The best story a business owner can hear is the story of how a client was blown away by amazing products, services, and support from your small business. These types of stories are worth sharing, and that is why getting client testimonials should be a priority for your marketing strategy. A client testimonial is evidence of your commitment to providing a great customer experience, and it is something potential clients need to know about.
However, great customer testimonials don't just fall into your lap all the time. Sometimes, you need to be straightforward and ask for them, provide a method for getting them, and guide your clients on crafting the perfect client testimonials for your small business. In the article below, I go in depth on the subject of client testimonials and how impactful they can be for your small business marketing.
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Simple strategies for getting client testimonials
Getting clients to share testimonials with you can be extremely important to your small business marketing. Here are some simple strategies to encourage clients to share their experiences with you as client testimonials:
Provide exceptional customer serviceDeliver an amazing customer experience to your clients, going above and beyond their expectations. When your clients are extremely satisfied with your product or service, they are willing to express these feelings and share them with others.
Ask for feedback about their experienceEven if a client is extremely satisfied with your work, they may not think about sharing their experience with you. Following up with your clients after a purchase or interaction to ask for their feedback. can result in a client testimonial. Be prepared to help your client share their testimonial by providing a way of doing so, such as with a customer feedback survey.
Offer perks and incentives for client testimonialsIncentives can motivate a client to give you a testimonial. However, keep in mind that this can result with less than authentic testimonials. An incentive can be a discount, free items, or something exclusive. Whatever the perk is, make sure it is of value and relevant to your clients. I explain this in more detail in the section “Can clients be incentivized to share a testimonial?”
Make it easy for clients to share a testimonialMake it easy for clients to share testimonials by a system in place, such as an online testimonial form, customer review funnel, or a customer feedback survey. Include clear instructions on how to share testimonials and make it quick and simple process.
Highlight testimonials in your small business marketingMaking client testimonials part of your small business marketing can encourage new clients to also share their of testimonials with you. Some clients may take great pride in their experience with your products and services and want it to be known. By highlighting their client testimonials, you give the clients a way to share their ability to make great decisions (by choosing your products and services).
Be candid with your clients about testimonialsJust like when asking a customer to leave a review, be honest with the purpose and intent of the testimonial and what you plan to do with it. When asking your client for a testimonial, be forthcoming with what details and aspects of their experience you would like them to share. This shows your client that you value their opinion and are genuinely interested in their feedback and are not looking for a generic positive testimonial.
Give examples of client testimonials you wantWhen asking for a client testimonial, share example success stories of how your product or service has helped your other clients. This can help your client identify the points they would like to make in their testimonial. I have shared some example client testimonials in the next section.
Short Client Testimonial Examples
Here are some examples of client testimonials that you can share with your clients to give them an idea of what a great testimonial is for you:
Client Testimonial Example 1
"I recently purchased ABC product and I am blown away by how well it works! It has saved me so much time and effort in my daily routine by cutting out unnecessary manual input. I highly recommend this product to anyone looking for a high-quality solution!"
Client Testimonial Example 2
"I was hesitant to try ABC service at first, but I am so glad that I did! I struggled with trying to accomplish the tasks on my own. The customer service was exceptional and the results were beyond my expectations. I will definitely be a loyal customer from now on."
Client Testimonial Example 3
"I had a great experience with the team at ABC company. They were professional, communicative, and went above and beyond to make sure I was satisfied with the end result. I especially appreciate they way they made me feel about my concerns. I would recommend them to anyone in need of their services."
Client Testimonial Example 4
"ABC product is a game-changer! It has revolutionized the way I do business and has helped me to achieve my goals faster than I ever imagined. I feel like I have my time back and can focus once more. Thank you for creating such an amazing product!"
Client Testimonial Example 5
"ABC service has been a lifesaver for my family. They have helped us through some difficult times and have always been there when we needed them. Attempting to do this on my own was heading for disaster. I am forever grateful for their support and care."
What makes a great client testimonial?
A great client testimonial is one that is authentic, specific, and relatable. Potential clients are looking for real world experiences with your products and services, so asking clients to share what is most important to their experience is the goal. Here are some key elements that make a client testimonial standout:
Be AuthenticYour client testimonials should be genuine and unscripted. You aren’t looking for a client testimonial that hides the truth, nor should a client testimonial pretend everything is perfect. Sharing an experience that highlights challenges and overcoming them through service and support can be incredibly impactful.
Be SpecificA compelling testimonial includes details about the client's experience with your product or service. It should highlight the problem or challenge they faced, how your product or service was the solution, and the positive outcomes that were the result of it. Describing quantifiable and measurable results add credibility to the client testimonial.
Be RelatableA great client testimonial should connect with your potential clients. It should address common pain points or challenges that your clients may have. When reading the testimonial, your potential client should be able to see themselves in the customer's shoes and imagine the results for themselves.
