If you search the web, you’ll find valuable studies and statistics on customer satisfaction. Those can help you shed light on your own customers’ behavior and understand some of their needs or struggles.
But what the studies don’t teach you is how to reach out to your customers and build a friendly relationship with them. They don’t teach you how to ask for testimonials without sounding unprofessional.
Because, let’s be honest. No matter how much the customers love your product, they won’t come out to tell you that. You have to always take the first step and give them reasons to trust you.
It’s time to break the silence.
Most customers aren’t very vocal when it comes to the services they use unless you ask them to be.
Now, asking for testimonials might make you feel like you’re pushing it too hard but there are many ways to do it. Finding the right channels and tone to communicate with your customers will not only get you the feedback you’re seeking but will also open new doors between you - the product owner - and the people who are using your product.
So, how to reach out to your customers and, especially, how to ask for testimonials you can later on use to drive more conversions?
This blog is designed to precisely address your concerns. You’ll read about the best practices to ask for testimonials and the most efficient methods to showcase them to your business’ advantage.
Bonus: you’ll get to find your inspiration by seeing how other companies are doing it the right way.
- Testimonials vs Reviews vs Feedback: How They Work?
- Do Testimonials Make a Difference?
- How to Ask for Testimonials from Your Customers
- Where to Feature Customer Testimonials to Get More Sales
- Harness the Power of Customer Testimonials
Testimonials vs Reviews vs Feedback: How They Work
Before diving into the how-to part of getting valuable testimonials, let’s clarify what sets them apart from two other common words used in relation to customers: reviews and feedback.
You often hear these terms when brands talk about their customers. Even though they sound similar, their meanings are slightly different. It’s important to know what each term means to get the most out of them and channel all the information in the right direction.
Testimonials are the opinions of your happy customers and contain positive comments about your services. This is the customer input you can feel proud about and share with others. This kind of feedback comes from people who found success on various levels (business, personal, time-wise, etc) thanks to your product. If you want to hear the good side of your users’ experience, this is what a testimonial stands for. These are collected by businesses themselves and are shared by customers directly with the business.
So, if your product has positively impacted people’s lives, they can show their love for it via a testimonial.
If you want to hear both the sides, this is what reviews are for. In a review, people share both - positive, negative and neutral experiences with a product or service. Together with the commentary, the users leave a rating (usually from 1 to 5) for your product’s quality, features, usefulness, interface, friendliness, and the overall complexity of what it offers.
The reviews range from super enthusiastic (e.g. how much your product saved/changed one’s life), “not so great, not so terrible”, to comments full of anger and frustration (or simply disappointment). Usually these are collected by third party platforms.
Through “feedback”, the software maker wants to get an in-depth understanding of how users perceive the tool, having the scope of improving it. When you seek feedback, you’re interested in learning the pros and the cons as seen from the outside, insights you can measure and take into consideration for bringing more value to your product in the future releases.
To get honest feedback, you can conduct user interviews, surveys, usability tests, add feedback forms, track on-site activity, etc. There are plenty of tools out there to help you procure customer feedback.
Qualaroo is a simple tool that will help you gather information and responses from users who are active on your site, so you can analyze the way they’re interacting with your products and content.
Note to Reader: Testimonials and reviews are both forms of customer feedback, just a little more specific.
Let’s understand this with the help of an example. ThemeIsle wanted to e-meet its customers and learn more about how their WordPress theme was helping them grow their business. They started a series of video interviews with a few of their Business plan’s users, which was showcased on their blog in the form of an article. At the end of each post, they added this friendly form (see the picture below) to invite more customers to join their case studies.
Do Testimonials Make a Difference?
Does it really matter what others think about a product you want to buy? It does, and you’ll know why.
The existing customers of a tool are the exact reason why we need to associate that tool with trust and credibility. Customers, who are actually paying for a service, are the ones whose opinion weighs much for us before making an investment. They shape up our decisions.
