How To Get Customer Testimonials For Your Business

Customer testimonials are a great way to show prospective customers what others have said about your product or service.

What is a customer testimonial?

A customer testimonial is a detailed endorsement of your products or services that help potential customers make buying decisions.

Testimonials are often written in a Q&A format to allow prospects to scan through and find the answers to their own questions. Some of the most frequently asked questions for testimonials are:

  • Why did you choose our product or service?
  • What was life like before you purchased?
  • What is life like after you purchased?
  • What problems have been solved by purchasing our product or service?

Additionally, you can record customers and share video testimonials as well.

Whether you’re a business owner or a marketer, you should seek out opportunities to collect testimonials from happy customers. It’s important to note that you can’t use a testimonial as promotional material without permission from that customer.

What is the difference between reviews and testimonials?

Whilst testimonials are similar to online reviews, there is a notable difference between the two. Customer reviews are often opinions or experiences, shared on third-party review sites.

Whereas testimonials are an in-depth account of how a product or service has benefited the person writing it. These testimonials are then written up as copy and posted somewhere for people to find.

Why are customer testimonials powerful?

When launching a new website or marketing a product, it’s essential to show prospects that you are is loved by people like them.

Testimonials act as social proof, offering real insight into the tangible benefits of choosing you. They’re especially good for customers who only need a little nudge to make a purchase.

These are people who’ve already read through your sales copy, compared you to other businesses, and evaluated your pricing. All they need is confirmation from people who were in the same boat as them to take the plunge.

What makes a good customer testimonial?

For customer testimonials to be effective tools for converting leads, they should meet these criteria.

They’re genuine

Because testimonials are endorsements of your product or service, they have to be written by real people with real experience. Not only are fake testimonials unethical, but people will see right through them. It’s not difficult for a potential customer to look people up on LinkedIn and check the testimonial is genuine.

They’re positive

For a testimonial to work in your favor they have to put your business in a positive light. This is where finding people to give testimonials is really important, as not everyone is going to give glowing feedback. You want to find your most loyal customers or those you’ve had the most positive experiences with when providing support. We’ll get more into this a little further down.

They’re positive

Testimonials aren’t fluff pieces, they’re detailed accounts of how your product or service has directly benefited other customers. They’re your customer success stories.

You have to ensure you’re asking specific questions about customer experiences that will convince others to pull the trigger and make a purchase. Remember, that the aim here is to increase sales.

How to get customer testimonials

To get started, make a list of all your owned properties you can use to reach out to customers. These are things like:

  • Social media profiles
  • Customer support system
  • Websites
  • Email lists
  • Blogs and forums

This is where your communities are, and where you’ll find those willing to give you an endorsement.

Now, let’s get stuck into the best way to get customer testimonials.

1. Create a survey to collect customer testimonials

Surveys are the most effective tool for collecting feedback, including customer testimonials.

You only need to write survey questions that address your customer’s experience, and they can provide specific and truthful feedback.

And as you’ll likely be writing up your testimonial in a Q&A format, half the work is already done for you.

The major benefit of this is that all your responses will be stored in a single place, allowing for easy access and analysis.

Using a tool like Shout, you can fully customize your surveys and share them wherever your audience may be. Here are a few examples:

  • Send surveys to your customer email lists.
  • Share surveys on social media.
  • Include links in your customer support emails.
  • Embed surveys on your website.
  • Trigger surveys as pop-ups or slideouts.

With Shout’s CRM, you can even target your most loyal or most engaged customers and ask them for a testimonial directly.

All you’d need to do is filter your contacts by previous feedback (e.g., an NPS survey) or by the number of emails they’ve opened.

Piece of cake.

2. Use customer support

Customer support channels present a few creative ways you can get customer testimonials.

Firstly, they put you in touch with those who use your product or service most often, meaning these customers have already got the know-how. Secondly, providing good customer service builds loyalty, which qualifies these customers to give you positive feedback.

But you have to avoid sending blanket requests for testimonials. It’s rare a customer has submitted a support ticket with a wholly positive experience.

Be sure to resolve their issue first, providing excellent support along the way, and then ask for a testimonial. In doing so, they’ll feel you’ve already gone above and beyond for them, and won’t feel put out when you ask for something in return.

