tricks

How to Ask for Testimonials: Approaching Customers in the Right Way

In our previous post, we saw the importance of using testimonials and reviews as a powerful means of social proof. Your potential clients and customers are looking for them and are influenced by them. This means your business needs them.

So let's get practical.

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Three questions we need to ask:

  • Where do we get our testimonials from?
  • Why do some business owners worry about asking?
  • How do we ask for a testimonial in the right way?

The 'Where'

Start with your most loyal returning customers. Keep it simple. They have already shown you that they are happy dealing with you. They should be open to supporting your business because, as repeat clients or customers, their success is partly tied to yours.

And let's not forget that you are opening new dialogue with them. This is now a two-way conversation. You are showing you are taking them seriously, that you plan to be around for the long-haul. That will mean something.

You may, in the process of engaging with them, learn something new. Perhaps there is more to this customer; some tweaks to made, concerns to deal with or more you can offer. If the process of giving a testimonial improves your customer's experience, it is a win-win.

The 'Why'

Here we get to a crucial yet misunderstood point. Why should we be nervous about going to our customers and asking for a recommendation? Will they think we are taking liberties? To paraphrase Chandler from Friends, can we be anymore cheeky?

It is simple. Turn it around. Your supplier or service provider comes to you and asks the same. What do you think? I bet most, if not all of us, would be impressed. Our business partner is smart! That is cool. They know the power of social proof. They are doing good business. Perhaps I could learn from them.

Does that sound like something you should worry about? No. Not. At. All.

So go ahead and show your clients and customers, while providing your awesome service, that you mean business.

The 'How'

We could go to our favourite customer's house on a Sunday afternoon, knock on the door and say "Tell me how good I am. In writing, if you don't mind". That might work. However, for those who like success and repeat business, let's look at alternatives.

Once we decide that an uninvited house call is not the right strategy, we can turn to emails. So what type of email do we want to send? We want results, a glowing testimonial, without negatively affecting the client. In fact, the effect may be a lot more positive than you might expect.

Can I tell you a story?

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Benjamin Franklin was one of the founding fathers of the US. He was also a philosopher and a diplomat. What you may not know, is that he discovered an effect. It is neatly named the Benjamin Franklin Effect.

In his own words:

He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.

In other words, someone who does you a favour will be more likely to do you a favour again, than if you did a favour for them. What? Woh, dude! (much like the 18th century philosophers proclaimed at the time).

That works for us. So asking for a testimonial will not only help our marketing, not only show our client that we know good business, but may also increase the likelihood that they will recommend us again.

What a win.

 

 

Back to our email. What should we write, and how should we word it? It is 2020, we need to be concise. Time is valuable and attention spans are limited. Plus, we want to make it as easy as possible for our client or customer.

Here are two email templates for an e-commerce store, to compare:

Email A

Dear [customer name],

Thank you for purchasing the [product] from [company name].

Our aim is to provide all our customers with the best service and experience. We would really appreciate your feedback. So if you could give us a few minutes of your time, it would help us to continue to improve.

[LINK TO REVIEW FORM]

Your feedback is greatly appreciated. If there is anything you would like to talk about regarding our service and your product(s), feel free to contact me directly.

Many thanks,

Jane Smith
Customer Service Manager [company name]

 

Email B

Dear [customer name],

Thank you for purchasing the [product] from [company name]. As you know, at [company name], we are always offer our customers the best service and highest quality products.

Therefore, as a recent customer of ours, we would love to get some feedback on how much you enjoyed your experience shopping with us..

It will just take a minute of your time. Your review will help us improve and enable us to inform other customers about our great service.

[LINK TO REVIEW FORM]

Thank you so much! Currently at [company name] we have a lot of great offers. Have you seen our 2 for 1 offer on [random product]? This is a time-limited offer, so don't delay! 

Look forward to your next purchase.

Many thanks,

The team at [company name]

Before choosing which email will be more effective (ok, it's obvious, but bear with me), like all careful decision-makers, we will consult a checklist. We put to you, our loyal reader, that the following is the blueprint for a great email:

DO

  • Keep it brief (but be friendly and personable)
  • Be positive (you're asking for a favour, and also showing good business sense)
  • Reinforce your branding
  • Give the customer a way to report feedback directly to someone important

DON'T

  • Assume your customer had a great experience
  • Use it to advertise
  • Make the email sound too generic
  • Forget an email should come from someone, so include their name

Now, clearly Email A wins. Can I just add, that if you ever plan to send me anything like Email B, consider this sage advice from the Spice Girls: Stop, right now. Thank you very much.

Can we take this a step further? Can we improve on Email A? Oh yes.

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First we had Superman, then Supergirl. Now, we have SuperLinks!

Endorsal gives us a way to make form filling even simpler. So what exactly makes them super?

Well, SuperLinks enable us to send customers to a testimonial form, pre-filled with information you already hold on them. This is a time-saver for your customer and a smart way to personalise, showing them that you know who they are. It removes hurdles for them and is proven to increase new testimonial conversion rates. Powerful stuff!

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So now is the time to act. Get those testimonials and show new prospective customers that your business can be trusted. Remember the Benjamin Franklin Effect, and be ready to show your customers and clients your good business sense, how they can help you, and the value you place on their feedback.

If you are an Endorsal user, you have a great way of making that process customer-friendly, professional and automated. What more could you ask for?


Collecting high-quality testimonials is important to every business.

But it's always been a long, painful game of back-and-forth.

Endorsal streamlines the whole process by fully automating it, saving your business time and money.

Increase conversions, build customer loyalty and strengthen your brand.

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