Written by Jon Hubbard
Testimonials from happy clients who can attest to the results that you helped them achieve are easily one of the best forms of marketing.
A study from PowerReviews and Northwestern University’s Spiegel Digital Database Research Center found that the more reviews there are of a product or service, the more likely it is that a customer will make a purchase, with 20 to 50 reviews being the optimal number. Other research has shown that 97% of shoppers say reviews influence their buying decisions, and 92% of customers hesitate to buy something if it has no customer reviews at all.
We tend to think of reviews for online retailers like Amazon, but client testimonials are just as crucial for your firm. Any business can spend a bunch of money on its website, social media ads, and other marketing tactics. But including client testimonials provides social proof that you can deliver what you claim.
Unfortunately, few firms know how to get quality testimonials from their clients. They ask clients for quotes to include on their website or other marketing materials and receive useless, generic quotes that don’t really communicate value of the service you provide.
If you want better results from your requests for client testimonials, here is a five-step process for capturing them.
Step 1: Approach the client
Rather than ask your client for quotes, let them know you want to feature the client on your blog or website to highlight their success.
Give your client the option of participating in a verbal interview (in person, over the phone or via video conference) or filling out a worksheet. Let them know that, based on their answers, you’ll create a case study or client testimonial.
Step 2: Craft your interview questions
Come up with a handful of questions to ask your client. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- What influenced you to engage our firm?
- How have our services benefited you/your business?
- What actions have you taken as a result of our advisory services?
- Do you have any metrics or anecdotal evidence you can share?
- What advice would you give a friend or colleague is considering working with our firm?
Four or five questions are a good number to ask in order to gather enough feedback to craft the testimonial without overburdening your client.
Step 3: Craft the testimonial
Some people feel weird about writing the client’s testimonial, but remember, you’re basing it on their words. Clients shouldn’t be expected to craft the right message to properly articulate your value. If you write the testimonial based on their responses, you can be honest and accurate, but achieve a better result.
Be sure to provide as much detail as possible – especially if the client can provide metrics, such as increased revenue, savings, or growth. The more detail you can provide, the better equipped you’ll be to prove you can do what you say you do in all of your marketing materials.
Step 4: Get final client approval
Once you’ve crafted the testimonial, send it to your client for final approval. This ensures you convey the right message and your client is happy to have their name attached.
Step 5: Use the testimonial
Now that you have a final, approved client testimonial, there are several ways you can use it. Include it in a blog post, feature the quote on your website, share the case study with prospects. The clients that are willing to share a testimonial can also be the people you can call on again to provide a reference to other potential clients.
In the accounting business, confidentiality can be a concern. If you or your client are worried about certain information being available to the public, you can make the testimonial anonymous. That won’t make their endorsement any less legitimate.
No matter how comfortable you feel selling your firm, praise is more believable when it comes from someone else. Using the five-step method above, you’ll get much better testimonials that accurately portray the services you provide, the benefits your clients receive and the transformative results you help your clients achieve.
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TimeLinx delivers innovative project & service management software as a complete solution that perfects the sell-track-manage-support-bill cycle that services organizations must have to delight their customers; TimeLinx brings the cycle together in a single application that offers less frustration, better project management, complete reporting, and improved profitability – all specially designed for Infor and Sage.