Client testimonials are a key source of credibility and help to generate new customers or clients. Potential customers want to know about the work you’ve done for others. A public online testimonial tells the world you’ve done and you do good work. Think of it as a way of extending positive word of mouth to the far corners of the globe.

So how do you go about getting clients to say good things about you?

How to get client testimonials

  1. Ask for them. Don’t be bashful. If you think you’ve done solid work for someone, ask them to provide you with a testimonial that you can use publicly. If you feel embarrassed about the prospect, you’re going to have to get over it. Sometimes people would love to give you a testimonial but don’t know how. Help them!
  2. Remember to ask. If someone sends you kind words without being asked, thank them, of course, and then ask them if they mind if you use the compliment publicly. (Here’s a great example of how Hostgator, whose services we resell, posts online reviews via Twitter and Pinterest.
  3. Ask the client if you can use their name or otherwise identify them. Some may say “use my name”. Others may ask, for a variety of reasons, that their identity be concealed from the testimonial in some way. Always respect their wishes.
  4. Use post-work surveys to ask for comments. Indicate in the survey that as a condition of completing the survey that any response will be made public. In the alternative, ask if publicizing answers would be OK.
  5. Ask clients to post testimonials on third party websites, like your Google Plus page (especially), or Bing Business page, or your Facebook page, or your Yelp or Foursquare or any other page where reviews about businesses are collected.  It’s generally better to have reviews posted by third parties on reputable third party sites that you don’t control. Why is this? Because you don’t control the website, and you are not perceived as controlling the website. Meaning, it’s harder to create fake glowing reviews on someone else’s website (If you do, by the way, that’s fraud, and you can get in trouble for posting fake positive online reviews.).  (If you get a bad review on one of those websites, you darn well better respond!)
  6. When do you ask for a testimonial? Right After you’ve done a great job or served a great sandwich or performed a terrific service. Strike when the iron is hot, when the client is loving you.

What information should be in a testimonial?

  1. A good description of the work you did. Which is better? “GoatCloud did a good job on our website.” or “GoatCloud designed our superb, mobile-ready website. It looks great, it’s super fast, and responds perfectly on tablets and smartphones. All for an exceptionally reasonable fee.”
  2. A reasonable indication of when the work was performed. Testimonials about recent work are more compelling to potential customers than your past laurels.  Duh.
  3. The identity of the person providing the testimonial. The more identified the better. Which are you going to believe more? A testimonial from Fred Smith (with a headshot and link back to his website) or a testimonial from “Customer #199.” Recall that you must respect the client’s wishes with respect to publicity.
  4. Even better, make it a video testimonial. If your client is willing to go on screen and sing your praises, help them to do it. Here’s a good example: They don’t have to be perfect. In fact, sometimes less-than-perfect comes across as more authentic. Post them on YouTube (get the reviewer’s permission first!)

Looking for more information. Check out our online tutorial about online reviews.

Do you need assistance obtaining and monitoring online testimonials? Contact us today about our affordable online presence services.

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What did we miss?  What’s tips do you have to get excellent testimonials? Leave them in the comments section below.

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