AMiable Solution #314: How to Collect Testimonials Quickly and Easily
You know you need to do it, but collecting customer testimonials often falls to the bottom of our to-do list and gets buried in the bottom of the to-do piles on our desks.
Why is asking customers for a positive review so difficult? Well, if you’re an introvert working from a desk, it could simply be a matter of your nature. Some people just aren’t that comfortable striking up conversations with strangers and asking them for documented compliments.
For others, it’s more about the hassle of creating, collecting, and processing customer surveys. Fewer people actually complete and return those things than we need, anyway.
What if soliciting testimonials was easier? We think it can be.
Let’s call it the “two weeks to talk” approach. Here’s how it works. You pick a two week period in your quarter. Maybe it’s the beginning, maybe it’s the end, maybe it’s centered around a significant date or special event. Whenever it is, identify those two weeks as “get our customers to talk” weeks, and get your entire marketing/sales/customer service team on board. Let everyone know that for that two-week period, talking to customers and collecting feedback is a priority.
We’re not suggesting going to any militaristic lengths to get them to talk. You already have the tools and the resources you need to gather the information you desire: customer service reps and sales reps.
These are the people who already talk directly with your customers. These are the people who already have relationships with your customers, or at least know how to relate to them. Asking your people-talkers to solicit testimonials all year long doesn’t work. The task gets forgotten or pushed by the wayside. But making it a priority for a limited time helps.
When a customer calls to renew a membership or subscription, make a purchase or donation, or inquire about a service, customer service representatives have the perfect opportunity to extend the conversation and seek satisfied customers. They have the perfect opportunity to ask, are you happy with our company and why?
Likewise, sales reps visiting clients have a great opportunity to have meaningful conversations with clients, to find out what’s working for them, how they’re benefiting, and why they like using your company.
Both customer service reps and sales reps have the advantage of already engaging a customer in conversation. Asking for feedback, requesting use of that testimonial in marketing efforts, and getting the testimonial in writing with the customer’s approval can all happen very effortlessly and quickly.
And you don’t have to ask just “Are you happy with our service?,” either. There are other questions you can ask and other angles to approach to solicit concrete, convincing, and usable feedback. Fiona Adler, in her February 2016 article, “7 Steps to Collect Powerful Customer Testimonials,” suggests asking the following:
What was your situation like prior to using our business? What drove you to start using our product/service?
What convinced you to try our business? (instead of the other options available)
What was your experience like using our product/service?
Would you recommend our business? What would you tell other people/businesses in a similar position to you were?
Since using our product/service, what sort of results have you experienced?
Customer testimonials have great super powers. Collecting them regularly and effortlessly can be yours.