Word of mouth publicity is precious to any business and so are the reviews and recommendations of existing customers online. They become the voice of a brand. They tell us why we need to trust the quality and reliability of the brand.
According to Strategic Factory, using customer testimonials on a business site regularly leads to an increase in revenue of 62% because testimonials placed on sales pages generate 34% more conversions.
This shows that people do care about social validation, be it from strangers or acquaintances. If you were wondering whether it’s worth asking for testimonials from your customers, the answer is yes; there’s no doubt here.
Posting testimonials on your site gives it a SEO boost in Google’s algorithm. The marketers at Yotpo did this thorough research which revealed that a site with customer reviews brings you about 45% more traffic, on an average.
So you probably have enough reasons to understand why you’ll find compensation in featuring your happy customers online. But these are just some of the benefits (some of the strongest ones, if you ask me); the voice of the customers is even more influential than that.
How to Ask for Testimonials from Your Customers
Sometimes, you might find yourself thinking: Is it okay to ask for customer testimonials or let them come to us organically? Would it be unprofessional for a business to jump in and ask first?
Absolutely not. There are non-intrusive ways to ask for testimonials without spamming or bothering your customers. And you should not wait for your customers to send you compliments out of the blue because that won’t happen, no matter how much they love your product.
So yes, collecting testimonials is beneficial for your business, it’s just that the process can turn out to be a bit more complicated than it might look at a first glance.
Even though happy customers are open to sharing the great experience they’re having with your product (87% of customers do share good experiences), the question is how to ask for customer testimonials without sounding unprofessional or too pushy?
Let’s talk about how you can politely send a testimonial request to your customers without annoying them.
1. Follow Up After A Good Customer Support Service
Imagine, a customer approached your support team via live chat on your website, looking for a solution on the issues they are facing while implementing one of your latest themes on their WordPress website. Your team takes action, engages with the technical team right away while still having a conversation with the customer and other visitors via chat at the same time.
Thankfully, they end up offering an awesome solution that results in a satisfied customer.
Understand that the easiest way to get testimonials is after you solve a problem your customer reported via your customer support service.
If the client feels satisfied and happy with your solutions and the overall support process, you can politely ask for a testimonial as a follow-up to the conversation.
Here’s an example of a testimonial request after the support team solved a customer problem.
Here, it does matter for how long the customer has been using your product and with what purpose. If they’re on a trial phase or bought the license recently, it might not be the right moment to ask for their opinion because the answer won’t be relevant to you. You need people who have a minimum experience with your tool or who have made use of it in ways that you want to share with your audience.
In general, approach people who you think might have an interesting, real, and helpful opinion so others can see the value in it. Testimonials should come from someone who is accustomed to your product and is using it for long-term projects.
2. Send a Targeted Newsletter
Email is still one of the most efficient marketing techniques for businesses, and you can use it conveniently to request for testimonials.
It can help you reach out to most of your customers by taking a single action and without forcing an answer from all recipients. You know that your message lands in your customers’ inbox and only those who are interested or enthusiastic about being featured on your site will take the time to reply. It’s fair and square from your side.
Basically, people who have something to say about your product will come out. In exchange, they get free promotion, depending on where you plan to showcase their testimonial (we will tackle that a bit later).
How to ask for a testimonial via email? Just do not try to combine different categories of content in the same newsletter. Send a newsletter specifically for this purpose and express your intention clearly.
This is an example of an email template asking for testimonials:
To be able to send a newsletter, you need an email marketing tool like Sendinblue or MailChimp. In fact, if you don’t feel like spending money, you can find many free email marketing services out there that will streamline your efforts and won’t charge you a penny. In exchange, you will have access to beautiful templates for getting a customer to submit a testimonial.
3. Create Engaging & Rewarding Social Media Posts
In an era when most things happen online rather than offline, you shouldn’t underestimate the power social media has over your business. So if you’re requesting testimonials from your customers, ask for them on your social media channels too.
If reading emails is not everyone’s thing, social media brings the content to them while they’re scrolling. Writing a comment might come more in handy for some of your followers.