3. Search on social media

It’s likely that you’ll already be tracking brand mentions on social media to stay up to date on the public opinion of your business.

This presents a unique opportunity to get in touch with people who have positive things to say about your product or service.

They’re already advocating for your business, and so will be more willing to spend the time to do this for you.

If you’re not already tracking your brand mentions, all you’d need to do is search your brand name on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Then find the more positive comments and reach out.

It’s as simple as that.

4. Send an email campaign

Let’s not forget about one of your most important resources, your email subscribers. These are people who have agreed to be contacted by you and are more likely to want to provide feedback.

But again, you don’t want to send out a blanket request to every contact on your email list. This will likely be jarring for them, especially if they haven’t heard from you in a while.

Instead, you want to time these requests with a recent interaction or milestone in the customer journey. Here are a few suggestions:

  • After a first-time purchase
  • Subscribed to software for 6 months
  • An account logged into 10 times

Remember, you’ll only want to ask for a testimonial after a positive interaction.

The only downside to this method is that you’ll be collecting customer testimonials in bulk via email. That’s a lot of text that may be formatted in a wide variety of ways being sent to a general inbox.

We’d recommend creating a survey and sending this by email invitation. This allows you to reach your contacts in the same efficient manner but also ensures that responses are optimized to suit your needs.

Not only can you receive email notifications each time a testimonial is submitted, but you can also filter and compare testimonials.

5. Ask for customer testimonials on your website

Websites are where the majority of customers will go to get new information about your products or services. These methods are more passive than what we’ve discussed so far, but can still be a great source of testimonials.

Embed a form on your website

Much like surveys, forms allow you to ask for testimonials in a more structured way. With tools like Shout, you build forms and embed them on your website (without slowing down your page speed).

Use pop-ups to collect testimonials

Another viable way of collecting testimonials on your website is to have it pop up for visitors. This could be on a specific page or after they spend a certain amount of time on your site.

Add notifications to your website

Notifications are similar to pop-ups, but they tend to be a little more discreet. As you’re asking for feedback, it’s probably best to do so in a way that causes less friction on the page.

6. Check your blog for relevant comments

The comment section of your blog can also be a treasure trove for customer testimonials. Of course, not all comments are going to be the best fit. But, this is an excellent way of finding testimonials without having to perform outreach.

This also allows you to link back to the content the comment was left on. Which may encourage potential customers to read the content your customers were such a big fan of.

You can’t rely on readers to leave comments without prompting, so you may want to round off your post with a little call to action. Something along the lines of: ” Have any of these tips helped you? If so, let us know in the comments.”

Even if the comment itself isn’t of use, it might be worth reaching out to the person who left it. As they’ve provided positive feedback before, they may be willing to do so again.

7. Swap testimonials with other businesses

Swapping testimonials with other businesses can be a great way of getting a wider range of opinions. This can be done by posting a request on social media or in that business’s blog comments, or even by contacting them directly.

These are especially useful if you’re a B2B business. Where your potential customers want to see that your product or service works well for other businesses.

In this case, you might want to consider creating a case study instead.

The best way to approach this is to write a testimonial for someone else, let them know about it, and ask them to do the same for you.

Be sure that testimonials are genuine on both ends. It’s essential that you both have experience in each other’s products or services for them to to be useful.

8. Offer something in exchange for a customer testimonial

Just like when you use lead magnets to convert leads, you can offer something to encourage customers to write a testimonial. If you’re a SaaS company, you could consider extending the subscriptions free of charge for customers who submit testimonials.

Offering discount coupons is something that would work for any business model.

If you’re running a blog, consider offering exclusive content to your most loyal readers.

Wrapping up

Testimonials are essential to building customer trust, especially if you share them in the right places. Here are a few suggestions of where to post them:

  • Publish direct quotes on your website
  • Write testimonials up as blog posts
  • Build customer testimonial landing pages
  • Embed social media testimonials on your website
  • Create case studies
  • Record a video testimonial

Remember, you must ask customer to user their testimonials. They may be more than happy to give you feedback, but not want their personal information shared online.

Hopefully, this all helps you collect customer testimonials. Get in touch if any of our tips worked for you, or if you have anything to add to the list.