You probably know that testimonials are crucial in building trust in potential customers (which means they’re super valuable already), but there's yet another way they're valuable: testimonials help you see your own business through your audience's eyes.
When you've been in your industry for years, the value you think you provide may be different than the reasons people actually buy you. The best way to find out is to ask the people who ponied up the cash to spend on your offerings.
Unfortunately, your clients don't necessarily know what you're looking for when you ask for a testimonial, so they often submit something vague like "She was so great!" Or they stress about writing just the right thing until they just erase it from their to-do list. So how do you get these detailed testimonials without burdening your clients?
Make it easy for your clients to write meaningful testimonials by starting with a customer feedback survey. Send them 3–10 questions that will prompt them to tell you about their experience. This gives them space to include constructive criticism as well as highlight what they loved about their experience. Pro-tip: I recommend suggesting a deadline, such as, “it would be so helpful to have your feedback while it’s fresh in your mind — if you could return it to me by XX, that would be great.”
10 Questions for a Customer Feedback Survey:
What attracted you to _____? Is there a reason you chose ours over another?
What hesitations or fears did you have about purchasing/hiring a _____? Any preconceived notions? What made you decide to go for it?
What was your goal in purchasing _____? Did you reach it?
What did you like most about _____?
Did anything surprise you about _____?
Would you recommend _____?
Who do you think would benefit most from _____?
Do you have any suggestions for how we could improve?
Have you seen a return on your investment?
If you could describe _____ in three words, what would they be?
As soon as you get that survey back, take a moment to compile some of their answers into a testimonial (you can rearrange if necessary, but stay true to the essence of what they meant). Then reply to them to 1) Genuinely thank them for taking the time to provide feedback; 2) Acknowledge and/or address any constructive criticism if needed; and 3) Ask if they would be okay with you using their feedback as a testimonial. Be sure to include the edited testimonial in its exact form for their approval.
Afterwards, go back for another look at their answers. Take note of their word choices — those are SEO keyword GOLD! Familiarize yourself with the pain points they describe (from before buying you or your product) and the relief you provided so that you can position your brand to help more people just like them.
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