Ask them directly what you need and give them something in return, e.g. sharing their profile with your network or community.
If you own a social media group where the users of your software interact with each other and with you, there you go: you have another option of getting testimonials from clients by simply posting a direct question.
There are no special templates for getting a customer to submit a testimonial, you can use your creativity. But, since you’re on social media, make it sound personal, colloquial, and use emoticons. :)
4. Start Conversations on Q&A Forums and Communities
If your company has a forum on the website, with threads for each of your products, and an active community, you can create a topic asking for testimonials from the customers.
Another example of building a community is via a dedicated Slack workspace or another similar tool for businesses. If you already have one, then asking for a testimonial there will be like asking for help from your family. People joined the community because they enjoy your tool, so the replies should come naturally.
A concrete example in this category is Dell. The company has a platform for its community, where users can register and talk to each other, write suggestions, rate, ask questions, and simply share their thoughts with everyone in that group.
5. Include Testimonial Questions in Surveys
Surveys are not the most popular method of gathering testimonials, they’re more effective in getting general feedback about your software. Companies send annual surveys asking for people’s opinions about their overall product, new features, recommendations, suggestions of improvements, etc.
But you can always add an optional field for testimonial requests for those customers who are happy with your services.
ProProfs Survey Maker is a free tool that will help you create beautiful, user-friendly surveys and forms that your customers will love.
6. Motivate Customers Through Contests
Creating contests that you can announce on social media, in a blog post, or even via email can push the pedal. The idea of getting a present or a reward (or simply something for free) motivates people to take a few minutes out of their time and write briefly about their experience with your product.
You can pick the winners either randomly or by carefully choosing your favorite entries, which you can later on use for your initial purpose.
The rewards are totally up to you: a free license to a new tool, a book, a blog roundup where you mention their websites, a showcase on the homepage, an upgrade to the product you need testimonials for, etc.
You can get very creative here!
7. Build Customer Relationships at Business Events
Whenever you attend a conference in your niche, the chances to meet your own customers in person are high. It feels rewarding and encouraging to talk live with someone who has heard about your product, let alone used it.
You can take this opportunity to kindly ask for customer testimonials at the end of the conversation if you sense that the person is appreciating your software and is excited about what you do. There’s nothing wrong with that. On the contrary, a face-to-face interaction creates a more human relationship between you and your customers, and they will enjoy that.
If you happen to host a meetup or an online/offline gathering about your product, you can also address the participants, asking them to send you a few words about your tool, if they find it useful. Only the fact that they showed up proves their interest in learning more and sharing their experience with your brand.
Where to Feature Customer Testimonials to Get More Sales
What are the next set of questions you have once you collect testimonials?
What should I do next? How can I make the most out of them so that my product gets new sales and downloads?
Well, a testimonial placed in the right spot can increase the chances of conversion, as we have seen earlier in this post. Now, it depends on your intentions.
Let’s go through the most effective places where you can feature the testimonials you managed to collect from your customers.
1. Add Them to Your Website Homepage and Sidebars
Placing testimonials right on the homepage of your website will boost your visitors’ confidence in your services and curiosity to learn more about your company. The testimonials help in clearing all the doubts about the brand and give an incentive to customers to come back to you or keep you in mind as a trustworthy source for their future needs.
Most companies put the testimonials near the bottom of the homepage, after presenting their software and highlighting the customer needs it fulfills. The testimonials come on the right spot as a validation to what has been presented until that point, the voice of the happy users confirming the necessity for a service like yours.
Other good spots for testimonials are the sidebars, which not all the site owners choose to display on their website. But if you do have any sidebars - either on the homepage, in pages, or in blog posts - they’re a good option for showcasing a testimonial or two.
2. Include Testimonials in Landing Pages
If your software has a dedicated product page, testimonials should have their place on them without a doubt. Visitors need confirmation from other customers who weren’t disappointed after hitting the purchase button. What the others say about something weighs extremely much in taking the final step.
