Cloudmango Team

How to Ask Your Customers for a Testimonial

Testimonials can truly make or break a business. Customers have the chance to leave reviews across the internet for your company. From Google Reviews, which literally show in the search results, to your Yelp page and so many others, it can be hard to keep up with your business’ online reputation. At least, that would be the “good” problem to have.

Many businesses find themselves on the other end of the spectrum. Across all these sites, things have stagnated. Whether the business is new or old, many owners find that they just aren’t getting a stream of new reviews–good or bad. That can be a real issue too because a lack of reputation can turn clients away. No matter how long you’ve been around, a new customer thinking about giving you business might look at your lack of reviews and say, “Oh, are they still around? Are they any good? Their last review was over six months ago.”

What’s worse is that, without many new reviews coming in, it would just take one less-than-stellar review to completely throw you off your game. Therefore, you need to do everything you can to promote a steam of not just new reviews, but great reviews.

The key is that you don’t go about this in the wrong way. Unfortunately, many businesses try to kick-start their online reputation by buying reviews from people who have never bought any of your products or used any of your services. Not only is this wrong, it’s highly suspicious. Why would a Yelp reviewer in San Diego be reviewing a seamstress in Denver? If you get a bunch of fake, canned reviews going for your business, people are going to start paying attention in the wrong way. In many states and countries, fake reviews are also illegal and you could find yourself in very hot water!

But, as a stand up business owner, you would never buy fake reviews. Nonetheless, you might be struggling big-time to get even your most loyal customers to jump online and leave feedback. Clients seem quick to do it when they aren’t happy, so why is it so hard to get them to share their positive words? If you relate to these questions, you’re not alone. But, as one of the many businesses out there struggling to build up a solid reputation online, you can follow the below tips to get there.

1. Make it an exit survey

The best time to ask for a review is when the customer has reached the epitome of happiness with your business. In other words, the moment they are completing a transaction is the moment you should say, “Would you mind leaving us a review?” But, you can actually do a lot better than just asking.

Incentivizing your customers to leave a review is always the way to go. Put it on the receipt that, if they leave a review online, they’ll get a percentage off their next purchase or perhaps a free gift. This is enough to encourage any customer to logon and review your business. Hopefully, they’ll have at least a few good words to say too.

Even better, if you’re able to collect your customers’ phone numbers or emails as part of a purchase, you can follow up with them a day or so after their purchase and ask them a couple questions about their experience with you. Plenty of free survey tools can be utilized to accomplish this. If they answer the survey positively, they can be redirected to your online review page. Otherwise, offer to make things right by reaching out to them.

2. Run a promotion

Sometimes, offering a discount in return for a review just isn’t enough. And, if you sell products that people don’t repurchase often, this approach won’t help much at all. For instance, if you’re a mattress store, a discount on their next purchase probably won’t be too enticing. You need to go the extra step to incentivize your clients.

A promotion can be shared with customers as they make their purchases and also put online. There are many different ways to set it up, but perhaps one of the best is to just make a short survey asking for feedback and a short testimonial for your customers. When they complete the survey, they get a small free product, prize, or (if applicable) a discount.

3. Look for feedback already out there

Sometimes, customers have already complimented your great service–they just haven’t done it on the platforms you were anticipating. For instance, many customers tweet about their latest purchases or leave a post on their Facebook page letting their friends know when they like a business. With some digging, you can find these customer testimonials and ask the customer to turn them into official reviews on your platform of choice.

Also, if you need testimonials for marketing purposes, you can pull these comments directly from the source. Just reach out to the client and ask permission from them first to make sure you don’t run into any issues, especially if the comment is from their personal social media account.

4. Make leaving a review easy

People will always do what’s easiest for them. Typically, that means not leaving a review at all. You can encourage them to do this though by making it as easy as possible. Including a direct link to leave a review in your emails to your customers, on your website, and in your relevant social media posts can make a huge difference. You should also make sure that your business is active on as many platforms as possible.

This means setting up a business profile on Google, Yelp, LinkedIn, TripAdvisor, Trustpilot, Sitejabber and all the other sites that your customers may be using. While this will lead to your reviews being “divided” across platforms, it’s better to get a review from a customer on the platform of their preference rather than getting no review at all because your business wasn’t active on it.

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