When it comes to choosing a home service company, customers have a lot of options. From carpet cleaning to garage door repair to electrical work, how do you know you’re going to get quality work at a good value from a trustworthy professional?
If only there were a way ask a friend, someone with experience in the industry of the service you need.
That’s how testimonials have the power to help you increase your business.
92 percent of consumers read online reviews and testimonials when they’re considering a product or service. 88 percent say they trust those online reviews and testimonials just as much as they would trust a friend or family member. And 72 percent of consumers say good reviews and positive testimonials make them trust a business more.
It’s clear that if you aren’t using testimonials as part of your marketing strategy already, you need to start. But unfortunately, getting those great testimonials will require a little action on your part. Customers are pretty unlikely to leave a testimonial unless prompted, which means it’s on you to ask for one. If you’ve never asked your customers for testimonials before, it can feel like a daunting task.
But asking for testimonials isn’t as hard as it seems. Here’s how to ask your customers, and how to put their testimonials to the best use to bring more customers to your business.
1. Ask for a testimonial after receiving praise from a customer
If a customer has already given you some glowing feedback, congratulations! You’re in the best possible position to ask for a testimonial.
Since you already know the client has good things to say, simply ask if they’d be willing to share those thoughts with other prospective clients. Most likely, they’ll be happy to. It’s that simple!
Unfortunately, this isn’t the norm. Even when customers have great experiences, they don’t always go out of their way to tell you that. So you may have to ask for a testimonial in another way. Don’t worry, you still have a ton of options.
2. Try to have a conversation with every customer
Before leaving a customer’s house after finishing a job, if it’s appropriate, have your technicians strike up a conversation. A friendly comment about an upcoming holiday, a weather change, their home decor — anything can open the door for the customer to mention how much they appreciated their experience. And that’s the perfect time to ask about a testimonial.
3. Follow up with your customers via email
If an in-person opportunity to request a testimonial doesn’t come up, hope is not lost. You can still follow up and make the ask.
A great way to do this is to email your guests a thank you for choosing your business. Somewhere in the email, in a prominent font, you can include something like, “If you had a great experience with us, help others find our services by sharing a testimonial for our website.” Link to a form they can fill out with their testimonial information (more on this below).
But it’s important to strike while the iron is hot. The happy sentiment customers have after a positive service experience fades quickly, so if you don’t follow up quickly, they’ll be less and less likely to leave you a testimonial. Keep that in mind, and try to send out your thank you emails as soon after a service call as possible.
4. If you can’t follow up by email, regular mail works too
There are going to be situations where you don’t have a customer’s email address. If that’s the case, you can follow up and send a thank you by regular mail, instead.
Keep in mind, though, that this puts you at an automatic disadvantage because of the time it will take a mailed card to get to your customers. After that much time has passed, you may want to offer them some kind of incentive for providing a testimonial, like a discount off their next service or a gift card to a local restaurant.
5. Aim for video testimonials
While written testimonials are powerful, video testimonials are even more so. Ask your customers if they’re comfortable giving a video testimonial. Some won’t be, but others may be fine with it. It never hurts to ask.
Once you have the testimonial…
Once a customer has agreed to give you a testimonial, your work isn’t over. Here’s what you should do next.
Help your customers with what to include
Since most of your customers aren’t writers, they might need a little guidance about what they should include in their testimonials that will really benefit your potential future clients. For example, potential clients want to hear about the experience — what it’s really like to work with you. Your happy customers need to know to include that.
So it might be helpful to provide customers who have already agreed to write testimonials with a form that prompts them to explain exactly what the experience was like and why they would recommend it to others. You can link to that form in an email asking for testimonials, or include a hard copy to be filled out (along with a prepaid, addressed return envelope) with mailed requests for testimonials.
Edit your written testimonials
Not everyone is a writer, and that goes for your customers, too. Edit their testimonials to correct any mistakes in grammar and usage. If these testimonials are going to persuade new customers to choose your business, they need to be clean and professional.
Include as much information about the customer as possible
Testimonials should be made to seem personal to your potential customers, so you should aim to include as much information as possible about the customers who supplied them. Ultimately, it’s up to the client what they want to include. But you should try to have, at a minimum, their full name, their business name (if it’s relevant), their location, the date you provided them with your service, and their headshot or business logo. Include all of this on the testimonial form, and make sure you explain to them that any information they provide you with may be used for your marketing later on.
Display your testimonials in the right place
Finally, it’s time to put your testimonials where they’ll have the most impact: In front of the eyes of new potential customers.
There are a lot of options for where you can place them on your website, but one thing is for sure: They need to be prominent. That’s why your homepage may very well be your best bet. That’s the most visited page of any website, after all, so it’ll get your testimonial in front of the most possible eyes.
Another option is to put testimonials on a dedicated testimonial page. As your testimonials grow in numbers, this is a good option because it gives you a place to put them all without overwhelming your homepage, where you need to convey other information. You can always continue to include the best few testimonials there.
You’re well on your way to collecting the testimonials that will help you take your business to the next level. All it takes is to ask, and with these tips, you’re ready to make the request.