Whether it’s making your own raw chocolate or watching Orange is The New Black, have you ever noticed how you can enthuse to your family about something until you’re blue in the face but they won’t give it a go until they hear someone else - preferably a stranger - say how amazing it is?
So it goes in the world of business too. What someone else says about your service or product is twice as believable and therefore - twice as valuable - than what you say about yourself.
Do you ask your customers for reviews? Are you asking the wrong way? Scroll down for three scripts to help you trigger a tidal wave of testimonials.
Testimonials Can Boost Sales By 34%
This analysis of an A/B test run by graduate job website, Wikijob, beautifully demonstrates the impact a few testimonials can have on your conversions. Wikijob ran two versions of the same page, one with testimonials, one without.
The result? Adding testimonials increased sales by a staggering 34% - generating considerable revenue in the process.
One of the most fascinating parts of this test was that the quotes they chose weren’t even particularly glowing, in fact they’re rather comme ci, comme ca.
So, imagine what a difference some authentic, glowing testimonials and reviews would have made to the outcome and, naturally, their income?
Are You Asking The Wrong Way?
Many companies struggle to collect client and customer reviews, not because their services are falling short, but because they ask in the wrong ways. Just sending out an email or posting a Facebook plea is likely to fall flat.
This is because that even when your customers love your service or product, they find writing testimonials tricky. This is what’s running through their heads; “What should I say? What if I make myself sound stupid? I’m not sure I even want the world to know that I needed this. This isn’t easy… ooh a new text message!”
This is the kind of task they will put off, again and again … until it drops off the to-do list completely.
The good news, there are proven ways to ask for testimonials that do actually work and are less painful for everyone involved.
Scripts That Trigger Testimonials
NUMBER ONE: The ‘Off-the-cuff”
If you’re good at what you do and enhancing your customer’s world in any way, then it’s likely they tell you so every now and again. Off-the-cuff comments of the “what would I do without you?” and “I just love this” variety are infinitely more powerful than the generic “I would highly recommend” format.
So, next time someone pays you or your product a compliment or sends a thank-you email, simply reply “May I quote you on that?”.
NUMBER TWO: The Feedback Phonecall
Most people are more articulate in the spoken rather than the written word, so gathering your customer’s impressions over the phone will always give you a more expressive, impressive quote. Inspired by Alexandra Franzen’s Script-Book, these open-ended but targeted questions work a charm:
- How do you feel about the product/service/offering?
- What was the most surprising part of the experience?
- Have you noticed or do you anticipate any measurable results / changes / positive shifts in your life / business as a result of this?
- Is there anything else you’d like to add?*
*In the same way that nature abhors a vacuum, in the hundreds of testimonial interviews I’ve done on behalf of clients, it’s this last question that always sparks the most heart-stopping testimonials.
NUMBER THREE: The Humble Ask
This script (inspired by the wonderful Bernadette Jiwa) encourages testimonials because it inspires goodwill, the addition of a little incentive at the end will help to ensure that the praise comes gushing in:
"We’re always striving to improve on what we do for you and your feedback means the world to us. We don’t have a big team or big marketing budget - but we are lucky to have people like you who support us. If you’ve dealt with us before we’d be grateful for honest short review. They help people to find out more us and to know if we’re right for them or not. They help spread the word on our mission too.
As a thank you, we’d love to give you (insert appropriate gift here: 10% off, a free sample, unending gratitude etc)."
BONUS NUMBER FOUR: Care Deeply
And of course, there is another sure-fire way to gather a tidal-wave of testimonials: show you care. Care deeply for your customer, care deeply for what you do and care deeply for how you do it. Underpromise. Overdeliver. You will be thanked for it.