How to Gather Testimonials for Your Website
Testimonials are short paragraphs where past customers sing praises about your services. Having a page of written testimonials, or strategically placing them throughout your website will verify your professionalism, and ensure potential customers of your trustworthiness.
Immediately Explain Your Goal to the Customer
Asking past customers for their testimonial can be awkward, but it doesn’t have to be. When you call them, explain what you are trying to accomplish (I’m having a website built for my business), and have a set of questions ready for them to answer
If Available, Read Them an Existing Testimonial
I will usually explain that I just finished receiving a testimonial from another customer, explain what they told me, and read the final edited version. This provides a general reference of what might be included in their response.
Help Your Customer Create Their Testimonial
When hired to perform the service on behalf of my customers, I start by asking a very open question. I often find some people are able to provide what I need with a simple prompt. “What was it like for you to work with Joe?”
If they need help defining their response, I’ll go into more directed questions:
1. Was he able to guide you through the process, help select material, etc.?
2. Was he reliable, show up on time?
3. Would you recommend him to others?
Consider Using the Testimonial Verbiage as Website Content
I was able generate ideas for building the Tom Scutti Roofing website by having conversations with his past customers. What was originally planned as a means to generate testimonials for Tom’s work, turned into something much more fruitful.
Without knowing it, Tom’s customers helped me build out his site.
I focused on the areas they mentioned as being most important to them. Such as:
How impressed they were with his work ethic
He performed the work himself
Was a pleasure to work with
Had recommended Tom to several friends and neighbors
Defining How the Testimonial Will Be Presented
This area gets a little more sensitive, and your gut feeling of how the customer will respond plays a role here. A testimonial can include a persons full name, title, company name, location and picture. Or, it can simply be a first name and last initial.
You can see how impressive and engaging it is to have the persons information and picture included as I did here on the DJ Jim Henry website.
What I’ve found is businesses with younger customers possessing a high comfort level with social media tend to have an easier time getting the permission to use full information and pictures. Businesses with clients that are less active on Social Media have customers who often say: “I don’t know if I want my name out on the web.”
A testimonial with basic information is still a powerful tool, but doesn’t have the same impact as the pictured, full information variety.
Ask for a Reference
If the conversation went well, I would ask if they would be available as a reference to highly qualified potential customers. Where a testimonial is a written statement in support of a person or their business, a reference allows potential customers to contact them to answer any questions about their experience, or verbally confirm their support.
Having a list of happy customers available to speak on your behalf is a great tool to have in building your business.
If you have any other helpful ideas, let me know in the comment section!