Testimonials from happy clients are really important when it comes to building trust on your website but they are a real pain to get.
- Create a testimonial plan
- Reach out by email
- Follow-up by phone
- Offer to write it for them
Some clients don’t like using testimonials or investing the time involved in getting them. Often, we hear, “Can’t I just make them up?”. I get that but combined with great projects, images, and Google reviews, why would you fake these?
How to get your website testimonials
I want to help you get some great social proof for your website by following these simple steps.
1. Create a testimonial plan
Planning, as always, is key here in cutting down your work and stress levels.
- To start off… So you don’t get overwhelmed, we recommend only getting 3-4 testimonials. No need to go mad; you can get more later.
- List out the areas on your website that you need testimonials for, such as your “about” page and your service pages. How do you ask your customers to contact you? Consultations? Free sessions? Be sure to list these, as placing testimonials next to requests for contact on your website is a good way of encouraging your customers to make contact.
- Shortlist clients that you have good relationships with and have provided a great service to. Always add twice the number needed in case some don’t give you a testimonial.
For each client, list: contact name and job role and the company name
- Match the clients you will contact to the sections you need testimonials. For example if you offer a “hotel carpet cleaning” service, note down one or two clients that you have delivered this service to.
Many companies fear that their competition may steal their clients if they name their clients on their website. This is a real threat for some companies but generally you will gain more trust from your visitors if you put a name to the testimonials you display.
If you’re genuinely worried about this happening, you can simply list the first name and company on your testimonials. This way, you don’t give away everything.
2. Reach out to them by email
Don’t be scared to contact clients. Remember that you have done good work for them and have a good relationship.
Send them a quick email and make the subject enticing so they actually read it.
Make it easy for them by asking one or two open and direct questions and sweeten the deal by saying that you will show off their business.
3. Follow-up by phone
Quite often, a client won’t give you a testimonial on your first attempt, so give it a day or so and call them to discuss the email.
How much you can follow up or push for a testimonial depends on how good your relationship is with your client.
4. Write it for them if needed
If you are getting push-back or no answer, maybe you can offer to write it for them. Sometimes, the client will even ask you to write it for them.
This is great, as you can control the quality of the testimonial. However, if you’re writing more than one, make sure that they’re very different in content and style.
Testimonials that look very similar will appear doctored, which will lose the trust of your visitors.
Show your client what you have written and ask them to agree to it.
WRITE IT IN HERE: Free testimonial planner & email outreach template [word.doc]
The benefit to you…
Showing relevant testimonials in key places on your website ticks a little box in your customer’s mind and backs up what you are saying.
- Create the smallest possible shortlist of possible testimonials and where you are going to use them
- Get over the fear of losing business by naming your customers if you can. You have more to gain by showing real happy customers than by hiding them
- If you have reached out by email by had no reply and you have a good relationship with them, then call them
- Ask them one simple open question like ‘Who would you recommend our services to and what result will they get from us?’
- As a last resort, offer to write it for them
If you haven’t got any testimonials at the moment I would start by simply reaching out to your clients before even thinking about Google reviews.
You need to show that you can walk the walk and getting testimonials is the first step.