When it comes time to make a purchase, positive reviews make a heck of a lot of difference. According to some research, 88% of consumers consider reviews in their buying decisions, and 79% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
When you're selling your own service, the same rules apply.
I just put together a new service I offer, which I'm calling My Strategic Business Advisor Services. If you check the landing page out, you'll see I have some stellar testimonials along the right-hand side and within the body of the page. That's very much on purpose.
Whenever you offer your own product or service, you need reviews as much as any product on Amazon. But how do you get them?
1. Go the Second Mile
First things first, if you want a stellar testimonial from a client, you need to give them an incredible experience. Don't just meet their expectations—exceed them.
That's going to look different for every business, and vary a little for every client. Maybe that looks like a surprise bonus without a charge. Maybe it's just the fact that you look them in the eye and they know you really care.
Find small ways to consistently wow your clients, and they'll leave satisfied and happy—pleased to provide a positive review.
2. Ask Every Time
You would be surprised how many people never ask for testimonials. When you complete a customer experience, you should ask for a testimonial or review. Period.
If it was an exceptionally positive interaction, specifically ask for a testimonial. If you're unsure of how it went from their perspective, use the word “review”. You might be surprised by their response, and if nothing else you can probably learn from negative feedback.
Especially when it comes to direct sales of products or services, most people don't bother to ask for testimonials or reviews. Make it a habit, feature the best, and you'll set your service apart from the rest.
3. Share the Why
I've made the mistake of asking for a testimonial without going into any further detail. The responses I got were okay, but they didn't promote the message I wanted to get across.
Now, when I ask for testimonials I am very transparent about my intentions. I let the client know that I hope to feature the testimonial, to give people an idea of what to expect. I then share a little of the deeper message I'm trying to convey, so they can consider that in their review.
For my My Strategic Business Advisor Services service, the message was one of taking something seemingly complex and making it simple. Unlocking potential features people might otherwise have missed.
4. Provide Examples
This is the key step that pretty much everyone leaves out. You have expectations of what a good testimonial looks like—why would you not share those with your clients?
On online sites like Yelp or Amazon, all but the very first reviewers have an example review for a model. When you're asking for a review through email, that's not typically the case.
Provide an example of the ideal testimonial—either one you've received or one you just make up—to make the review process easier for your clients. If you've gone the second mile and been clear with your intentions, they'll be happy to help you out.
Once you start collecting testimonials, keep them somewhere like Evernote, where you can organize them easily. Then, select the best of the best to feature on your site!
Question: What techniques do you use to collect absolutely stellar testimonials?