The best ways to solicit customer testimonials

Every business thrives off of word of mouth advertising. If someone else sings your praises it carries a lot more weight than one of your advertisements. Customer testimonials are a great way to add social proof to any marketing effort. But how do you actually solicit customer testimonials?

We all want them but how do we get them. Here are five simple (yet effective) ways to solicit customer testimonials.

Start With New Customers

In your quest to solicit customer testimonials you should start with your newest customers first. Someone who has just purchased from you will still be in a positive state and more likely to give your company a glowing review.

Shortly after the customer makes a purchase contact her and confirm that she is happy with your product and ask for feedback on the entire buying experience. If the response is positive ask if that information can be shared. More often than not you will walk away with a glowing testimonial.

Contact Repeat Customers

It goes without saying that if someone has bought from you repeatedly, they are happy with you and your product.  These customers will provide your new prospects with excellent examples as to why they should do business with you.

Simply ask these repeat customers why they continue to frequent your company and what they like most. These answers will alert you to which areas of your business you should be promoting.

Make It Easy

The major pushback you will receive when you attempt to solicit customer testimonials is your customers will say they are not writers and have a hard time putting their thoughts into words. The easiest way around this is to ask them to finish this sentence: “I really like (your product or service) because…” That’s all you have to do. Their natural cadence and word choice will provide you with better copy than if you wrote it for them and had them sign it. Short and authentic is much better than long and stilted.

The Law Of Reciprocity

You have no doubt heard the phrase, “You need to give before you receive.” This is true when you are trying to solicit customer testimonial as well. Endorse members of your client community as well as suppliers to your business. This creates a need for them to reciprocate and will get you some high quality testimonials.

You can use social networking sites like LinkedIn to make the process easier. However, do not simply press the “endorse” button. It’s lazy and does very little to impress anyone. Instead, take the time to actually write out your testimonial. That will have much more impact and will also net you a better testimonial in return.

Be Thankful

You should already be in the habit of thanking your customers. The more you have thanked them for being customers in the past the more willing they will be to give you a glowing testimonial today.

One the have given you a testimonial your should go one extra step and send them a handwritten Thank You card. Sure, it’s easier to send an email and that’s what most customers expect. What isn’t expected, and what will blow them away, is the personal touch of a handwritten note. This one small gesture will cause you and your company to stand out in their mind. And isn’t that what you really want?

Follow these five tips the next time you are trying to solicit customer testimonials and you will wind up with more than you know what to do with. And that’s a good problem to have.