• Katie Townsend, Brand Accomplished

6 tips to gathering and leveraging client testimonials

The secret’s out: a dedicated customer base is any company’s greatest marketing tool.

More than ever before, customers distrust traditional advertising methods. According to BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey, 45% of consumers aged 18-55+ are skeptical of online reviews.

It may be difficult to encourage customers to recommend your company’s services to their personal networks. Luckily, a Nielson survey found that client reviews and testimonials work nearly as well to capture prospective buyers. While similar, there’s a key distinction between the two:

Client testimonials

  • Gathered and managed by businesses

  • Acquired from satisfied customers

Client reviews

  • Collected and owned by a third-party

  • Content features a wider range of opinions

How to ask clients for a review

This article features 6 tips on how to ask for client testimonials and leverage them to establish business credibility. In turn, this helps your company build trust with prospective clients, supporting continual growth.

1. Pick the right time to request a client testimonial

2. Use different methods to request client reviews

3. Encourage clients to act

4. Develop a client testimonial template

5. Feature client reviews on relevant platforms

6. Repurpose your client testimonials

1. Pick the right time to request a client testimonial

People in general are busy, the average full-time American employee works almost 9 hours a day, leaving little time for much else. This makes convincing a client to leave a testimonial a difficult task. To improve success in this endeavor, analyze your customer journey. This will help you determine when they’ve most likely experienced success with your product or service.

Of course you want to wait for the right time to ask. A company shouldn’t request a testimonial from a client a week into their collaboration. It’s unlikely the customer has experienced any results yet.

If you’re in a long-term engagement with a client, it may be more appropriate to ask for a testimonial at the end of the quarter or year. However, you may identify subtle openings to request a testimonial outside of the obvious opportunities. For example, your client may offer a compliment that can serve as a notable testimonial. In this case, request to use their comment as a customer testimonial, even if the project isn’t complete.

The optimal time to ask a client for a review is following a successful engagement with your company. Studies show that 85% of customers will leave a testimonial when asked. If a customer is satisfied with their experience, you’re likely to receive a positive review that you can later repurpose as marketing content.

Ask your client for a testimonial as soon as possible after a successful engagement. If your client recently experienced success, their motivation to return a favor is higher. The longer you wait, the fewer details your client will be able to provide. Moreover, they’ll feel less obligated to respond to your request.

2. Use different methods to request client reviews

Improve your chances of gathering positive reviews by leveraging a variety of outreach channels, including email, text and social media.

Despite the significant number of emails the average person receives in a day, email marketing is still highly effective. It’s also easily scalable. Most email marketing providers offer automation features. For example, most newsletter platforms enable users to build custom email templates, manage customer contacts, and track performance of email marketing campaigns.

Text or SMS messages are another way to ask clients for a review. It’s likely clients will receive your message. In 2019, Americans checked their phones an average of 96 times a day. Despite this figure, less than half of businesses use texting to communicate with their customers. A text may help you stand out from competitors and capture your client’s attention in real time.

Finally, consider social media. An estimated 2.95 billion people engage on these channels regularly. Three years from now, the number of social media users is expected to reach 3.43 billion. Social media’s expansive reach positions them as ideal channels for client outreach. Post a request for client testimonials on your social channels. Then, create an engaging post to make the most of these reviews. Social media amplifies your testimonials, reaching both your clients and their networks. Keep in mind, some channels like Facebook prioritize posts on users’ feeds based on relevancy. If clients interact with your business’ posts, it’s more likely that your content will show up on their networks’ news feeds as well.

3. Encourage clients to act

While social media and email are effective outreach channels, they can get lost in the daily clutter of content. Therefore, it’s critical for you to incentivize engagement.

Incentives should be viable for your business and compel customers to act quickly. When asking for a client testimonial, consider including an offer like:

  • Package upgrades

  • Discounts on services

  • Exclusive promotions

  • Free gifts or a contest entry

Beyond incentives, encourage clients to leave testimonials by making the process easy. You can include links to your review form on your website or in an outreach email.

Make sure your call to action is clear. The more seamless the process, the more likely customers will complete a testimonial.

4. Develop a client testimonial template

To streamline the client review process and optimize results, create a testimonial template. Testimonial templates make the review process easier for clients by providing them with a framework for feedback. It gives them ideas for what to write about, so you get a more complete and focused review.

Design a template based on the values you want to promote about your agency. Considering short attention spans, craft direct questions and add prompts. Lead your clients and guide their responses as much as possible.

Then, find a prominent place on your site to post your reviews and demonstrate a history of positive customer engagement. They’ll serve as valuable social proof and establish your credibility, reassuring prospective clients that you’re the right choice.

5. Feature client reviews on relevant platforms

In addition to your site, you should have a presence on platforms that feature your company’s reviews. It’s all about widening your visibility online. A more expansive web presence increases the likelihood prospective clients will come across your business through a simple Google search.

Another way to increase online visibility of your client reviews is to create a Google My Business profile. Clients can submit their reviews through their personal Google account. Following submission, reviews are screened and published. Anyone searching for a business in your area will be able to see these reviews.

To boost your rankings in local organic search results, ensure your name, address, and phone number are accurate and consistent across your online profiles. Search engines like Google take this data into account when ranking companies for geo-targeted searches.

6. Repurpose your client testimonials

After collecting client reviews, repurpose them to encourage greater engagement. While a page dedicated to success stories is an important part of your website, consider using testimonials throughout your website.

If you leverage a ratings and reviews platform, feature that content on your website too. Ask about opportunities to integrate these testimonials on your website in a way that stands out.

Graphics offer another opportunity to maximize benefits of existing client testimonials. Ask your design team or leverage a platform like Canva to turn client excerpts into compelling visuals. This allows you to effectively promote long-form content on social media platforms.

Need help gathering and leveraging your client testimonials?

Call the Brand Accomplished team today to see how we can help!

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