Be RelevantTestimonials should be relevant on topic with your potential clients by demonstrating the value your small business has to offer. Consider using testimonials from clients who fit your ideal client persona and your marketing niche. This helps potential clients identify with the client testimonial and comprehend how your product or service can benefit them.
Be DifferentA powerful client testimonial emphasizes what sets your small business apart from your competitors, as well as alternative options. It should highlight what makes your small business unique, amazing customer service, or any other factors that make your business stand out. This helps potential clients understand what is important to your customer experience.
Get PermissionAlways ask your client for permission before using their testimonial. Some clients may not want to have their names or identities shared. The last thing you want to do is upset happy clients.
Great testimonials aren’t always easy to come by, not is it simple to express feelings into words. Also, sometimes clients can be way off base when giving you a testimonial. That is why having guidelines to help your clients craft great testimonials is important.
In addition to qualities listed above, you can also request additional context from your clients for their testimonials:
Client IdentityAsk clients to share more information about themselves, such as their job title, industry, or location. This helps potential clients connect to a real person or business with additional social value.
Client PhotoIf your client is comfortable, encourage them to include a photo of themselves with their testimonial. Having a photo of the person giving the testimonial humanizes the words and draws attention to who is giving the testimonial.
Finally, always be thankful and express gratitude for your client’s time and effort in sharing their testimonial. Showing your appreciation can further strengthen the relationship with your clients.
Your loyal clients can be a great source for amazing testimonials. Don't be shy. Ask!
What are easy ways a client can give a testimonial?
Client testimonials can come to you in many different forms and media types - typically in the most convenient way that your client can provide it. Here are common ways clients will share testimonials with you:
Written TestimonialsClients can write testimonials in the form of an email, text document, or even a hand written letter. This is the most common way you will receive testimonials, even if you have not asked for them.
Online FormsAn online form can also be a convenient way for clients to share testimonials with you. In addition to the testimonial, you can also provide guidelines, examples, and make other requests, such as adding photos to the form submission. Taking it a step further, having a customer feedback survey or customer review funnel can streamline the process for your clients.
Social MediaClients will commonly share their testimonials on social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram. The benefits of this method are that client can tag your business or use relevant hashtags to increase visibility and allow others to engage with the testimonial. Your business can also respond to the post and continue to share it with others.
Video TestimonialsGrowing in popularity, some clients may be willing to record a video testimonial for you. This can be a powerful way to showcase their experience as their expressions and feelings are visible to viewers. Clients will typically use their smartphone to record the video, and share it with you or to social media.
Audio TestimonialsLess common ways clients share testimonials are through audio. Clients may choose to record an audio testimonial using their smartphone or other recording devices. The audio can then be used in other formats, such as in a video or used as a transcript.
Leaving it up to your client to provide a testimonial in their preferred format does come with challenges, so it is best for you to decide what your preferred format is and provide a means for your clients to use your preferred format.
WAIT! What about reviews? Aren’t they testimonials too?
While customer reviews can be considered a form of testimonial, in the context of this article and your small business marketing, a testimonial is an experience that is shared with you for the purpose of using in your small business marketing with the consent to do so. An online review is owned by the platform it is given to, thus you do not have the same permissions to use it as you would with a testimonial that is shared with you with proper consent.
Reviews vs. Testimonials
On the surface, testimonials and reviews are very much the same. However, in the context of small business marketing, the small differences can help you determine how to go about obtaining each and their purposes for your small business marketing.
To explain the differences between reviews and testimonials, I have pulled a clip from a past podcast episode on the subject. Use the audio player below to listen.
Can clients be incentivized to share a testimonial?
In a few words, yes. Clients can be incentivized to share testimonials. However, there are pros and cons to incentivizing testimonials that you should consider. There is no doubt that providing incentives can help motivate clients to share a testimonial.
While there are many ways to incentivize clients to share a testimonial, I am going to list the simplest and most effective methods:
Rewards Or DiscountsFor retail businesses, offering a small reward or discount, such as a coupon code or gift card, can be an in expensive way to increase your client testimonials. In addition, it encourages repeat business from your clients. If the reward is transferable, your clients may use it to promote or refer your business to new clients.
Promotional MarketingIn a B2B setting, your clients may appreciate attention for their testimonial. Highlighting or acknowledging clients who provide testimonials through marketing channels can serve marketing for both you and your client. This can be done through social media posts, placing the testimonial on your website, or including their testimonial in promotional materials.
Going any further with incentives in exchange for testimonials can detract from the authenticity of a testimonial and should be avoided.
About The Author
Chris is the owner of Mediaryte, a digital commerce company working with local small businesses. He has worked with countless business owners on business mastery, systematizing processes, and quantifying results. Chris also is a competitive fat bike racer and has a fantastic sixth sense for detecting well hidden candy and treats.