You can showcase the testimonials either at the top of the page before diving into your software’s features, or at the bottom. Or why not both? You can split them in chunks and make two blocks for this purpose.
The same goes for temporary landing pages that you make for specific product campaigns or for sales pages that can include promotions, bundles, contests, etc. Testimonials can convince visitors that it’s worth the investment in your offers.
3. Build a Standalone Testimonials Page
Some companies choose to display the nice words of the customers on a special page built for testimonials only. If you manage to gather so many inputs that can fill out an entire page, you can create one for yourself too.
Having all the testimonials together in one place doesn’t exclude using a few of them on landing pages or homepage.
Here’s a cool example of how guys at Elementor embed all the customer testimonials they get via social media on a ‘Wall of Love’ page on their website.
4. Publish Blog Posts and Case Studies
When you’re writing a blog post introducing the new features of your tool or news involving your company that makes references to your products (such as transparency reports), include a few testimonials too. Maybe you have readers who are on the fence about purchasing and the comprehensive blog post will be the trigger that will remove their uncertainties regarding your services.
A similar content idea is the case study, where your readers will get an analytical perspective and a more in-depth approach to how your tool helped other companies or individuals find success.
Statistics, examples of other customers who found your software effective for their growth, and your services put in a different light are sometimes decisive in the purchasing process.
Akamai’s cool case studies are a perfect example of this - all featured on a page dedicated to its customers’ success stories (it includes both written and video testimonials).
DocuSign has a similar page where they gather their customers’ testimonials as case studies. This is a great example of storytelling on how your customers reached their goals, thanks to your product.
5. Get Creative with Visual Content for Social Media
Social media is one of your best friends when it comes to peers validation. You can post:
- Short videos/GIFs
- Stories showing people’s thoughts about your software
This is what a testimonial in an Instagram story looks like:
Remember we all care about what strangers say about something we are not yet convinced to try or buy. A tool like Canva will help you build creative and catchy visual content to showcase your customer testimonials with style.
Other than that, you can just collect all the reviews and customer experiences via hashtags and everyone who visits your network will be able to read all the opinions and feedback by clicking on the hashtag.
If you have a YouTube channel, you can make animated videos including a series of testimonials and opinions from your community. Another solution is to ask for video testimonials from your customers. This is a video where they record themselves saying all great things about your product instead of writing them down or even showing everyone how your amazing product is making their lives easier.
It’s proven that customer testimonial videos have a better impact than written ones. This video content can also be republished on social media to create further credibility for your brand. In case your customers are overwhelmed that a video testimonial would need an elaborate setup or fancy camera, let them know this is simpler than they expect. Using a webcam recorder, they can create a customer testimonial video for your business to use.
Video tutorials are harder to get because it requires extra efforts and time from your customers, let alone the fact that most people have an aversion to the camera. Sometimes, you need to give something more lucrative as a reward to motivate people to record a video.
Posting on social media can even generate more unexpected feedback coming from other people who are happy with your tool and use social media as the main channel to express themselves. Social media has a huge role in engaging people in a discussion and getting that limelight for a brand.
Harness the Power of Customer Testimonials
Testimonials are ways of showing the world that your product has value and there’s nothing wrong with asking your customers to write about what makes them happy. Take it as a reward for your work.
And, more than that, take it as a method to bring on board more customers because the testimonials have this power of building trust in your brand and driving other individuals to take action - convert and purchase.
So, if you’re looking for a first step to improve your marketing efforts and get more people to buy or download your software, there you have it. All you have to do is learn how to ask for testimonials in a kind, friendly way and use them as part of your marketing strategy.
You can ask for testimonials through targeted newsletters, engaging social media posts, or once your support process comes to an end via live chat. Live chat will help you collect feedback and customer testimonials in real-time. But you will have to make sure that you’ve got the best live chat software in place. You can give ProProfs Chat a try.
It will help you to customize the post-chat form as per your needs, and help your team capture feedback and testimonials once a chat comes to an end.
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